The first thing I think of when I see the date above is “end of fiscal year.” Ugh.
But, I also think that it would be about a week and a handful of days before my wedding, which was scheduled for 10/10/21. Yes, I am already married, but this would have been our big celebration. Instead, I’m still cancelling appointments as they pop up on my calendar – nails, dress fitting, cake tasting.
How does it make me feel? I don’t feel much about it, honestly, as I am just making them tasks I need to do. If I think about it too deeply, it makes me sad. But I know we don’t need a big party to celebrate the love Ted and I possess for each other. I see it every day, when he texts me as soon as he gets to work, when he calls me right at 5pm when his workday ends, and the zooms we squeeze in when we’re apart. I feel it when he assures me I am doing the right thing by being in NJ to spend my mom’s last days by her side. As I help her move from one side to the other in her hospital bed, I can still feel the love.
And, then around 5:30pm, the photos of Louie (aka Boo Boo) and Nermal (aka Nerms) start coming into my phone. The cats wait at the screen door for Ted to come home, as they are hungry, lonely, whatever cats feel. I feel the love as I laugh at the texts about Louie falling off the new kitchen stool while sound asleep. And we mutually love Nermal, despite her desperate growls at Louie.
You have to look for the positives in life when going through something like this. It’s surreal and humbling to watch the strongest women you know deteriorate. I feel torn as I want her to live forever, but I also know her quality of life is diminished. She wants to be remembered as the strong, fierce Helaine. We have awards all over the place here from her volunteer work – the highest level awards from American Cancer Society, Hadassah, you name it. If she was involved, she gave it 150% and got recognized for it.
My dad commented to me that he never really understood the impact that she had made on the world. He keeps telling me that I am “my mother’s daughter” and then some. He said he listens to my conversations on the phone for work, and he is impressed. I am usually on the phone with a Harvard-educated physician so to have him compliment me is quite lovely. I take so much pride in the work that I do. And now, I am fundraising for a big Boston-based hospital so I know the money goes to a very important cause. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy raising money for the arts or Shakespeare – that is critically important too – but in the middle of a pandemic, it feels good to be doing something related to healthcare. Speaking of, must get back to work!