I haven't shut down the blog. Life just got too overwhelming - rather one life going away got too overwhelming and posting became secondary. My mom passed away. She had been declining for some time and yes, there were times when we all wished it would just happen THEN and THERE, but when the time came - she made the decision and went out on her own terms. My mom was a fighter - anyone who knew her could attest to that. She took all the considerable crap life through at her and managed through. She would drive her daughters crazy with her narcissistic side (because she could), but to everyone else, she was life itself, warm, caring, thoughtful and funny....the thoughtful and funny she showed to us many, many times. Because of her, I became a much stronger woman than she thought she was. Because of her, my daughter is a confident, lovely, well spoken and caring young woman, because to my mom, she was the sun and moon and stars.
When it was apparent that Mom was not going pull through this latest bout (broken pelvis and another stroke - girls, take your calcium, I have seen what osteoporosis can do to a woman), the thought of having no control over her body was enough. My mother made the decision to stop her dialysis and let nature take its course. That was the hardest thing to watch and yet it was the most courageous thing I had ever seen. She looked up and said, "I'm not a chicken, I'm not a chicken" to which the nurse sitting with her began to cry and told her that she was the bravest person on that floor (ICU), she was one of the bravest women she had every met. My mom had that effect on people.
During Mom's stay at hospice, the staff was wonderful, they loved her, and most importantly, friends and family, some of whom she had not seen in 10 years came to see her - she was surrounded by love and she died peacefully, and in my arms.
When it came time for the service - Mom requested no service and a simple cremation. We could not obey the no service part. We knew that she requested that because she thought no one would care enough to come. She was wrong. People came and it was a celebration of her life and her love for everyone in that room. We told stories and laughed and cried. It was beautiful. Back at the house, people stayed and stayed. We all knew there was something special there...and no one was quite ready to let her go.
In the month since that time, we've slowly been distributing her things to people who needed them, she would have wanted it that way. Everyone was so wonderful and appreciative and I can never thank anyone enough - it brought a distant family back together. I can never thank her enough for what see gave me. I love you, Mom. I never said it enough, but I will say it more now and continue to say it for the rest of my life.
Mom and Rachel at Mom's 80th Birthday Party
More regular posts to follow...I promise - for anyone who is still reading this blog....