While it's true that life was never the same for my mum after Dale's death - well, for any of us, I have to admit that the quietness that came was healing.
Life went on. My step-dad continued to farm the land and the look after the cows, even if he was down to half a dozen head. My mum toodled around the house, took up crossword puzzles and lottery scratch tickets, and started sending Jim to get the groceries while she sat on the deck checking out her Peonies. For awhile, us kids prodded her to quit smoking and give up beer, but after a few years we realized that you can't change anyone, least of all your mum.
The last few days have helped me calm down too.
Yesterday I called her to follow up on the shower chair I took last weekend. "Mum," I practically yelled. "You have to try the chair before I come on Sunday. Sunday! If it's too big or too wide, I'll bring it back and exchange it."
"Do I have a shower chair?" she asked.
*sigh* Things went better with the bed. "Also, can you throw the sheets in the washer Sunday morning? I'll put them on for you."
This time, I could hear the smile in her voice. "Okay. I'll see you then!"
Now that she's accepting our help, it makes it easier for me to offer. And I'm going to take out some petunias for the front yard, and hang the lanterns I got for Jim for Father's Day. I'm looking forward to going out, once Bill returns from the shop.
Happy Father's Day!