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.