My mother died today … about 3 months short of her 96th birthday. Not long after Daddy died on April 6, 2012, she said that she would die when she was 96. Not bad, Mom. You always were a bit prescient. I don’t know if you knew it, but it was you who taught me to believe in magic … to know that “there are more things in heaven and earth” …
I am her first-born. She gave me the name she and her sisters were called in High School … their last name, Terry. I am so glad that her last name wasn’t something like Tuchmacher and that it’s an androgynous first name. I do recall being confused when one of her High School friends was visiting and addressed her by her nickname. I think calling the Terry sisters by their last name was the result of the column “The Terry-Go-Round” in their High School paper. Mom’s older sister, Evelyn, started the column. Mom and her younger sister, Norma, continued it. (I don’t believe their youngest sister, Betty, carried on the tradition. Maybe the school stopped publishing the paper by then.)
Mom sometimes called me “her little boy” long after I was grown (even as I approached my current status of “old fart”). I think most parents do that. Sometimes, I think of my kids as “my little girls” even though they’re in their forties “with babes of their own” (and one of those “babes” started college this fall).
Mom often said that she wanted her flowers while she was alive … so that she could enjoy them. (True to her word, Mom requested a donation to her church in lieu of flowers.) For several years, especially since Daddy died, I’ve tried to send her flowers every 6 to 8 weeks. Early this month, I ordered a Halloween bouquet to be delivered to her yesterday. She was unconscious when it arrived. She never saw them. I hope that, somehow, she knew they were there. Fortunately, I sent her a smaller “get well” bouquet that arrived 2 days ago. She did see those and I’m told she smiled.
As sad as I am for myself and the rest of the family, I’m happy for Mom. She’s with Daddy again and their love of more than 70 years continues.