I spoke to my sister Karen tonight while driving home from work. I haven't been able to get hold of my parents for a couple of days, so I figured she could fill me in. "Yesterday was a good day for mom," she said. "She went to the golf club with her friend Zil."
This is a significant improvement. My mom has stayed around the house since Christmas, not venturing further than the backyard. She hasn't been moping around and she's had many visitors, but still, she hasn't strayed far. So it was good for her to get some fresh air and see friends. She didn't feel well enough to hit any golf balls, but maybe next time.
I told Karen that my wife and I will be back in Florida to visit my parents next week. It's only a few days, but its still good. She said she's glad that Shawn, Mike, Tim and I have all been able to visit since Christmas. She thought maybe no one would able to.
We talked a bit about Christmas. I told her I hadn't realized it at the time but it really was the last opportunity we had to get everyone together for Christmas. I don't even remember the last time we had the whole family together. We have five kids in our family and as people got married and had kids its become harder to do. Usually there's a few of us who get together at Christmas, but its been more than 10 years since everyone got together. When we were in our twenties, we used to joke about my mom and dad giving us a bit of a guilt trip saying they didn't have that many Christmas's left. And now it had come true.
"We blew it," I said. "It was great that you guys were there, and Tim and his family, but we didn't get everyone. "
"I joked with mom about it," she said. "She wanted to know if I told everyone it would be her last Christmas. She was able to laugh about it." We didn't know it would be her last Christmas, but maybe mom knew. It wouldn't have been her way to let people know. She wouldn't want anyone to feel bad about it.
"You know it's mom and dad's fiftieth anniversary this September," she said. "I thought we would be able to get everyone together and have dinner with mom and dad at their golf club."
I didn't understand at first and I didn't know what to say. "But, mom won't be there," I stammered. She isn't going to make it past Easter, let alone September.
"Maybe we could get everyone together before then," she said. "I'll be in Florida for a few weeks in March. I think mom and dad would really appreciate it."
It's an idea. Why not? I don't want to regret that we missed the last Christmas.
* * *
I'm listening to the Sex Pistols really loud while I write this and by the time I finish, I fall apart crying.