Mom died in her sleep during the night.
It's sad for those of us that loved her but she was more than ready, was totally at peace with it, and was looking forward to seeing my father, her parents and her good friends. And I know she isn't suffering anymore.
She was frustrated in later years by neuropathy that robbed her of feeling in her hands, by hearing loss, and eventually by diminishing eyesight.
It's difficult, of course, because I've spent the last eight years or so taking care of her needs. It will take some time to get used to not going by every day to check on her.
It will be okay, though. She and I spent a lot of time talking about this; she wanted to be sure I was ready and so she had everything organized and lined out ages ago. I've even found a little notebook where she wrote down every little piece of cut crystal or vase, every wedding gift and piece of silver, every piece of furniture, jewelry, and every item of importance to her in her house; she wrote down where it came from, who gave it to her, or from whom it was inherited. She wrote down which child she wants to have it after she's gone.
In that notebook she also left me a list of things to do: "Call the Social Security office so they don't send anymore checks!" "Get plenty of death certificates! EVERYone needs one!"
She had been through this with her parents and was trying to make it easy for me.
I still bungled things though. I did the obituary for the paper but I should have done it ahead of time rather than after they called me. I left out a couple of things, like that she was a graduate of Centenary College and a Chi Omega. She was proud of that.
She'll forgive me for that, though.
Mary Earle Texada Phillips
Shreveport, LA - Mrs. Mary Earle Phillips passed away on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A graveside service will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 22, at Forest Park Cemetery, St. Vincent Ave. Officiating will be The Rev. Paul Martin, Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Mrs. Phillips was a native of Coushatta, LA and a resident of Shreveport, LA for most of her life. She was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and a graduate of C. E. Byrd High School.
Mrs. Phillips was preceded in death by her parents, Florence and John Pintard Texada; her husband, William H. Phillips, Jr.; and granddaughter, Melissa Renee Phillips. She is survived by her daughters, Mary Margaret Grayson and husband, Gordon and Patricia P. Becker and husband, Steve; son, William Hutch Phillips and wife, Laura; grandchildren, Mary Francis Archer, Patricia Nicole Sumrow and John P. Austin; and great-grandchildren, Alex Archer and Benjamin Sumrow
The family requests that memorials be made to the Byrd High School Alumni Association.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation the The Glen and Harmony Life for their compassionate care.
"Well, she really liked Frank Sinatra, but...", and he laughed.
"I'll tell you what," he said. "I can do 'What a Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong. How would that be?"
Perfect! Mom loved that. I just couldn't have planned it better.
Bill Allen will never know what a wonderful gesture that was and how much it meant to me.
I have a strong support system, a great husband, and good friends, so I'll be okay.
It'll take some time, but I'll be okay. Mom would insist on it!