-Day 1 Friday:
11:00 a.m. Mother's funeral. Wear black dress. Deliver eulogy. Host luncheon.
2:15 p.m. Pack van up with photo boards, photo albums, candles and crystal dishes from mother's service.
3:00 p.m. Arrive home, fall face down on sofa. With little boy.
Rest of day: Still in black dress from mother's funeral.
10:05 p.m. Sleep on sofa in black dress from mother's funeral.
-Day 2 Saturday:
8:01 a.m. Wake up in black dress from funeral.
7:00 p.m. Change from black dress from funeral, into black T shirt.
7:15 p.m. Drive self in black T shirt and slippers for something to eat. Only want ice cream.
8:20 p.m. Friend drops off purple violet plant, my mother's favorite. Can barely make out velvety leaves through blur of tears.
9:05 pm. Go into garage, stare at van full of things from mother's funeral, no room for children. Walk back into house.
9:10 p.m. Turn to FB: van needs emptying. Unable to do. Sage friends advise children to empty items into back room, I go through items later.
9:39 p.m. Children empty van.
11:41 p.m. Fall asleep grateful for wise friends on FB.
-Day 3 Sunday:
7:48 a.m. Open eyes to view from sofa of blue sky and raindrops in sun!
7:49 a.m. Shout at kids to be dressed and ready to go because Now! Now! perfect weather for visit to cemetery.
9:45 a.m. Drive home from cemetery silently, family with me, radio on but don't hear it. Only hear words in my head of how one week ago we were with my mother, and today feels like someone else's life.
12:30 pm. Escape to movies with 16-year-old son who lets me rest my head on his shoulder during previews, and then throughout movie. He doesn't re adjust once.
6:30 p.m. Dear friend drops off pizza and salad. I take bites and swallow hard in between tears.
11:07 p.m. Promise to re-send re-write re-word every single card ever sent to anyone who has lost a mother. Will begin with, "My apologies, I had no idea."
-Day 4 Monday:
6:49 a.m. On sofa, eyes wide open, body tired but mind too sad to sleep. Still in black T shirt from weekend.
7:20 a.m. Dear friend knocks on door and drops off card. Is taken aback by lack of wardrobe change, endears herself to me by stammering she "likes T shirt I've been wearing these days."
12:00 p.m. Take children with me to funeral home to pick up mother's cremains. Even when holding evidence of ashes, my mind says not her.
12:40 p.m. Children make me laugh on drive home when littlest says, "Who me? Oh, you know, nothing special -- just driving around with my grandmother's ashes in the minivan."
1:30 p.m. Ice cream for lunch.
6:47 p.m. And dinner.
-Day 5 Tuesday:
7:15 p.m. Place mother's ashes in car seat next to me and go for ice cream. Cry while driving, wondering who's going to ask me now about the stories in my life.
7:35 p.m. Park car at mother's favorite ice cream drive-in and begin with what was always her first question to me as soon as I walked into her room, the latest story of woman who is thorn in my side. Salty tears fall and mix into my chocolate ice cream as I tell her what's new. I still finish cone.
8:00 p.m. 18-year-old son gets surprising new job of hearse driver when mother's ashes still left in car from ice cream run earlier in evening. He takes car, and thus inadvertently takes her for ride with him. He comes home saying, "Well, looks like Nona finally got to go for that car ride alone with me."
8:09 p.m. Bring my mother's ashes in, place her in piano room, where she can now sit near front window, listening to her grand children's serenades.
9:00 p.m. Change into grey T shirt.
11:50 p.m. Fall face down on sofa in grey T shirt. Wonder what I'm going to do.
4:15 a.m. Wake with crick in my neck and see littlest next to me. Don't want him to wake and leave so let him stay in my neck cranny.
-Day 6 Wednesday:
7:15 a.m. Take Tylenol for crick in neck from littlest sleeping in there all night.
Rest of morning: Still in grey T shirt.
9:21 a.m. On sofa, chanting grade school cheer Get up! Get going! You can move and do it! Gooooooooo me!
10:19 a.m. Shower, leave to register two oldest for high school, come back home and rest for half an hour, leave again to buy shoes for two oldest.
1:55 p.m. Return home and pat self on back for school registration completed, shoe shopping completed, and not telling every person who asked about our summer, that my mother died. Flop down on sofa.
2:05 p.m. Scoop up littlest in my arms and bury my face in his soft head. Pass out for nap. Stay like that, eyes closed, until 8 p.m.
-Day 7 Thursday:
10:40 a.m. Try singing along to radio but voice won't go faster than 33 rpm.
3:00 p.m. Attempt to do all the things I need to do around house but legs are stiff and arms leaden. Will try again Friday.
5:25 p.m. Five pounds chocolate covered raspberries for dinner.
1:00 a.m. Order T shirt from Zazzle, "I have no parents. Be nice."
1:20 a.m. Set alarm to wake at 6:45 a.m. then plan to go to small bakery downtown and buy all the donuts.
1:50 a.m. Take blanket to sofa, stare at ceiling and marvel that a week has passed and how strange life will be without a mother. Hot tears slip out the sides of my eyes and puddle in my ears because I don't know what I'm going to do now that the person who loved me more than anything, is gone.
* * *
**I'm doing okay, ups and downs, and moments that strike out of nowhere when you really need them not to, like not being able to walk past the watermelon at the supermarket because we'd always begin our visits with my mother with a bowl of chilled, cubed watermelon. Your love and kindness on the internet have lifted me and given me peace and comfort. Thank you, for being there, and making all this, a sharing of love.
You guys are the best.