I give your mom the leopard blanket, and she wraps it around her immediately. It smells like our room. D gets some of your smell & love from it too before bed. I take out the laptop to find some pictures. I sit by Mom’s bed and show her. Some of my own, but we try to look at yours mostly because of how you loved to touch them up and make them pretty.
You never needed anything extra to look beautiful, but you always knew how to shine.
We look at memories of Christmas, Vegas, Wicked, the fair, our families and our nieces and nephews being born. And you were always so happy, even though we couldn’t have our own. Hadn’t. We didn’t know.. But you knew. Somehow. You had faith that we would find a way. It wouldn’t be easy. Your pictures are all I have right now. Thank you for taking so many, for always insisting that we have them even when I didn’t feel like it. Thank you for making sure that I backed them up when you changed phones and laptops. We have so many pictures of so many good memories together. Mom and I will never forget how many sweet scrapbook-like projects you made for us, for Valentine’s or Mother’s days. You always found the best pictures of everybody, and added your quotes and designs. We won’t get any more though. It’s not fair. Why can’t you come back and make more?
I try to sleep. This time I have your unicorn blanket and your bathrobe. As well as your pillow from before. I need a fan on me in the warm house. The air mattress is pretty okay. Most of us get up at one time or another in the wee hours, snacking on a cheesecake or something from the dinner package. I use your sleeping meds this time because I know it helps. You always made sure I was taken care of, even though it was my job to take care of you more. I love you. I loved you.
Today is hard, but it helps to be with your family. Our family. I have some leftovers for breakfast and C makes coffee. I still don’t feel right. D says I probably don’t know what to do with myself because I’m used to busying-about for you. That’s somewhat true. But mostly I just need you here.
I start this journal today. I sit in your favorite recliner chair with the laptop and just write. I am still tired. We need to start looking at mortuaries but I can’t get myself up and dressed until it’s almost noon. We try one place but they closed. We try another but we don’t like it. Finally your mom just has a wonderful lightbulb moment. We should do it in Redlands. That’s your first home, and where your friend from high school was buried. We all immediately like the idea. Well, as much as you can in this situation.
Brother & his fam came over again. S has oodles of straws and other random bundles of things, we don’t even know what she does with them. You loved her so much. And she loved you. We won’t know how to tell her when she’s old enough. We won’t even know when she’s old enough. Also your aunt B came and brought some more food. She offers to open her home for the family and friends after the service, since we’ve decided on Redlands. That helps ease D’s mind a bit.
Mom, D and I drive over to Redlands to get to the chosen chapel before they close. We definitely like it much better than the other places. We sign the release form for them to get you from the county. We would have wanted it to happen sooner but they can’t do anything on Sundays. We make plans to come back Monday afternoon to finalize all the arrangements.
It is nice to ride in the car with them, we can all reminisce about you. It’s amazing how much effort from your family went into making sure we met for our first date, from your aunts convincing you to take the date in the first place, to your mom making sure you waited for me after I was running so horribly late. I am so lucky, so blessed that they did. That was the beginning of the best, most wonderful ten years of my life.