I have found myself unable to write this until now. My mom passed away on Thursday, July 22, at 10:37 in the morning, surrounded by her family from both sides of the veil.
I am humbled and full of gratitude for the opportunity I had to take care of her for the last month of her life. It was difficult and unbearable at times but, mostly, it was a sweet and precious time I would not change.
My sister was here for the last week to help. Together we cared for her, fed her, encouraged her to drink, read to her, sang to her (she begged me to stop!), laughed at things that probably should not have been laughed at, bathed her, held her hand and kissed her goodnight, told her how much we loved her. We were there when she had the stroke, when she begged for someone to call her home. It wasn't time. From that point on we cared for her minute by minute.
Her sisters came on Tuesday, with my cousins, the day after she had the stroke. She knew they were there- patting their faces and calling their names. They are strong, loving women who had already lost two sisters and now they were losing a third. It was a bittersweet reunion. They are leaving to go home today and I'm not sure they will ever fully understand what their being here has meant to me. I love each of them with all of my heart.
On Mom's last night, Dayna and I both slept in her room on palettes we made on the floor. I was on one side of my mother's bed and held her hand until I fell asleep. Her breathing was hard and labored- every breath difficult to take. We got up in the morning, fixed her room back for company, moving beds out and chairs in and listened as her breathing had become more rhythmic, less labored. My aunts came and I left to take a shower, only to be called back by my sister saying that Mom kept stopping breathing.
Dad, with his stethoscope on, listening to her heart. My aunt holding her wrist feeling for her pulse. Compressions. Breathe. Compressions. Breathe. Dad, stop. I cradled her head, leaned over and whispered, "Fly. Mom, just fly. "
Thank you just does not seem enough to say to each of you for your prayers and thoughtful comments. You have lifted and encouraged me to be brave as I took this portion of my mother's journey with her.
I am grateful.