At 2 am, my phone rings. It's the Oncology charge nurse at the hospital where Herself's mom is.
"I'm so sorry...."
My lieutenant is the best:
"Go home, maddog, there's no patient here who needs you more than your wife. Go, man, go!"
I wake her up. There's no other way to say it:
"I'm sorry, honey. You're mom has passed away."
I have not stopped hugging her.
I call her sister and wake her up. She's crying:
"Mommy's died! Mommy's Died!"
I feel like the angel of death.
Herself and I sleep entwined like pretzels. In the morning, I make a huge breakfast and nudge Herself and HerSister to make decisions. To her credit, Herself's mom had already made arrangements with the Anatomical Gift Foundation. Her remains will be sent to us.
My job is to work the phones. Every 5th call or so, I have to stop and cry. Herself's mom has touched many people in her 78 years. She's touched me too (stop to cry).
Now we're planning parties. So many people wish to honor her and we are the crux of her life. We have a lot of parties to plan. My parents come home early from their weekend getaway. My mom (the one who who forces planes to land): "Of course, I had to come home. We have to be with you." Tonight, we gather as a family should, share funny stories and cry a little.
Herself has gone to bed. The day has been busy with grief, business and condolences. Herself's mom was extremely well known and loved. Everywhere I went today I made people sad with the news.
Herself has a lonely road. I'll do my best to be the friend I hope I can be. I can't make her pain go away but I will try my damndest to make her life as good as I can. Is there anything more important in life?
(stop to cry)