For seven years my mother has braved a battle of deteriorating health, sometimes with fierce anger, sometimes with silence, sometimes with humor and laughter. It has been a long road with many dips and plateaus both physically and mentally. Often I would come home drained and angry. I’ve mourned the loss of who she was, trying to reconcile the strong image with the frail woman she became. The best description is a roller coaster ride of responsibility and decisions when caring for someone in long-term care. The end came on Wednesday, April 11th. I was expecting it. When the phone call came, it was still a shock. My dear mama passed into the presence of God in her sleep after our morning visit. It was exactly how she wanted to go; in her sleep. I am thankful the battle is over. Mama lived a long life, 96 years and 117 days. She outlived her whole immediate family, parents, three brothers, her beloved sister, all the in-laws, two husbands, and a daughter. Born during the time of the Great War, mother was a witness to much of what we take for granted. She did know the internet was a fount of information, often telling me to “look it up on the internet.”
The last few months were so bittersweet. Thankfully she knew who I was, always ending our visits with an “I love you, thank you for coming” when I kissed her forehead.
Mother was so straight-laced, very black and white in her thinking and would come out with little nuggets of wisdom or wry wit when I least expected it.
I leave you with a little story ~
Every Sunday before mother was admitted to long-term care, I would take her to church. One spring morning on the drive home she asked me who was the man sitting beside her. I had never seen the man before and said, “I don’t know…why? ” After a little hum, she said, “He was a fine figure of a man.” At 89, she still appreciated the look of a well-dressed man. I laughed out loud, telling her she wasn’t as blind as the doctors were telling us, at which she smiled that little quirky half-smile.