the day was march 7, 2007.
that day began like any other, that school morning rush, trying to find everyone two pairs of socks that match and last minute lunch making. trying to get everyone out the door on time and still have some semblance of sanity.
after walking amber to school i made my way over to john's grans. i had a pair of pants she had asked me to mend. i felt bad it had taken forever for me to fix them but finally i was taking them over finished. finally. gran never fussed about stuff like that. she was happy to have family close and she understood, probably better then most, how challenging our lives were.
i would visit gran every other day...sometimes everyday. it had been so cold and i had not been by for two days. i had talked with her on the phone both days and she assured me i did not need to come over. to stay warm. she had everything she needed.
i would always ring her door bell and i would tippy toe up on the step and peek in the window of the front door and simultaneously lift the mail box lid. usually through the window i would see her making her way from the kitchen after hearing the bell. or in the reflection of a mirror that hung in her dining room i would see her getting up out of her chair. if she was expecting me and the girls for lunch i would be able to see the dinning room table set. everything ready to go. lunches always tasted so good at her house. nothing fancy. ham and buns usually. sometimes special yellow jello because porscha liked it. on cold days a tea cup set for me. always ice cream. one time i said to gran how lunch tasted so good at her house. she said it was cause someone else was making it. maybe. i think though it was because gran was in fact just that special.
usually the mail box was empty. she would read her paper before i got there and have it ready, with an elastic wrapped around it, for me to take home for john to read. that morning i tippy toed and flipped. what i saw was not the norm.
through the window i could see the bedspread from her bed across the living room chair. never had i gone to grans where the bed was yet made. the mailbox. it still held the morning paper. i had a awful feeling come across me.
for a few seconds i didn't know what to do. john was home sleeping. i did not bring her key with me. i didn't want to leave. i didn't want to go in. i wanted to rewind to monday. the first day she said it was too cold for me to worry about coming over. so i could let her know how much we loved her. how much all those little things she did meant. like how she started putting a tennis ball in with the paper for our old dog timber. how she would buy the girls chocolate bars every time she went grocery shopping. the loonies she would give the girls for the dollar store. how she bought john a pie one day cause work had him down. how she was one of my best friends. i wonder if she knew how much all those things meant?
i had my cell phone. i made a call. to john. when he answered i was crying. i didn't even have to say anything. he knew. i told him the paper was still in the mailbox.
i sat down on the cold step and cried waiting for him to come over.
when john got there with her key he went in. i could not. i needed to remember her the last time i saw her.
the next call i made was to 911. the operator asking me if she was breathing and my calling to john in the bathroom, could he could feel a pulse. his distress was heartbreaking. he was so strong that day. he could have called 911 and not went into the house and i had told him that but he said he did not want a stranger to find her.
there was the call to john's dad. nothing worse then a call like that. to have to tell someone their mom has passed away. no matter what age that is a terrible call. whether we love them or hate them. talk often to them or not much at all, your mom is your mom and at 5 or 55 losing your mom is such a sad thing.
there are a lot of things i remember about that day. the fact that her bed was still warm when i went to make it, the electric blanket was on....and i said to the police officer that was there with me, and who was helping me make the bed, that i wished she'd been in her bed nice and warm when she passed. i remember that she had her breakfast place setting ready to go right down to cereal in the bowl. i remember the laundry detergent in the scoop on the washer so she could run the load once she woke. i remember the girls crying when we told them and i remember those phone calls.
i miss gran so so often. i think about her always. we talk about her a lot and all the wonderful things she use to do. about how she liked this or that. she would have loved max. she would have spoiled him like timber....with tennis balls and arrowroots. she would be so so proud of the girls.
can you see the little crease in the picture?
it is funny because the one thing I was going to tell gran about the day we found her was that photo I had come across. the photo is about 2 inches by 4 inches and i had forgot all about it. my youngest use to take this photo to school folded in her pocket. she had a tough go with starting school and a picture of great gran in her pocket seem to give her comfort. it would have made gran smile.
we were so lucky to have her in our lives and thinking about her makes my heart smile.
writing prompt: describe a phone call you won't forget.