Saturday, May 12, 2007

May 11th

As I finally get a chance to write this, a day has passed since I was first inspired to write. So first I'll step back into time....
May 11th. That was yesterday. That was Friday. Today is Saturday, and Tomorrow is Mother's Day.
May 11th 2007. Multiple meetings and contacts to make including a stop to visit my friend Ron who was in the hospital recovering from knee replacement surgery. Afterwards, I was heading south and decided to drive thru the cemetery where my folks are buried. (Actually, this will make the third cemetery I have driven past today that caught my eye.) I wonder why. Well, with Mother's day this weekend, I am sad that I no longer have a Mom to give a card to. It's hard to believe so much has happened since she died. And I remember discovering her in her apartment, dead. The shock is still very vivid.

Anyway, I do not really enjoy visiting my parents grave, but I do it anyway. And I am only there for a few minutes usually. There is no connection to my parents there except their names on the gravestone with the dates of their birth and death. I will often drive by the house I grew up in, that's where the real memories are.

But then I read the dates again Donald F Howard November 3, 1930. Alice Marie K Howard August 15, 1933. I have those dates memorized, Birthdays! Celebrations, cakes, gifts and cards.
What stuck me is I do not know the dates that my parents passed away. Oh I tell people that my mom died on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, but the date is right there, November 22, 2001 (Which is wrong! I just looked it up and the date on her death certificate says Thursday 11-22-01, which is the date she was found, but I knew and told everyone that I could pinpoint her death to between 8pm and 1opm the night before, cause she had a habit of writing down when she took her various pills. Looking at what she wrote, her last entry was around 8:15pm Wednesday and comparing it to all the previous days, she would have taken her next pill about 10pm.) But the coroner had to use the date she was discovered.)

Okay, so here was the shocker, I remember my father's last few days alive in a hospice home. I saw him Saturday and Sunday of Mother's day weekend. He was very weak and could not talk anymore. He always bought my Mom a rose, so I went out and bought one and left it in his room on Saturday for my Mom from my Dad. I was back home on Monday when I got the call that he died. So I always remember Thanksgiving eve as the night my Mom died in 2001 and the day after Mothers Day as the day my Dad died in 1998. When I read the grave stone, it says May 11th, 1998. Wow. Here I was, 9 years later to the exact calender date, visiting the grave where both my parents are now buried. And now I will remember the dates just like I remember their birthdays. This picture was taken in 2001:

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