Friday, June 22, 2007

seasons in the sun

"good-bye my friend it's hard to die, when all the bird's are singing in the sky, now that the spring is in the air..."

My 70's childhood ran the soundtrack yesterday. Edited to add that I don't think that song is the least bit appropriate for an almost 93 year old woman dying. But my brain didn't agree. I was cleaning, no - more like attacking - the house yesterday. I dumped the books off the bookshelf in the family room and was putting everything back nice and neat. Need for order when life goes too far beyond my control. On 9/11 I remember cleaning the base boards for hours.

To the casual observer, the house was ransacked by some crazy woman. When Sandra called for me to come now, but to drive carefully, I thought "I can't. The house is a mess." Perhaps my way avoid the inevitable. I was in the shower when Kim called to tell me firmly that I should get going. Coordinating the whole thing from Arizona.

So, I raced a thunderstorm. Numb, no thoughts just that damn song running incessantly in my head. Feeling the need for tears but unable to cry. Tried to prepare the girls a little bit. They were fine once they knew that Brad & Leah would be there. Vince and Caitlin were coming home from Uniontown, stuck in rush hour traffic and racing the same storm.

When I got on Route 50, the girls started double daring the skattered raindrops "Is that all you can do? That's a sprinkle! Let's see some RAIN!" As I turned up the hill, the scent of wild onions, Pappa's wild onions that we used to stop and pick, hit me and the tears started. I passed the cemetary and the tears flowed. We pulled into the drive and raced to the door with the storm at our backs.

I arrived at 4:20 and she passed at 4:55. When I said that I knew Pappa was there as I'd smelled the wild onions passing the cemetary - she gave such a deep ragged breath that I jumped.

She was always terrified of lightening and thunder, but they gave her passing some real drama. Lightening, thunder, generators blowing, awnings flapping, torrential rain, power outage. She passed in the dusk with the back-up oxygen. Her breathing went from the ragged breaths to what I've read described as the death rattle and I know why. I hope to never hear it again and was suddenly thankful that Vince wouldn't hear that sound. She passed with her family at her side, in her bedroom, as we said the Hail Mary and Lord's Prayer. It was peaceful and quiet, she didn't struggle and looked at peace.

Mae Marie Monaco. My grandmother. Rest in peace.

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