It was almost at this exact moment, just after midnight here and just after 7pm there, that my mother took her last breath. And that moment was relayed to me very shortly thereafter. It has been a year and I miss her as much today as I did yesterday or will tomorrow. My daughter and I have posted photographs and our memories on Facebook and friends and family have commented and shared our love for the wonderful woman called Carol Gates.
When my boxes arrived from Virginia, I was so happy to find so many lovely photographs of the family amongst the papers and books and knick-knacks. Here are two of my favourite photos of Mom. The first was taken when she was around 17 and the second when she was 23 or so. She was so beautiful. Dad was so handsome - what an exquisite couple they were and what wonderful people. I'm glad Mom lived long enough after Dad's death that the years of his decline became the more distant memory than those memories of all their wonderful times together. She missed him more in the year before her death than she did in the year after his - such is the cruelty of caring for an ailing spouse. But she spoke of him with such delight in her eyes, she missed him more then than ever before. And she was ready to go. But it may take longer for me to be able to let her go fully. I miss her...and Dad. Someday I hope I can look at the photograph of them I have here in the bedroom without welling up. I am sure the day will come, but it hasn't come yet.
Sweet dreams, Mom. I love you and I miss you.