There wasn't much unusual about my visit with my mother today. I had gone over to drop off her laundry, which I washed last night. I settled in as usual and talked about our upcoming trip to Boston. "You're going to Boston?" she cried, though we have discussed this every day for the last two weeks.
She followed that with her usual question when she knows I will be out of Davis for a few days. "What should I do if I die when you're gone?" She's very concerned that she knows what is supposed to happen when she dies and if I'm not here, obviously she can't die because she doesn't know what's supposed to happen and she wants to make sure "things" are taken care of.
It was an hour and a half discussion about her death and its aftermath, but the difference between today and other such discussions (which we have often) is that I guess my head was in the right place today because I was able to make a joke about it just about every time.
"If you feel you're going to die and I'm not here, just run down the hall waving your arms and screaming 'I'm dying! I'm dying!' and somebody will notice you," I told her. She laughed a lot and told me that was a good one.
I usually tell her she won't have to do anything because the housekeeper will find her on house cleaning day so she wouldn't lie there all that long.
I also tell her that I've made arrangements with the head chef and he will just hang her in the meat locker in the Atria kitchen until I get home.
Then she wants to know what is going to happen with all her stuff when she dies. I told her today we were going to throw it all in the box with her body and have it cremated with her.
I was surprised when I left Atria to discover I'd been there an hour and a half (a typical visit is an hour). We really had talked about very little else but her death, living to hunnert, how she'd like to live to hunnert, how her husband is waiting for her, how she's the oldest one left in the family, and what will she do if she dies when I'm in Boston. But we had gone over those topics many times and I was able to make things sound so ridiculous that we had a really good laugh for a long time.
That felt good.