Julie’s Jabbers: Getting Through Tough Anniversaries

If I’m acting weirder than usual right now, please bare with me. The anniversary of my mom’s death is approaching and I always get extra strange around that time. It’s been 9 years now but I still notice my own erratic behavior starting about 2 weeks before it.

I know most people don’t want to dwell on sad anniversaries but there are some moments I LIKE to recall. The doctors at the hospital said that Mom had about one day left but she was still lucid, so we talked nonstop.

Mom finally said, “Wow, is there anything left that we need to say?

“Nothing I can think of,” I replied.

“Me neither,” she said and then, “Hey, why aren’t you wearing a bra with that?”

I thought I could forgo certain underwear in my time of grief but Mom thought differently.

We knew it was Mom’s last night so my aunt, my sister, her daughter and I all decided to stay at the hospital. We tried to sleep in the waiting room but ended up laughing and telling stories instead. This was apparently too much for a woman nearby because she came in to yell at us. She said she was there with her terminally ill husband and we were being too loud. Furthermore, we were breaking hospital rules by staying so she was going to call security and have us thrown out.

You can imagine how shocked we were at this. My sister started crying as the woman stomped away & I had visions of security carrying us out by our ankles and wrists.

I guess hospital security had heard from this woman before because they never showed up. Our shock slowly turned to outrage and then we started to plan our revenge.

We had thrown The World’s Most Depressing Pizza Party earlier that night and boxes filled with pizza littered our waiting room. Everyone knows that pizza only smells good for one hour. After that, it starts to smell like B.O. so we decided to hide the boxes in Angry Woman’s waiting room down the hall.

We snuck through the darkened building and hid pizzas under the chairs and tables, then ran back breathless and VICTORIOUS! We spent the rest of the night giggling about our adventure.

The gleam had faded in the morning and I felt awful about it. I went to that corner of the hospital to clean up the pizza boxes but they were already gone. The Angry Woman had been replace by her daughter and she apologized for her mom when I tried to apologize for our actions. She said that given the circumstances, none of us could be blamed for our behavior and maybe she was right.

Mom scolded all of us when we told her about our Overnight Pizza Assault and said that we should remember the stress everyone was under. Then she gave us one of her throaty chuckles and I knew that given a chance, she would’ve been hiding stinky pizza boxes with us too.

My Mom died that very day, peacefully and with all of us holding her hands & saying sweet things to her. Mom didn’t have an easy life and I get angry if I think about it too much, but she sure had a kinder death than most.

And even though I wasn’t always there when Mom needed me, I was there for her at the very end and that’s usually enough to get me through each awful August the 2nd.


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