Sitting in my favourite chair with my favourite brew, a grande americano, I while away the time before meeting up with my sisters. It feels oh so familiar, comfortable in fact; kind of like I've slipped into an old pair of shoes. This Starbuck's location is the one we would meet in either to gather ourselves before a visit to Mom in the nursing home or to put ourselves back together after the visit. Some days we were here both before and after. This was the place of serious discussions, complicated decisions, tears and hysterical laughter. We did it all here.
In the very early days we sometimes brought Mom with us - she so loved a good strong cup of coffee. The adjacent Chapters afforded her the opportunity to explore the magazine rack. In time Mom's selections of the New Yorker, Coastal Living and Bon Appetit gave way to more racy covers, mostly featuring half clothed men.
"Do they have Playgirl here?" she asked in her best outdoor voice one day.
"How about a coffee Mom? May I suggest a grande americano?" I asked as I steered her over to Starbuck's. All too soon the magazine rack became an indecipherable cacophony of colours, letters and images and Starbuck's along with anywhere outside the nursing home became a frightening foreign land to Mom. Then we brought the good coffee to her. Sometimes she loved it; sometimes she hated it; mostly she seemed indifferent, but we kept up the tradition of meeting at Starbuck's.
So here I am again today sitting in that familiar space, having a good cup of coffee before attending to Mom, or rather before attending to her estate. Today the executors - my sisters and I - complete the final piece of her affairs. The Clearance Certificate from Revenue Canada arrived last week and was dated August 14, 2012 - exactly two years from the date of Mom's death. I have a cheque for each of my sisters distributing the last monies from the last bank account and I have a letter for us to sign instructing the bank to close the estate account. All the "i's" have been dotted and the "t's" crossed. It is done.
I am both relieved and reluctant. I am glad that the paperwork is complete, that the obligations of the executors have been dutifully fulfilled. The IHC File, stuffed with the paper trail of Irene Hoersch Cudbird's final years, is now closed. But I hesitate to let go of this last piece of my mother. I want to hang on to her a little bit longer. Of course the Mom I want to hold is the one I grew up with, the one my Dad called 'his American Beauty', the one who travelled the globe and cherished her family, the one who loved me and knew who I was.
I miss you Mommy...