The Finality of Her, Again. The June gloom gray sky today tells all.

We parted two years ago today. We sat around her bed, her children and grandchildren. We cried, then laughed. We reminisced. On the bed lay fresh-picked rose petals scattered around.

She really loved roses, Mom. She loved them unlike anyone else. She’d always stop and smell them while walking, even in a hurry. And she would always get mad if you didn’t stop and smell them with her — not angry, more like “mad,” if you know what I mean. She believed stopping to smell the roses was a remedy for being too busy, too occupied with matters of less importance.

To Mom, few things mattered more than beauty: sights, sound, smell, taste.

The sky was gray on that morning of May 29, 2001. For over an hour, her inhales and exhales became weaker and weaker. You could see her frail chest with just a thin layer of skin. Up then down, then up then down. And you knew the last one was imminent. We watched and talked and laughed and cried with a sort of suspense in the back of our minds, knowing these were the final moments.

Then her last exhale. There was peace, unlike the day of that stroke.

The reality of a last breath, the finality of it all. By all I refer to life. As I said during her eulogy, she no longer is, she was. The finality of her. The end. You read about these kinds of things — death — but when it’s your mother and when she’s the love of your life.

And when it’s over, it’s over. Not her soul, if you believe in souls. But the other part, the physical part.

The sky is gray today as it was when I grabbed her hand, squeezed it slightly, and took one final look at the saintly woman who was my mother. Then turned my back on her and walked away to tell Dad.

You would think I’d be “over it” by now, but I’m not. Not one bit. Some of you know the feeling too well.

Something about the color gray, and the dim light — there is light for sure — that perfectly captures my internal feelings now.

Light, but muted and lacking.

Bree sent me this today, and it made me cry a bit. Something about when your children mature and start caring for you. The feeling I find surreal.

And I smiled because no way Mom had room in her house for another photo of her children.