Today at 5:30am Maria Angelina "Angie" Vela Moss departed this world to parts unknown. I am fairly certain she has given up the house-dresses and is once again attired in pedal pushers and color block sweaters.
Over the last week we spent many hours together. Her wondering if she was ok. Me reassuring her that everything was just as it should be and there was nothing to do. Aside from providing good mouth care and making sure your family is getting enough medicine to keep them restful, murmuring words of comfort are the most important thing a family member can do.
This morning as I packed up her room I overheard a staff member asking a newly admitted patient where her shoes were. She said "my boys didn't pack them, I guess I don't have any." At that point I just happened to be thinking about what to do with the latest shoes I had bought for Angie that she never got to wear. You can bet I dashed out to the hall and in my best shoe salesman voice asked what she thought of them. She exclaimed that they looked just like some she had and they were on her feet in about 15 seconds. Perfect fit. She did not seem to mind one bit that they had Angie Moss written in silver sharpie on the sides of the heels.
If you don't believe Angie had a hand in the timing of this it's only because you don't know how much Angie loved being able to help someone in need.
I have more useful things to tell you in the days to come about our end of life experience but right now I need to just sit and (as Joyce told me) grieve unabashedly. Good advice.