MEET ME AT THE FENCE

Meet me at the fence was what my mom or I would say on the phone. For many years I lived right next door to my mom and to be fair she was there first. I didn’t know when I moved there that I would need her as much as I did, she was with me when the doctor said, you are pregnant with your first child, she was there when we got in trouble for laughing during Lamaze classes, she was there when I told her I named Katie after her. We met at the fence borrowing stuff, we met at the fence to hand over grandchildren and mostly for conversation and coffee. We had moved already before she was diagnosed with cancer. The loss of a job for me during her illness allowed time to go over in the mornings for chemo treatments, painting her nails and a lot of reminiscing. Katie would ride the school bus to her house and give her foot rubs, Shauna made time to just lay in bed with her and talk about her senior year and the upcoming prom. It was my moms wish to go to Shauna’s prom and watch her walk in. Katie and I got her ready and as a family made sure she was there when Shauna entered the venue, a short time later she passed away. My last moment with her alone was right before the ambulance arrived to take her to hospice. I had bought her a Mother’s Day card and she asked me to read it to her knowing she would not make it till then. I cried Mom, I don’t know how to do this life without you, she smiled held my hand and said yes you can, because I taught you everything you know. Then with the sassy fire and humor I loved most about her she quipped, but I didn’t teach you everything I know. You see she knew she could only meet me at the fence so many times before I would have to stand there on my own. My daughters don’t live next door but I am beyond grateful they live close enough for fence time, it is truly less about the fence and more about making time as you can and when you can for each other. I pray today you invest in fence time, its agreements, its disagreements, its opinions, its being open, its being connected, its everyday or as you can, but most certainly it’s the very memories you cherish when you are standing on your own without them. I love you Mom

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