I decided to ask my mom some questions. I needed specifics. Just knowing that you were in the house and that there was a press of people around you wasn't enough for me anymore. I wanted some blanks filled in so that my mental picture of what is happening was more detailed.
"So who all is there?"
"Everybody," mom said emphatically. "Well, (your cousin) M might be out the grandkids keeping them busy and Cindy is going to take them canoeing later today."
I smile at this. There's something comforting in the idea that your grand children are still doing the things kids do during the summer in Iowa. Swimming pools, river runs, anything to keep them busy. This sounds like something you'd do.
"Her hospital bed is exactly where her recliner was," my mom said, filling in some more blanks.
"Right in the center of the living room?" I ask.
"Yep, so she's still overlooking everyone from her perch and so she can see her roses."
"That's absolutely perfect," I say, tears running down my cheek. It's definitely not what I had imagined, but its better in ways I didn't expect. You're not in a back room, hidden away, you are right in the middle of the action like you always have been.
I remember you sitting in your chair, pictures of your grandchildren just above you, watching people walk in and out, giving commands and directing your grandchildren, rolling your eyes as the boys brought out the tinker toys again and started building contraptions. I remember you hiding the tinker toys at one point, putting an end to the shenanigans. It's exactly where you should be.
Your body is working hard now, too hard it sounds like. Every breathe is a small victory, however labored. Mom said that its blood fighting blood right now. That sounds familiar.
I made arrangements to come to you. I'm bringing my daughter. I want her to experience the house, to run around with all her cousins in your yard and walk through your garden. Mom says your strawberry patch is picked over, but there are plenty of raspberries that we can pick and she can eat. Also, I'm promised rhubarb cobbler. I can not wait to get there.
That may be wrong, to be excited to be at someone's funeral, but I don't think you'd see it that way. In fact, I sort of wonder if you didn't plan it this way. That sounds horrible to say, but I think its true. To have everyone under your roof on a fine summer day, with your garden in bloom, and all of your grandchildren playing out in the yard, to celebrate you sounds just like you.
I wish you peace today.