May 17, 2001

I'm OK...

As I said yesterday, I'm ok.

Better than I would have thought.

Maybe I'm still somewhat numb.

The funeral was Sunday; on Monday my sisters made their final decision; they would take their mother to live near them in New Jersey.

The one that was closest to my father (the youngest, who lived with her mother and him for several years) put it this way: "The day he died I promised him I would take care of her. He was in a coma and I don't know if he heard me but I wanted to put his mind at rest. Putting her in a home in Montreal and driving away is not taking care of her."

Stepmom agreed; there's no more fight left in her, even if she might have fought to continue to live on her own.

In the space of two days, that family located and arranged her placement in a home two miles from the youngest daughter, and within an hour or two drive from the others; packed up the belongings they needed to take and hired a mover; gave away (to family) and donated (to charity) the remainder of the contents of a two-bedroom apartment; did the necessary banking and monetary exchange; began inquiries into obtaining health insurance; cancelled the utilities and left.

I have never seen such a flurry of activity; I have never seen such a demonstration of love and caring.

My father knew how to pick a family!

During her two weeks here I became quite close to the youngest sister; I had always liked her but now it's apparent why she and my father had such a close relationship. Both saw through each other's surface to what was underneath.

So I'm left with business details (re the estate) to handle, which I would have had anyway, but with peace of mind concerning my Stepmother's welfare.

Of course I miss my father; when the phone rings late in the afternoon I expect that maybe it's his call; but that's natural.

The last time I saw him he looked very much at peace and I'm holding on to that image.

I thought that when this would happen, I would feel alone and disconnected. So far I don't. I have reconnected with my cousins, my sisters, and their children. I have received messages of support from friends, both online and off.

If you ever wonder whether a sympathy message has any effect, I can tell you, it does. The cumulative energy of all the people who have sent thoughts and prayers feels like the ocean, supporting and buoying me up.

I'm slowly picking up the threads of my daily life; refocusing on my children and my home and my interests; but still not thinking too much beyond today.

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