Rain is Beautiful
In November 2005 my mother was in the hospital with chest pains. She was there for maybe one week, I really am not sure. We had Thanksgiving dinner at the hospital. She was having trouble breathing but still in good spirits. She smiled, laughed and complained about hospital food. She was her normal self outside of difficulty breathing. She told me that she did not have long to live and I laughed. She had been in and out of the hospital my entire life. She always recovered no matter what. I called her “Energizer Bunny” because she kept going and going no matter what. Sometimes I called her “Timex” because she could take a lickin and keep on ticken. She told me she was dying and I laughed. The doctor told my father and I that she could go home. I thought this was great news but then he added "we have done all we can do for her; There is nothing more we can do". My mother asked the doctor in her sometime very dramatic way “Doc..Give it to me straight..How much time do I have left?” The doctor told her “honestly..I don't know how I am talking to you now”. She just stood there and nodded. The doctor said that a hospice nurse would meet us at my parents appartment. I just smiled because he did not know my mother and I really did not know what hospice meant. We got home and my mother struggled to get out of the car but was able to get out and into a wheel chair so we could wheel her from the car in the garage to the elevator up to the forth floor and to the apartment. Once inside we helped her to her bed. She was still able to go to the bathroom on her own and even get to the kitchen and tinker around. Her mobility did not last long. I watched her get weaker and weaker right before my eyes. On December 15th, 2005 my mother took her last breath in my fathers arms. They had a life insurance policy for her but since they had borrowed against it for traveling to Texas to visit family there was not quite enough left for final expenses. For over two weeks I called any and everybody that had ever laid eyes on my mother begging for money to help me bury her. I did not eat. I did not sleep. I lost a lot of weight and had bags under my eyes. Some people where concerned about me but I was the beneficiary and it was my responsibility. She was my mother. For two long weeks which felt like several life times I missed her. She was laying in wait at the mortuary. I could not see her. I could not touch her. I could not hear her voice. I kept busy to keep from disappearing into depression. Every day it rained. After 58 years of marriage my father was a drooling zombie. Many well meaning people suggested that I put him in a home. Many well meaning people suggested that I start planing his funeral as well since he most likely would not live long without her. When finally everything was paid for and I went to the mortuary to see her after all this time I could not wait for my dad's in home care worker to help him out of the cab. I looked at my dad and said “I can't wait..I am going in” he nodded because he understood. I ran as fast as I could into the mortuary and up to the casket that held my mothers body. As much as I though about this day over the years I still couldn't believe we were here. I was so sad. I was so alone. And it rained every fucking day. This was so hard because I had always loved the rain. I was the girl that did not care that my hair was pressed and would run around in the rain jumping and splashing in rain puddles. I missed feeling happy about rain. All I could feel was sadness. For years after that everytime it would rain I would cry. The rain would always bring me back to how hard it was to give my mother a beautiful home going celebration. Which I did. Today October 16, 2017 is the first day I really felt good in the rain. Rain is beautiful.
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Merika Reagan, Author
Hello Everyone. I am a San Francisco native.