You died on a rainy and cold Wednesday. It was March 23rd. I had to do some banking after work and I was upset because you told them to stop treating you so I went next door to my bank and had a beer. Once I had a moment to calm down, I call Veronica and told her that we had to go to Ukiah to see you again. For the last 10 years you’ve been horribly sick and every time you went to the hospital I came running. This time I told V not to get off early but to come straight home so we could go to Ukiah and see you. You’d be happy to know my wife didn’t listen to me and got off work almost immediately to come home and get me. This time I was too late, this time things were as serious as I had worried all those times before. At 5:09pm, as V and I were driving through Healdsburg, Brandy sent me a text message “She’s Gone”. You left without me. I should have stayed the night, taken a day off work but you’ve been sick for so long and every time you bounced back. I had imagined your death many times but each time I was there, I was holding your hand and you knew how much I loved you. I never imagined you’d just die, asleep on morphine, not knowing that your children loved you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there Mom. I do love you! There isn’t anymore more important to me. You just always seemed so disappointed with me. I did what I could do to make things better for us everyday. I work non stop, I do what I think is right towards everyone and everything but there I was, on Highway 101 when you died.
Today, April 2nd, is a beautiful and sunny day in which Brandy opened her home to people to come pay their last respects. I counted 17 candles lit for you. I didn’t say a prayer as much as I thought of you and tried to send you my love. Your body is now in a dictionary sized box, sitting in Brandy’s living room. Her friend mentioned chunks in the box, god that is gross! You baby girl is being so strong mom. it must be hard to have you there, like that, and know she’s never going to see you again. She took care of you, took you places and gave you love you needed so much then. I feel guilty. I tried to work, make a life for myself and I didn’t see you enough. I guess I have always been pretty selfish but I thought you’d understand? Today, I played tennis with a good friend. I really needed to let off some steam and it would only make me a little late for Brandy’s house. I didn’t want to go. I don’t want to say good bye to you with a bunch of strange people I neither know or care for. Everytime I think of you, I say goodbye. I’ve been saying goodbye for 10 years. I’ve known what was wrong would never be fixed, I just didn’t realize you would leave with out me? You were always so strong, stubborn as well, and I know that Brandy & I are the most important things to you. I thought you’d hold out, regardless, to make sure to see us one more time before you left. I guess that was what you did the night before? You held out, kept your wits as much as possible and then after kissing your kids, you gave up.
Do you remember when I was a little boy and I would promise that I would be a rich lawyer and buy you a limo with a driver so you wouldn’t have to work or drive yourself around. I’m sorry i didn’t keep that promise. I’m sorry I didn’t make your life the way I always dreamed. You lived a horrible life over the last 10 years and I’m sorry I couldn’t make it better. I know that Danni-Rae, Geraldine, Kylie and Jacob made your life a bit better. I hope you keep a close eye on them! Danni especially! We wont’ raise our kids the way you raised us, we’ll do things differently and they won’t know the things we knew as children, but they could still use a little angel on their shoulders helping them do the right thing and not get in too deep.
You know, Kay Frances, if there is a heaven, you better be there. Life was too tough on you not to be. You were so beautiful before we came along and aged you so quickly. I hope we can find some more pictures of you as a young person. The one we have is so nice but you’re not looking at the camera, you’re looking down. I’ll have to check with the school you graduated and see if we can get a yearbook or at least a copy of the pictures of you, if there are any. When I die, there will only be one lame picture of me as a freshman and no others.
I feel a bit better after typing this rambling mess. I have to really concentrate on you to let out the emotions I’m feeling of you being gone. No one is happy you died but I am so relieved you aren’t hurting anymore! I can remember one of the first times you got sick and I thought I lost you. Veronica held me while I cried that I didn’t want you to die. I still want you here mom, but not as you were. You hated life. You couldn’t work, you coudlnt’ take care of the kids, you couldn’t even read the books you so loved our entire lives. Not saying “Harlequin” romance novels were the literary master pieces of your time, but they made you happy and that is all that matters. I can still smell the “Taboo” perfume you would wear and see those silly waitress aprons for places like Henny Penny when it was still the truckstop. Lisa, as well as I, can remember going to Landrums (sp?) to work with you all night. I can still picture doing dishes in the back while you cooked and helped customers. When did you start coughing all time? When were you suddenly an old lady who had to work from dusk till dawn, through the following days dawn?
The weekend after you died, Cathy Sissy Becky & Lisa came to be with us. That was a big BLAH that involved too much alcohol, emotions on the edge and insults unforgiven. It seems our family doesn’t mix well and that we all went our separate ways to avoid being hurtful to each other? Your big sister, along with your little ones, love you so much. I really wish you would have spoken with Cathy one more time. You were so damn stubborn. I understand that you were mad at her when she told you to go home when Grandma was dying, I didn’t find that very impressive either, but we were your only chance to get home without mooching off of them. I called Lisa, trying to get phone numbers, so if you would just wake up one more time, I could get them on the phone and you could tell them all you loved them. You must have know because you weren’t waiting for me, you were getting out of dodge before you had to talk to them and realize how scare you were to leave.
I’ll keep an eye on Brandy and the kids but Robbie has got them well in hand so please don’t worry. Geraldine could use your gentle touch from time to time but I’ll do what I can as well. As for me & V, we’re just glad you’re not suffering anymore so don’t worry about us. She takes good care of me mom, like you did when i was a kid, so give Grandma and the other fam a hug from me. I’ll see you guys someday and I hope when i do, you’ll be proud
I love you Kay Frances Warren. Rest in peace.
How could you not say goodbye to your only son?