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BY COLUMNISTS

| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Patricia Price | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


December 30, 2005

Mom's Gone - Part Four

Tom McLaughlin

I woke Dad up and told him Mom had died. He was an Air Force officer and they met in Tokyo 55 years ago. He came in dressed in dark blue pajamas. I don't think he comprehended Mom's condition during the whole three months. He said he took Mom from Tokyo to Ocean City and wanted to be left alone with her.

I called my brother. The nurse gathered up all the pills, several thousand dollars worth, and poured them down the garbage disposal. They would have clogged the toilet. I asked her if they couldn't be donated to someone or an organization. She said no. Shame.

I walked in and talked to Dad and he kept asking that he be left alone. Flooding tears. First time I ever saw him cry.

I had to sign some forms that the pills were destroyed. We called the only local funeral home. Dad came out of the room. We sat in the living room.

The cart came in with two men dressed in black. They went to the back bedroom. They returned with Mom in a maroon bag with her head and shoulders showing. We waved good bye. The black car left. The nurse left. Dad went to bed. I went upstairs with my girlfriend but couldn't sleep, still in that half asleep mode waiting for someone to call.

The next morning I wanted everything negative out of the house. I was a crying maniac. I threw out the half-full box of new diapers, tubes, bed pans, carted the commode to the back shed, the bed covering, everything that reminded me of this horrible experience went out.

I called the drug store and demanded they come get the oxygen bottles and machine out - NOW. The funeral people called and wanted us to come to the home. I said all we wanted was a simple cremation, could someone come to the house. They said yes. Remember, this is a small town.

A tall exquisitely dressed lady came and we signed a lot more forms. She told us the price of the cremation ($1800.) and tried to sell us some cards and a signature book. We bought the book.

She brought out an album with pictures of urns. We flipped through it and said no thanks. She left. She will bring the ashes back next Thursday (about 10 days) as the crematorium is backed up because of the holidays and there were five deaths last night. A record for this area.

We haven't made reservations for the church as this was Christmas Eve. We also need to get a boat to spread the ashes over the ocean beyond the three mile mark.

Me? I am still in a surreal daze. When Mom died I felt the whole world had lifted off me. I had heard that saying but now know it's true. I was happy and giddy that she was gone. Four months of intense nursing care without a break. I told the nurse I felt so guilty for feeling this way. She said it is normal, not to worry about it.

Would I do this again, knowing what I know now? I really can't answer that question and I doubt I ever will. But I will have to, Dad is 90.

To be continued.I know not when!



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