Saturday morning came and my Grandmother and I hadn’t gotten much sleep. We had been up and down with my Mother all night. Mom’s last night on this planet was one of disturbed dreams and stress. She didn’t completely wake up and talk to us, but from time to time you could see she was arguing with someone. The day was Saturday March 24, 1979 and it would be one hell of a day.
I went for a ride around eight in the morning. I just needed to get out of the house. I was done crying for the moment and went to a friends house to smoke a joint. We didn’t talk much because he knew what was up and he didn’t want to push me. I went back to the house and Grandma told me my Aunt was coming to see Mom for the last time. She thought she could sneak her in before I got back. I got upset and then something made me say it was okay. My cousin had just left the Army and he and his Mother got out of the car and came to the door. Grandma let them in and I was in the family room just sitting. I was hoping they would come in, see Mom, and just leave. I wasn’t so lucky. My Aunt wanted to apologize. She didn’t know what she had been putting me through. I listened and we made peace but it only lasted for about three days.
My cousin stayed and my Aunt went and picked up her daughter to come visit. So my cousin and I went off to have a beer and smoke. We talked about of nothing important. We later headed back to the house and I got into it with my Aunt’s daughter. I had earlier in the week said some shit about her and she had said some stuff about me. Of course, she wanted to do this over my Mom’s death bed.
She had gone to her friends house and called later that afternoon asking if her brother and I would come over. I went thinking we would patch things up. I was wrong her and her friend jumped into my shit as soon as I entered the apartment. I looked at them both and walked out, leaving her brother there. They immediately followed and she confronted me in my driveway. This girl was nuts she was going to scream and yell and my Mom was dying inside the house. I threatened to call the cops if she didn’t leave.
I walked inside and saw Grandma. she asked me if the argument was still going on and I said yes. We went into Mom’s room and she was still alive but barely breathing. You could hear how she was gasping for air.
I made a sandwich and went in the family room and turned on the Final Four College Basketball game. I fell asleep. It was around 4:pm. I woke up at halftime and saw it was almost six. I went into my Mom’s room. My Grandmother was sitting in the chair saying the rosary. I went over to Mom and couldn’t hear any breathing.
Grandma had been there the entire time. I had jumped on Mom’s bed to give her CPR, but it was no good. I called the Doctor, yes the one I beat up, and I told him what was going on. He told me there was nothing more to do and he hung up. Yeah, I still hate all Doctors.
I looked at Grandma and said Mom’s gone. It was 6:04pm on March 24th, 1979 when my Mother had finally died after battling cancer for fifteen years. I immediately went into the drawer and took the money. I did everything my Mother had told me to do the night before. My Grandmother said I had to start calling the relatives and friends. Yes, all the one’s who had been giving me grief for months. I had become a man.
I called my Father and all the people. Everybody wanted to cry and I was being ripped up inside. I looked at my Grandmother and said I was going out. She yelled at me and said you are not going anywhere until the funeral home people had taken care of Mom. I had to endure all the people coming over and saying how sorry they were and yet these were the same people who had, for months and years, called me the bad child.
When all the paperwork was done I went up to my Grandmother and kissed her and said I don’t expect for anyone to be here when I got back. My Father was coming home and I didn’t need any more shit that night. She agreed and I left. She had my cousin go with me, but I had to carry him in when all the drinking and smoking was done. We had gone to the Causeway to sit by a bonfire. I saw a couple of old friends and they stopped by to have a beer. I told them what had happened and said I really wasn’t in the mood to talk. They understood and we drank in silence but it was okay. We all cried and hugged and they left back on their walk.
The beer was all gone and I knew I was just putting off the inevitable. I had to go home. As I came up to my house I saw my Father’s truck. It didn’t take him long to come home. He told me to put my cousin in the spare bedroom and then come outside. Man was I scared shit less. I didn’t know what to expect.
When I walked outside my Father took me in his arms and broke down crying. He balled his eyes out. A friend was driving home from a date and saw my Father holding me. He jumped out of the car to see what was up. I told him it was cool, that Mom had died. My Father and I were out in the street for some time just crying. It was nice having my Dad back but I found out the next day I would be short lived. He told me he wasn’t going to be a widower long. You know sometimes reality does suck.