Tuesday- January 31st. It was a very warm and sunny morning. The drive to Pennsylvania was long- longer than usual- even with very little early morning traffic.
I was alone. Drinking coffee and listening to a local DC station deliver the latest of events and traffic along with the weather forecast almost seemed foreign. My mind was in fast mode and I wanted to break the speed limit even though my car wouldn't allow me to do so.
My mother was dying.
Thoughts poured into my mind- like my last visit with her. Pleasant - quiet.
My last few visits with her were just that. She would barely lift her head to make eye contact. Her frail body propped by a single pillow kept her from slumping over, yet she (to me), looked so uncomfortable. Her once beautiful green eyes were always closed, well, maybe one eye would open slightly to indicate she was acknowledging your presence. And on a good day, she would hold your hand- firmly. For me, holding her petite- but strong hand felt as if she was still in control of my every move. I was a small child again, holding her hand while we strolled along the busy New Jersey boardwalk or Trick-or Treat night dressed as Cinderella. I felt safe.
My car smelled of her favorite body splash and perfumes. I could hear my Mother on the other end of the phone laughing as we would watch a television show together. I felt guilty knowing I really never apologized for being such a stubborn young woman. knowing best for MY life in NYC or any other place I decided to trace off to
By the time I arrived at my parent's home my sister was on the phone with the nursing home.....my father greets me at the door to tell me she passed. In that moment my mind went blank.
At the nursing home we sat with her until she the funeral director arrived. It almost seemed as if she was sleeping. Her hands were folded across her chest simply......almost as if she placed her hands in that position. Calmly. Her skin was so soft. And flawless.
In the days to come my time with my siblings and our father was busy and somewhat disorganized. I don't know, how do you really prepare for death and what comes after.
I've been informed by some how they "prepared" for the death of their loved one. really?
Even with a disease that has haunted your loved one or an illness that has a lottery on you - can you truly prepare for the loss....... asking God to give strength and guidance was something I needed to do..... for months I've been saying goodbye to my Mother. I knew it was only a matter of time. My husband would listen and give (me) support, and help me to understand this walk. But when Tuesday morning came to be I was not ready- prepared to say goodbye.
Today I hear her. I smell Jeanne Nate' body splash. I hear her voice and I see those green eyes focused on every move I make. I feel her inside of my own parenting. funny how I always said I'll never be my MOTHER!
As I wrote about my Mother in another post, she was a wonderful Mother.
My sister, brother and I were very lucky. So was my Father.
I look back at my childhood and today as an adult with "thanksgiving". her favorite holiday
Make me an instrument of thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love'
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.
In loving memory of my Mother - October 13, 1929- January 31, 2012