Monday, August 29, 2011

I Haven't Played Putt Putt in 11 Years

There is a difference between Putt Putt and Miniature golf. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I know I haven't played either in 11 years today. You might think it's weird that I remember when the last time I played Putt Putt was, but it was a very surreal experience and I will never forget any moment of that day.

Eleven years ago today, my mother passed away. And because that has been one of the most life-changing events I've dealt with, I get to write about it. And because this is my blog, I get to be sentimental about it whenever I want. This is one of those days.

My mom's family, nearly all of it, lives within about an hour of the house we were living in at the time. And most that weren't close flew in to help Jack and I out towards the end of my mom's home stay. She had wanted to avoid hospitals and with a lack of full time hospice facility outside of a hospital in Evansville, that meant she was at home for the duration of her illness and death.

Our house that day was like many other days during this time. People were in and out. My brother and aunt were staying with us as the hospice nurse who checked mom's vitals told us for the 10th straight day that she only had 24 hours to live. This was the only day of the 10 that her prediction was right. My aunt had bought The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook and the great joy of it was that everyone in the house got to take turns picking that day's cake. I don't remember the cake on that day, but I do remember the best one we had was a orange dreamsicle cake that my brother had picked out.

My mom died while my aunt and I were on our daily ingredient and errand run. My brother was watching Star Wars in the family room and my step dad had been outside cutting the grass. It could've been a normal Tuesday in our lives, but it was clearly wasn't. Waiting for someone whose seriously ill to pass away is a blessing and a curse. Every day you get to say things that are meaningful to the person, whether they can hear you or not, and you get to think that you're preparing for their death. But in reality there's a whole slew of things that happen, decisions that have to be made, after someone dies that no amount of waiting or dreamsicle cake can cure.

After the funeral home came to pick up her body, the door bell rang. My uncle Mark and my cousin Austin had dropped by as they were going to visit. Sadly, instead of visiting, my uncle got the pleasure of taking me and my brother to play Putt Putt. They had promised my 5 year old cousin that if they went to Evansville they would take him to play and because there seemed like no better option, my brother and I tagged along.

I remember wondering if the people at Putt Putt could tell that I was sad. If they knew that the world had just lost one of its biggest advocates for living. I wanted to be treated special. I expected the world to know why I was pissed. But it didn't. It just wanted to fit in a round of putt putt golf on a hot Tuesday night before school started back again.

My cousin's 16 now and I wonder what he thought of that night. I haven't asked him so I have no clue. Does he remember us playing putt putt together? Did he have any clue what had gone on?

For the record, I'm not anti-Putt Putt or miniature golf at all. I'm totally willing to hit the mini-links once again. I just hope the next round is utterly forgettable.

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