She passed away in her sleep this morning. My sister is really broken up, and my father is heartbroken.
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At least it didn't go on any longer. She was in horrific shape and getting worse, although she did have a real desire to live.
I will miss my mother but I believe she is now in a place with many people she knows. She was a clean-living woman with a big heart and a sharp eye, and a sharp tongue. She was also a mother who always knew where her kids were, and she was with her husband for 53 years. She was a real Irish character, but she never got to see her ancestral homeland. It is now even more important that I visit that place, if only for her.
One of the last things she asked of me, in the ICU, was to get a haircut. I did that tonight on South Street.
I have called in to the School District's HERBS system and logged the first two of my five allotted days of "Code 41: Period of Mourning for Close Relative." I logged it in before 5pm, I think, and the computer would have started calling registered substitute teachers to offer the two-day job to the first taker, going through english-certified subs first. That failing, the system will begin calling the pool of substitutes again at 6am tomorrow morning, and eventually someone, perhaps one of these people who barely speaks english but has been certified to teach here in Pennsylvania, will come in and watch the kids make an infernal mess of my classroom.
I don't care. I'm beyond caring at all about any of this. I could be fired or the school might take an asteroid hit and I just don't care.
There will never be anyone on the earth like this woman, and I owe so much of who and what I am to her. She was a fine wife to my father, and a fine mother to my sister, to me, and to a few other people. One of those people was an ingrate and a self-obsessed never-do-well but that's his fault, and his family's. Somehow it still disappoints me that I was unable to contact him to tell him what he really should know. She felt like he was her own child.
From my mother I get my intense love of animals, particularly cats. She loved her cats, although they were always vindictive, curmudgeonly crazy cats. Imagine a cat with a chainsaw-shelaighlaigh.
I'm sure I'll speak of my mother again from time to time. I'll try to get a picture of her to post here. She was a beautiful lady, and in fact she was still a beautiful lady, even in the ICU. Her hair remained raven-black even in her last days at 80 years of age.