Even though my given name is officially Keith William, I honestly thought my name was Richard...Paul...Keith, while I was growing up. This was due to the fact that when I was young, Mom would rattled off my brother's names first, before getting to mine, whenever I did something wrong and she got mad. This is one of the first stories I recount, when I think of my mother.
Or the time, in the second grade, when I sprained my ankle, so bad that mom walked all the way to my school and carried me home, on her shoulders, because we didn’t have a car.
When we were young, I remember the long walks with mom and my brothers. We would pick up soda bottles, because we could get 2 cents apiece, at the local pony keg, in order to get a treat or ice cream.
Of course, the times when mom made me go get a belt or switch, when it was time for a attitude correction.
However, for me, the best was when I was at her bedside, this past Thursday. The Hospice nurse and I were discussing, down the hall, in a conference room, how mom would stare at one place, whenever she was awake. The nurse indicated that it was her belief that she was staring at someone, who was waiting for her to pass.
After the meeting, I went back to mom’s room to say goodbye. She was staring at that one place, totally unaware that I was in the room. I reached down and kissed her on her forehead. I said, “Is that Grandma waiting for you?” She blinked and turn to look straight in my eyes and said, “Dad, too.” She then turned back to staring at the same spot. I said “I Love You, Mom.” That was the last time we spoke.
My mom passed away Friday.