My trip to see my mother was quiet and uneventful, but was also good for my perspective. If ever you get to feeling lousy about your job, go visit my brother. He's 42 and is an assistant manager at a Taco Bell. That will REALLY make you realize how little your job really sucks.
My father died from cancer in November of 2004. When he died, my mother basically said that she was done with pets and anything like that, that she didn't want to have to take care of anything and deal with anything dying. In the past couple of months or so, she's gotten through another stage of grieving for my father. She cleaned out his office and packed his things, and turned it into her sewing room. She also decided she wanted a bird, so I got her a white and blue parakeet and a cute cage. We had gone to the pet store, and Mom got so excited about this one bird that was in the pet store, and I volunteered to get it for her as a late Birthday/Christmas gift. My husband set up a hook and chain from the ceiling where she could have the birdcage hanging in the living room. I could tell that already the bird was helping my mom be less lonely. I'm glad she's gotten to the point where she wants to have pets and is moving on with things. She was never a wallower or devistated with grief, but I can tell she's doing much better about things.
Oh, I never did have the nerve to tell her I was becoming Catholic. It made it really hard sometimes. I'd think of a story I wanted to tell, or even to mention a friend from church, and I couldn't say anything. Even my husband noticed that it was difficult for him to not share stories about things like hunting down his baptism certificate for our convalidation and things like that.