Monday, April 9, 2018

Monday March 19, 2018

Around 6am I rolled over in bed (for the 20th time) and unplugged my phone and did the morning scroll. I heard Dad come down the steps from his room upstairs with Gumbo the Boykin bounding behind him. The garage door opened and the two set off for their daily morning walk around the mountain.

Shortly after I heard the kitchen door slam open and my Dad's panicked voice yell out to my brother and I, his voice echoing off the post and beam built cathedral ceilings.

Beau! Katharine!
She's gone, 
She's gone! 

He opened my bedroom door still with his headlamp shining his dark morning red light. "They just called, she's gone! Let's go!" We didn't cry or hug but all raced to get dressed as fast as we could. Dad ran upstairs and I washed all my zit cream off, Beau still putting on his pressed chinos while he was running to the car. 

I don't remember what we said in the car that morning. We probably should have called for a police escort at the speed we were going. I know Dad said "I should have been there" and we quickly stopped that thought. I told Dad there is no way she would have died if his beating heart was in the same room as hers. The nurse that had called Dad said that "BB has taken her last breath while I was in here checking on her, she is at peace and now fully healed".

Hospice will tell you again and again that this is normal. We could have stayed in there with her forever and at the first meal break or coffee run she would go. Sometimes people like to leave on their own. 

I wasn't sure I wanted to go into her room. I have never seen a deceased person, and wasn't sure it was an image I was emotionally prepared for. Especially not the person that had brought me into this earth with her own body. My mother, whose blood runs through my veins.

We opened the door and she lay still and quiet. The nurses had moved her on her back and prettied up her hair. Her eyes were forced closed but her mouth was open (something you can't prevent). Her hands were clasping each other and resting on her stomach with her rosary and two flowers in them. 

It was a beautiful and peaceful sight. And one that I will never ever be able to get out of my mind. My last glimpse of my mother. My beautiful loving mother. Holding flowers as if she was going to walk down a church aisle for a wedding.

I did what any Boylan would do and slowly removed the carnations out of her hands and replaced them with purple tulips from my birthday flowers. Dad smiled and said that's a good daughter.

Her head was still warm and I kissed her goodbye. We all sat and stood there for quite some time. 

The amazing Todd (that I have mentioned frequently in these last posts) arrived shortly after, called by Alice Myer to let him know what had happened. We prayed over BB and sat in the quiet, making decisions and started calling people once 8am rolled around. 

Dad stayed busy calling while Beau and I messaged friends. If I had any advice I would make a list of most important people to call. I thought I had everything covered but of course we forgot a few. Friends had already started posting pictures and Beau and Dad agreed on a facebook post to let the rest of the world know. I probably posted it too quickly but I didn't want people to see the comments that were rolling in. I know people have a love/hate with social media but it truly is the best way to get information out in the fastest way possible.

We packed up her things, her bear, her pillows and her picture frames we had brought and loaded up the car. We kissed her goodbye and made arrangements with the Crematorium and we left Elizabeth House.

We would never visit my mother again. Never hold those hands, never kiss her forehead, stroke her hair, whisper that we loved her. We wished for her to be made whole again in heaven, but had no idea how much we would miss those moments here on Earth.

The rest of the day and week we went into planning mode. I will begin that on a separate post. 

I didn't cry that much that morning, I teared up but the adrenaline of preparing for 200 of our closest friends and family coming to town took over. And that adrenaline would carry me until her funeral, and immediately wear off afterwards. 

But after we went out to lunch and stopped into Gardener's Cottage our friend Libby came running through the door with tears streaming down her face and the floodgates opened. Mom was like a second mother to Libby and Gardener's Cottage was probably one of her most favorite places in Asheville. I walked the store and every single thing in there speaks to me. It is like a part of Mom is still in the store, straightening books, smelling candles, deadheading plants, tiptoeing through the tulips.

It will now always be a place I can connect with my Mother. And it is a beautiful place for such a thing.

1 comment:

  1. This picture of her at the Gardeners Cottage is so perfect, most of my memories of her are there. Still thinking of you all so much and sending love and comfort. So thankful that you, your dad and Beau have each other with all of the amazing memories of your sweet mom.