As some of you might already know, this website is 99.9% fart jokes and drunken rants, but from time to time, I like to swim in the deep end of life. It’s during these more serious times that I will occasionally churn out a non-funny, “very special episode,” that I refer to as an “After School Special.” Seeing as this post deals with my Mother’s death, this is one of those times.
If you’re not into being bummed out, no worries, I have nearly 2,000 other posts chock-filled with nonsense. Everyone else? Saddle up partners, you’re about to get a taste of the sads casserole that was/is my September.
The Last Time
It all starts with the worst conversation that I’ve ever had. Sadly, it plays in my head multiple times daily. While it’s not the constant loop that it was the week after Mims died, My brain is still being a total as*hole by replaying “the worst conversation” with complete accuracy, at least once a day. My hope is that by writing and releasing it to the vast canyons of foolery that are the interwebs, I will be somewhat freed from these horrific lines that currently haunt me.
10:00pm at Casa de Crisby. Exhausted from a long and happy Labor Day Weekend, I called it a night early. I had just started drifting off to sleep, when my cellphone rang, it was Dad.
“Oh hey Mace, I’m relieved to get you on the phone…”
“No Dad, it’s Lauren. What’s going on?”
“Sorry, thought you were Mace, you must be getting a cold.”
“Nope, but it’s NICE TO KNOW I SOUND LIKE A MAN, you caught me just as I fell asleep, what’s up?”
“Well, you’re not going back to sleep anytime soon.”
“Why Dad, What’s going on?!”
“Mom’s dead. The coroner is on the way to get her. I came home and found her seemingly sleeping in her chair, I went to wake her and she was ice cold.”
“Oh my God. “
(It’s at this point my father began weeping uncontrollably.) “I’m so sorry. I’m so so so sorry, Bimmy.”
“No, Dad, I’M sorry, I’m sorry you had to go through that. I love you, it’s going to be ok.”
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”
“Stop apologizing, Daddy. You’ve done everything you can. I’m on my way.”
“No. NO! I don’t want you to see her like this, I’ll be okay, I’ve got to talk with the authorities and wait for the coroner’s office.”
“Alright, can I help you with anything?”
“I haven’t been able to get your brother or sister on the phone. “
“Done. I’ll track them down and let them know, I’ll keep you posted.”
“Ok, (he begins openly sobbing again) I’m so sorry. Poor Valor, she’s not going to see her Grandma again.”
“Dad, V will be fine, she still has you. Please stop apologizing.”
The last time that I ever saw my Mother, a sudden question came over me, “wonder if I can still make the ol’ gal laugh out loud like I used to when we were growing up?” It was Friday, August 29th.
Every weekend since Angry Baby was born, my parents would take a day and kick us out of the house to go relax and enjoy adult time. It began the very first Saturday we were home with Valor, and almost four years later, my folks still insist on “giving us a day off,” each week.
Over the years, our schedules have changed, first they came every Saturday, then they moved it to Sundays. L4L leaves the office every Friday at 11:30am, so in the past few months, we’ve moved our “day off,” to Fridays. Actually, I feel double blessed because the last week of her life, Mom visited us twice, once the previous Sunday and then again on Friday, the day that I decided to try to make her laugh out loud.
As a self-appointed “funny person,” who writes “funny things,” I can tell you with absolute certainty, that there are different kinds of laughs you elicit. Some laughs are cheap and easy (Ex: this blog) while others seem impossible to attain. For me, there’s nothing better than making a loved one laugh IRL (in real life.) While yuking it up with my hilarious family always results in belly laughs, I especially cherish the times that I’ve made my parents chuckle.
The last time I ever saw her, I made Mom laugh, hard. It was a simple and obvious joke, but my rapid-response timing was so perfect, that the laugh it drew was a familiar cackle, my Mom’s distinct laugh. Every mother has a signature giggle, some bizarre and completely unique chortle that leaves no doubt who it belongs to, it’s all hers. Mom’s signature laugh could be best described as an eager Macaw on an caffiene trip.
Mom and Dad are hanging out in my living room when Angry Baby enters with a Shopkin toy. (I’m too busy pouring my heart out to explain Shopkins, but suffice to say, they are currently a big deal in our home and were on this particular day.) Mom AKA Grandma, gifted Angry Baby with a zillion Shopkins, one of which was a little tub of margarine that V decided was sad.
“Grandma, why is this Shopkin sad?”
Mom: “Gee, I don’t know. Hmmm, why IS the margarine sad?”
Me: “I know why. The margarine is sad because it can’t believe it’s not butter.” (Rim shot)
Mom: “HAHAHAHA! It can’t believe it’s not butter! That was a good one!”
My heart swelled with the joy that I still had what it took to really make her laugh.
Actually, she claimed to laugh everytime I posted on this very blog. Mims was one of my first subscribers, and often commented on posts. When she wasn’t writing insane replies to my inane ramblings, she would text me her feedback. “I just read today’s post to Dad, and he’s got tears streaming down his face he’s laughing so hard.”
That fateful day, the last time I saw my mother, yours truly garnered a real-time, in-person, Mom Macaw guffaw, and that’s something I’ll treasure forever. Sadly, it’s also the last time my ears will ever be gifted with her unusual and infectious laugh.
Less than 72 hours later, Mom was peacefully napping and never woke up. There was no sign of struggle, and nothing was out of place. She drifted off and never returned. We should all be so lucky.
Thanks to the classic Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler,” everyone already knows that:
“the best that you can hope for
Is to die in your sleep.”
Yep, I just quoted Kenny Rogers, you’re simply going to have to deal with it. Besides, my grief counselor tells me that “there’s no wrong way to grieve.” Mom went peacefully and painlessly. It’s cold comfort, but let’s face it, beggars can’t be choosers. These days, I find myself taking solace in the smallest of things.
While we aren’t sure of the exact time of her departure, most likely it was less than an hour after she spoke with my Brother, at 7:02pm on 9/1/14. Baby Bro was stressed about something minor and turned to Mom for advice. Ever a sage, the ol’ Gray Mare calmed him down and wished him an early Happy Birthday (9/3 is his big day.) Reassured and relaxed, Baby Bro profusely thanked her and told Mom that he loved her, she then told him “I love you too,” she left this world doing what she loved most, being a Mom.
That’s all for now kiddies. Thanks for making it all the way through this melancholy blathering. More to come at some point. As a palate cleanser,and way to leave on an upbeat note, I’ll share a video that my dear friend David emailed me last week (to cheer me up.)
Boy, did it work. Side Note:I don’t know if the clarinet has ever been sexier.