My mom died 29 years ago tonite. I remember that it was late. People were staying at our house because she was so sick. I was on the trundle bed in my sisters room. My dad came in and woke me up to tell me that mom had died. It was about 1:30am in Chicago. I was 10. He put me on his knee on the yellow and green chair that mom had recovered. She loved yellow. I covered my eyes and said, "no no no no no" while shaking my head. I remember that I was thinking that I watch too much television. Weird huh? I really thought that.
Then he woke Carrie. He took us into where she was laying on their bed. She had asked him to bring us in before he body got cold. A request that sounds so forensic, but contained love all the same. I don't remember much from going into that room. She lay where she had slept. Still. Laying. Breathless. Peaceful. My next memory is being back in bed, watching from a dark room out the open door. Movement in a late night house. Muted lights, muted voices. Then, people I didn't know. And a gurney wheeled out. My mom on it. She left our house for the last time.
The next day was 50's day at school. Dad said I didn't have to go to school, but I didn't want to miss it. I rememember getting there like a hazy dream. Like the memory has white clouds around the edges. A weird, uncomfortable smile on my face. Like I had a secret. The whispers began. "her mom died?" "whitney's mom died last night". "nu uh" "yuh huh". Then Mrs. Yost told that indeed, Whitney's mom had died.
Me, in my poodle skirt on 50's day.