Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Love Your Memories...


The Rogue Speaks:

Many of you know that from May until August, Rod and I were in Atlanta, caring for Rod's mum. We knew that she was dying, and our goal was to make her as happy and as comfortable as we possibly could. During that time, I wrote a series of posts called "The Road Home." If you wish to read them, please go to my archives beginning on June 3, 2010, or to the blog, Flavors Me, by Jessica Lipman. Jessica began publishing my saga last month.

The last several months have been extremely stressful, and I have found it very difficult to deal with the death of a woman whom I loved with all my heart. She was the sweetest, kindest, most loving, and most beautiful woman I have ever known. I will miss her every day for as long as I live.

The last few weeks of her life, Mum was bedridden and rarely spoke. On July 10, she took her last bite of food. Her intake had been so scant that she weighed less than 100 pounds--a far cry from her ideal weight of 139! She occasionally took sips of water, but as her body began to shut down, she found it difficult to swallow, and frequently choked.

Family members took turns staying with her both during the day, and all night long. In the last couple of weeks, hospice workers would stay with us at night. They were a godsend, and very comforting to us when Mum became anxious and disoriented.

One particular night, a Thursday, Rod and I and Rod's brother and his wife were sitting together at Mum's bedside after dinner. We notice that Mum was intently staring at one corner of the bedroom. Jill went over to her and asked what she was looking at in the corner. Mum shook her head, and then tapped her forehead. She was thinking about something. Jill asked what she was thinking about, and Mum said,"Edmonton." Edmonton, her home in Alberta, Canada, where she had lived as a child, and as a young bride, and later as a mother herself.

I asked Rod to go and sit by her, and start telling her stories that he remembered about their life in Edmonton. He talked to her for almost 30 minutes, recanting stories about her father, and her mother, and her sisters, and friends that she had grown up with. Her eyes never left his face. When he was finished, she reached up and put both hands on his arm. "I love your memories," she said.

The four of us who were with her that Thursday night will never forget that scene, of her first-born, leaning over his mother's bed, reliving for her the wonderful life she had had when she was a child.

Our Mum died at 4:45 a.m., the following Sunday. She was 95 years old. We know that the angels carried her up to Heaven to be with her parents and her sisters, and that she is happy to finally be with the God to whom she had devoted her life to serve.

19 comments:

Sarah said...

This is so wonderful. I love what Rob did for his mom, so she could have a lovely memory before she passed. You wrote it in such a warm and loving way.

Judie said...

Thanks, Sarah. I have been thinking about this post for a long time, and decided that today was the day.

ChrisJ said...

How wonderful for her to have a loving family around her.

Judie said...

Yes, she was dearly loved because she loved us all dearly.

Noelle said...

This was LOVELY! What a beautiful story to share with us...thank you!

Judie said...

Thanks, Noelle. Hope you had a good day.
xoxo

Elisa said...

I hope this brings about the beginning of some healing for you. I know how distraught (for lack of a better word) you've been since the funeral. Take care.

Nora Johnson said...

A very touching story of a loving family.

XOXO LOLA & Nora:)

askcherlock said...

Judie, this post brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely woman she was, and how very fortunate, not only to have Rod, but you, one of the kindest and most giving people in the world. As difficult as this may have been for you to write, you did it with profound beauty, grace and love.

Hugs to you, my sister

Debbie said...

That is a beautiful story. How blessed to have her son by her side. Lovely written too.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

I can imagine this post took a lot of strength. It's a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul.
Blessings to you and yours, Judie.
xoRobyn

BEAR's Mom said...

Judie, thanx for stopping by and leaving your wonderful comments on my blog...
this was an awesome post...i enjoy your artwork...i'm a new ROGUE follower :D

~victoria~

all that i am said...

my first stop to your blog
what a wonderful post to land on
I will definitely be finding time to go over to 'Flavors Me' to read more...
I do hospice care
and know there is something quite extraordinary about those end of life moments and memories
thank you for sharing your tenderness and love...here...for my eyes to fall upon

Angelia Sims said...

I just love the way you tell a story so beautifully. Her memories and life will live on in the hearts of you all. I can see her shining through. This was so very precious.

CollectIn Texas Gal said...

A loving tribute. What a long life and loving family. Thoughtfully written...blessings! Thank you for the visit to my C post on Computin'...my Tiara is from the childrens department at WalMart...it's a Barbie Tiara...go get you one...it's got matching earrings....Sue

nothingprofound said...

Judie-what a wonderful woman she must've been to inspire such feeling and love. I can see what an impact her life has had on yours. To be able to touch another's heart like that is such a gift.

Dick Rink said...

From experience I know the value of such a special farewell. You carry it with you the rest of your life.

Judie said...

Thanks for your comment, Dick. It was a powerful experience for us--one we will not soon forget.
Holland must be really beautiful this time of year! I hope you are inspired to paint more landscapes--they are so beautiful!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

That's an absolutely beautiful story. Thank you so much for pointing it out to me, it meant a lot! And thank you for sharing, it's nice to know that others feel the same way I do. BTW, my sweet dear husband was named Rod. I miss and mourn him everyday.

Thank you ...thank you....

I love it!!