So where have I been?
Well, there's no amount of eloquence I can sum up to fully describe her, so it will have to be this...
"Your mother wanted me to call you and tell you to be careful of bedbugs", my dad told me. She could no longer speak at length and it was the last piece of advice, in a lifetime of advice -- some trivial, some profound -- she ever gave me -- albeit by proxy.
Though it wasn't the last thing she actually said to me. That was "I love you."
And when I finally arrived, five minutes before she died -- or let herself die -- I thanked her for everything and said the last thing she ever heard from me, "I love you."
And do be careful of bedbugs.