I was all prepared to blog about hurricane Irene, the prep and the aftermath, when I received the worst phone call of my life informing me that my mother passed away in her home in Florida. It was such a shock because she wasn’t ill. It appears that she had a heart attack and died quickly–a blessing for her but a nightmare for all of us who weren’t ready for her to leave us. We were just there in June, helping her go through papers and get rid of stuff. She kept telling me where her important papers were kept but I really wasn’t paying attention. I had no idea that I would be back there in a few months hunting around for the important items. Sadly, it was also the 10th anniversary of my father’s death.
Thank goodness she made all of her own funeral arrangements. It only took one call to put them into motion and I’m glad that all of her wishes could be addressed as she wanted them. My brother was in the middle of his cross-country road trip, somewhere near Montreal. He drove straight to Baltimore the next day. Since we didn’t have power at home, he met us on the boat.
Everything was fine after all of the work to get ready for hurricane Irene. Our only tree in our front yard split and we lost power. The boat was fine except for a few wet cushions.
After the burial service and sitting shiva one night I was glad to escape to the boat for Labor Day weekend. The annual Sabre Club crab feast was the perfect way to direct my thoughts away from being sad. It was comforting being around all of our caring friends. We had a great sail coming back to Annapolis–at least until reaching Bloody Point.
My brother and I flew to Ft. Myers to start settling our mother’s affairs. It was strange to be in her house without her there but also comforting to be so close to her presence. Her neighbors and friends from her synagogue were so helpful. They were as stunned as we were to lose her so suddenly.
When we visited her bank and safe deposit box we found some crazy stuff in there. She saved my first tooth (yuck!). She also had the letters from the infamous grilled cheese incident. My brother blogged about it–
We found Mom’s last jigsaw puzzle laid out like she just walked away. She had a printout of Alan’s post about our brother David nearby. She must have been reminiscing. She also had my Dad’s photo close by on the table.
My brother, Alan, has a large community of friends on the web. They organized a cookie day in honor of our mother. She was known as the ‘cookielady’. She would bake a batch of cookies every Sunday and divide them up into little bags. Everywhere she went–the bank, doctor’s offices, Publix, etc. she would give them cookies. They all knew her and loved the special attention.
The cookie day was a big hit. People all over the world baked cookies and handed them out to strangers. They posted pictures and stories at http://storify.com/cogdog/cookielove
My mother also loved butterflies. She thought they represented people who have died. Now, when I see 2 butterflies together, I will always think of my parents.
We’re back on the boat now–enjoying a peaceful day in Clements Creek. I’m relaxing and decompressing after making it through the worst 2 weeks of my life. My next blog post will be more upbeat–I promise!!