Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Girls

We visited the cemeteries yesterday and placed yellow bouquets of fabric flowers beside our parents' gravestones.  Up until a couple of years ago, our mothers would have been in the back seat of our car orchestrating this annual rite.  Each of them would bring their flowers, put them in the trunk of our car, and off we'd go to reverence the family dead.  First to one town, then the next town, then the next town.  There was a strategy involved here.  The last town was the one where we wanted to eat supper.  "The girls," as we affectionately called them, were both fond of eating out, and each one of us took turns paying, or treating, as we called it. 

Last night we visited the girls.  When they left us, boy, did it hurt.  That's because we cared for them as though they were our children.  In fact we named our car, The Mother Bus. 

Our fuzzy one went with us yesterday.  If the mothers were looking down, they were smiling.  Both of them adored the fuzzy one, and we tried very hard to be even-steven with their babysitting her. 

Sweet sorrow, I guess is what it is.  We were so very blessed to have had our mothers live to be 92 and 88.  They each had very different personalities, but they were wise enough to know that the differences make for the most fun.  There were times the The Mother Bus must have rocked from side to side as we laughed our way down the country roads.  Every outing ended with finding a place to eat.

We never realize what we have until we lose it, but, we are sensible and know that we wouldn't want them to be here yet if they were suffering.  Their bodies declined to the point we had to move them out of their homes into a rest home.  For awhile they were both living there together.  At Christmas or other holiday times, we went to eat with them in the common dining room.  It was a harsh contrast to their homemade meals, yet all that really mattered was that the four of us were still together....hanging on with all our might to something we knew would end any minute. 

Today if "the girls" are listening........we sure do miss the two of you and the fun times we had barreling down the road, the fuzzy one between us looking at the two of you in the back seat, and our discussing and deciding where we should go to eat.  I can still hear one or the other of you saying, "Remember now, it's my turn to treat."

Ya gotta love memories like that!