For many, many years after the death of my mother, I felt somewhat like this lone tulip. Shortly after, almost one year later, Mother passed on, my M.I.A father did as well. Suddenly, I was left an orphan at 24 years of age.
Now, I was married to a wonderful guy, and we had a son, lived in a small town of which 99% of the residents were related to MacGyver (wonderful hubby) I had good friends and a big in-law-family. Life was good, but I left the medical field and moved to a 9 to 5 gig which offered us some wonderful opportunities and several physical moves; One to Richmond VA, and then onto New Orleans. I was angry at the fact I could not stop Mothers cancer. I was anger that she had to go through all that pain. I was anger that all I could do was watch. I was just plan angry, and an angry orphan at that. For ten years, I lived away.
Until the death of MacGyver’s Mother.
We returned home a year after she had passed on and since returning, I have cared for three new cancer patients. Yes, sound rather odd. My husbands Aunt, my father-in-law and to top everything off, MacGyver, (my husband). Who is now in remission. I remember MacGyver’s oncologist, (that’s the Doc’s that decide what treatments you get for the cancers,) said to me one day with a very genuine smile, “I don’t know what your doing, but he looks great and everything looks good! Keep it up!
Well, I have to thank Mother for part of the success. Life here at Main Street changed drastically in so many ways. Mother had shown me how to laugh during the fight of her life by her own laughter. I think that is what I miss the most. Her laughter. MacGyver and his family are very similar. Laughter is a big part of life for us. But, there were (and are still times) during MacGyver’s treatments, surgeries and even remisson when I forget to laugh. I was and at times still angry and bitter, looking for the worst and dwelling on the what if.
Shortly after MacGyver was diagnosed, my sister, the smart one, called and was in a frantic tizzy. She demanded that I go to the cemetery and straight out a problem with Mother. “Straighten out a problem with Mother?” I said. “Is she disturbing all the others? Is she playing the piano to loud? OMG, has she escaped? What the H*** are you talking about!”
“Just go to the cemetery and fix it!” She said! “Ok, OK….. I’ll go see if I can straighten her out!
Now Mother was placed in a crept, which is in a small chapel, and each family member has a key to enter. It’s very peaceful and privet. Each has raised gold lettering on the marble fronts with their name, date of birth and death. My thought was, good heavens. It has been over ten years, since I have been there.
The next morning I drove to the chapel to, at my smart sisters request, STRAGHTN OUT MOTHER. Only to find I needed a key which I had lost, and had to stop at the office to retrieve one. I walked the short distance over to the secluded little chapel. It had been years….years…since I had been there. So, I slowly moved up and down the halls looking for where I thought she had been placed. (I could not remember.) So, I quietly began to browse for her name ESTHER ELIZABETH like I was strolling through the book shelves of Barns N Nobel, when I spotted my (maiden) last name, but much to my surprise the raised gold letters on Mother’s marker now read LESTER ELIZABETH not ESTHER ELIZABETH. I look at the last name again to be sure it was correct and now it was a him? LESTER. Who in God’s name is Lester and why is he in there with my Mother?
I busted out hysterically laughing with tears rolling down my face reading it over and over….. LESTER ELIZABETH.
OH, for heaven sake’s Mother! (my equivalent of swearing in front of Mother)
I barley made my way back to the cemetery office. Still laughing, with tears rolling down my checks I simple said, “It seems my mother has decided to change her name and gender. Can you help me?”
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. ~e.e. cummings