Two weeks ago, I posted about my coming over to the US for the saddest of reasons, my mother’s passing. One of the first things I did once I got here was to go with my sister to view my mother. Before I went in, I was warned that she might not look so good. It was reckoned that she might have been dead two days before a neighbor found her and I could instantly tell from the bruising on her nose and lip, that she had fallen face first when she died. The only good thing was that it was believed she went suddenly and didn’t suffer, if you want to call that a good thing. Like when I viewed my mother in law two months earlier, I did sense that she was now at peace and I would like to believe in a better place. Maybe, they’ve met up and along with my ex mother in law, are comparing notes on me.
My first big anxiety was what to say at her memorial service. I didn’t want to simply repeat what my brother and sister were saying. This led me to simply stare at a blank note pad for a couple of hours the day before the service. Then it hit me on the day. My mother was loved on both sides of the Atlantic, so as my family in Britain wouldn’t be there, I thought it would be a good idea to get their thoughts and memories on my mother and convey them at the service. Thanks to Facebook, that was possible. My three children, my six step children who met her, my wife of course as well as my ex wife and an ex girlfriend all contributed. Reading all of their nice comments gave me a great feeling and I have to confess, it was the closest I came to welling up these past two weeks.
In accordance to my mother’s wishes, my sister, her husband and my brother went to Ocean City, New Jersey and poured her ashes into the ocean. Nothing ever being easy with my mom, when we got to the beach, it was low tide so we couldn’t pour the ashes from off the pier. Instead, we had to go out onto the jetty and pour the ashes in from there. Except for Mark slipping and his cell phone nearly going into the water, the deed was done without much problem.
For the past two weeks, I have been living at my mother’s home surrounded by all of her memories. There are pictures of her children and her grandchildren all over the house and in various photo albums. I will be taking a good number of these with me but there are loads left. The funny thing is that this hasn’t really struck me in a way that one thought it might. Maybe it’s because I have spent a good portion of my time cleaning up her house. Getting rid of the strong smell of cigarettes and solving the mouse problem. It has taken my mind off things. It has also helped that I haven’t been a complete hermit whilst I’ve been in America. I’ve gone out with my brother and sister as well as friends to different events and that too has taken my mind off things. Plus, I know that my mother wouldn’t have wanted me to stay in the house the entire time. She would have liked the fact that I did get out one morning and treat myself to breakfast at IHOP.
Now it’s time to return to the UK. While there are legal matters still to attend to, my sister is dealing with all of that. However, it still is an anxiety to me because I want it all sorted, we all do and it’s nothing to do with inheritance. Saying that, money has always been a focus of anxiety for me in any given situation. I think it’s a part of my Asperger’s Syndrome. In this case, those are many fold. First, there is the fact that by coming to America, I lost about 500 pounds in substitute (supply) teaching over the two weeks I’ve been away. While I know that it couldn’t be helped and I’m glad that I had enough money stashed away so that I could get here no problem. I must also be glad that I was on holiday from my main job and that made my going over much less complicated. On the other hand, I found out that the gear box on the car needs replacing and am worrying about the cost. Finally, I am going to meet with a financial adviser to get an idea of what awaits if and when I get any money from the sale of the house, insurance policies and trust fund. Things like costs of converting currency and taxes top the agenda here. Then again, most people who know me would tell you I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t worry about money.
I think the full force of my mother’s passing will hit me once I return to the UK. There will be no Facebook comments from her, no emails or phone calls when I visit any of my children. However, that remains to be seen. So while my mother will rest in peace, myself and all who knew her and what a great lady she was will contend with the fact that she is no longer with us. That is why I want to think that while her remains are in the ocean, she is in a better place.