Friday, August 16, 2013

Returning to Mama's Nursing Home... Something's Missing

My plan was to return to Mama's nursing home on the six month anniversary of her passing... it didn't happen! I've been putting off the visit for awhile and couldn't understand why I was unable to do it. I thought I'd given myself enough time.

Douglass and I wanted to spread some of her ashes at the nursing home since it was one of the few places we hadn't done it yet. Maybe it was the pressure of the final "letting go" or the panic attacks I felt on the sixth month anniversary, but I just couldn't do it. Once I realized that, I was somewhat relieved and felt less pressure. When the time was right, we would do it and not before.

Well, tonight we did it! We drove over with Mama's ashes while taking many deep breaths. We brought the camera and the iPad (just like in the old days) and wanted to keep a low profile. I wasn't sure if I was ready to deal with seeing anyone... baby steps please. Today was also meaningful for Douglass and me because we'd just submitted our script about Mama and tonight felt like the right time to return to the nursing home.

We drove up and parked in the familiar parking lot. The nursing home appeared the same... almost. Tonight it lacked even more life than I remember and there was even less energy. Like Mama would always say "this place is dead". The garden that Mama enjoyed and that we spent so many hours singing and playing cards seemed truly dead. Something was missing... I felt it was Mama's energy!

I spread some of her ashes around the garden that she loved so much during our nightly visits. Douglass and I thought about playing cards... but instead we sat in silence and took in the moment. Unexpectedly one of the head nurses saw us and came out to say hello. She was surprised and truly happy to see us. The night was very emotional, but we did it! We finally did it! Closure... party of two.

Mama was in the garden again even if it wasn't in technicolor and full of our laughter and singing. Our return brought back many memories and it was a big relief. Maybe this was our way of letting Mama know that the script was done and she was "ready for her close-up."

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