The First Step on the Final Caregiving Journey as We Prepared to Spread Mom's Ashes
As we end each year and start a new one, I often try to reflect on what has happened and the impact that it had on me. Therefore, I hope you’ll indulge me in the next few columns as I (finally) cover Mom’s last journey.
That journey officially began on July 31, 2008 when I pulled the canister with Mom’s remains from the top shelf of my front closet. Knowing that her ashes were there had served as a comfort during the past 10 months following her death on Sept. 29, 2007. I’d often find myself talking to Mom’s perch in the closet, stealing a glance when I’d get a coat out of the closet, or directing a question toward her in order to seek her wise guidance. And sometimes when Dad and I got into serious discussions, I’d offer to get Mom down from her shelf so she could take part.
So reaching up to the top shelf was one of those surprisingly difficult moments fraught with the realization that Mom wasn’t going to be there for me in some form. A day later, Mom’s ashes were packed in a carry-on bag on the first leg of Dad’s and my journey to Colorado. I’m still amazed at how much comfort I took in those 10 months before Mom’s ashes were spread in the Colorado Rockies. And since that late summer day, I sometimes catch myself looking up at the empty place where that black canister had resided during the year.