Where Have You Been?

It’s been a week since my mom passed quietly from this earth. The last few months have been awful. Those last few weeks had been agonizing. Those last three days, nothing short of torture. For me, at least. Mom was surrounded by some of the most compassionate caregivers I could have wished for. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the staff of Evergreen Personal Care Home and Bethany Hospice. I watched you treat my mom with dignity and respect, love and honor in her final days.

And you held me together too.

My mom was tough.

She was also chronically late.

In the last few weeks and days, we wondered how she managed to hang on. There couldn’t be much keeping her alive. A couple of times, she seemed to be looking at something/someone over in the corner of the room. My dad, I’m sure. Once while I was sitting alone with her, I had a little talk with Dad, pleading with him to take her and end her suffering here.

Then I remembered something. I flashed back to the many times Dad would be ready to go somewhere, shoes and coat on, tapping an impatient foot and looking at his watch. Mom would be taking her own sweet time getting ready. Mom was never one to be rushed. Dad was convinced—even then—that Helen Riggle would be late to her own funeral.

The memory made me laugh. And cry.

Dad also used to be impatient when Mom and I went somewhere without him and didn’t get home when he expected us. “Where have you been?” he would demand when we walked through the door.

Last Wednesday morning, I sat at Mom’s side and watched her take her last breath. I watched the flicker of her carotid pulse slow and fade. And I sobbed.

But I’m convinced, somewhere, Dad was watching Mom come through the door and demanding to know, “Where have you been?” 


Annette, I am so sorry about your mom. My heart goes out to you. I love this beautifully humorous way you have viewed her passing. ❤️ God rest her soul. Xo Joanne
Annette said…
Thanks, Joanne.
Edith Maxwell said…
What a lovely way to say goodbye, Annette. I can see your smile in her face.
Annette said…
Thanks, Edith. <3
Annette said…
Thanks, Joyce.
RM Griffith said…
Beautifully said, Annette. Those moms of ours were quite the pickles, weren't they? And got themselves into a pickle of trouble here and there along the way. Life with them was never boring. Hugs.
Annette said…
So true, Rose. She and I both gave each other a fair amount of gray hairs over the years.

And thanks.
Billie Jackson said…
A beautiful thought. May those memories keep bringing smiles with the tears. Take care of yourself through the next year. They will be with you.

Jeanie Jackson
Annette said…
Thanks, Jeanie.
Dawn R said…
I love your memories of your mom and dad and I know that my dad was waiting for my mom too. She reached out her hand just before she passed away. Bittersweet. So happy that Aunt Helen and Uncle John and Mom and Dad are all together and probably having a great time. They are always with you, as you know. Prayers are with you all.
Mary Sutton said…
Sad, but sweet. It gave me a little chuckle and I can totally see your dad waiting.

Hugs again.
Annette said…
Dawn, I suspect they're having a grand ol' Riggle Reunion in heaven.

Mary, thanks. And yes, it's an easy picture to imagine.

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