I painted her nails, I was supposed to the night before she died but I wasn't feeling well and told her I would do it tomorrow. Tomorrow never came for her, but it did for the rest of us.
So two days after she died I packed fingernail polish remover, cotton balls, and the bright green nail polish that I have on my toes right now. I called one of my best friends and my aunt to go with me.
I walked in the funeral home and saw her beautiful green casket at the end of a long isle.
I can do this, I can do this I tell myself, as I feel my breath being taken from me. Pull yourself together, you told her you would paint her nails green and it's the last thing you can do for her.
I took a deep breath and took that long walk, friend by my side, supplies in hand. I touched her, she was cold. I kissed her head and told her I loved her, then I began to paint her nails.
I had thought I might pass out, but instead the three of us break out into laughter. I'm thinking the funeral home director may just through us out or call the local mental hospital and order straight jackets.
There was no other way I see now. We had to laugh to get through it, we needed to laugh. There would be plenty of time for tears later.
I painted her nails, my friend tried to fix the little mistakes I made while I worked on her makeup. Aqua eyeshadow to match her dress, light pink lipstick, and it took us a while to even out the foundation the funeral home had put on her.
We finished and then while taking the long walk back toward the door I broke down. I doubled over and felt the kind of heart wrenching pain that I haven't felt in quite a while.
I felt as if someone had kicked me in the stomach but I thanked God for the strength He gave me to get through what I had to do.
I keep saying I don't know how to live without my mother, and I don't. I never have, so why would I know?
But I have to learn a new way to live and it just may be one of the hardest things I have done in a long long time.
I have to hold my son while he cries himself to sleep because he misses his Nana. I have to watch my three yr old draw notes for Nana and inform me that she will leave them on the table for when Nana gets back from the funeral home.
The tears come and my heart feels as if it's breaking into but this is my life and I have to learn how to live it without her, for my kids, for my husband and all those who depend on me.
It won't be an easy journey, it won't be a pretty one. I'm pretty angry at God but as my pastor told me today, HE can take it. I haven't yet expressed to God just how angry I am. I am scared of opening that dam. But it has to be done and I will do it when I'm ready.
I have to walk through the pain, there is no way around it, but there's hope in knowing I won't be walking alone.