This morning, Dad sends me an early text as he often does on the weekends.
'The headstone is now installed - looks good.'
I know that Dad ordered the headstone a couple of months ago, unable to face the prospect until then. I know that he has talked to us - his children - to get our approval on the design, the correct spellings and the best color of granite.
I know it is coming.
And yet, after receiving this simple text, I cry like a baby over coffee.
A few minutes later, on the phone, Dad says he discovered the stone yesterday on one of his routine visits to the cemetery. Fortunately, my brother was with him to share in his grief and buffer the loneliness prompted by this final marker.
All I want to do, after talking with Dad, is get in the car and make the two hour drive to see the headstone. B-man cautions me because rain and possible snow are forecast this afternoon.
But I continue to watch the clock anyway, wondering how quickly I can shower, throw on my clothes and be gone.
Then I remember I am on bioethics call for the hospital until tomorrow and must be in town and available, just in case.
Resigned, I spend the day at home doing menial tasks that are somehow soothing in their tedium. Organizing my closet, giving myself a manicure, straightening my areas of the house and throwing out old magazines.
Tears have come several times throughout the day as I begin to reconcile the finality of my mother's death.
She is never, ever coming back.
photo from kozerawski.com