Friend, Grandma, Wife… and my Mom

It was 9:30PM, the phone rang and I heard a loud frantic voice from my 87 year old Dad. “Go to the hospital, the paramedics just left with your Mother.”

 I quickly got dressed and ran out the door. While driving to the nearest of three hospitals in the area, I got another alarming call from Dad.  “The paramedics decided to take her to a different hospital.” When he told me which one, I knew this was more than a broken bone or the flu. I’d never even been to this hospital before, then I realized why. This was where ambulances took people who were fighting for their life. I quickly discarded that thought because my Mom hadn’t recently complained of anything other than extreme fatigue.

As I pulled into the parking lot a bright orange helicopter was landing nearby with a patient on board. It was incredibly loud, medical staff was rushed, focused, and I immediately found comfort in their competence.  The hospital’s impeccable performance in an emergency was amazing to watch, including the thorough attention my Mom was receiving upon my arrival to the ER.

My Mother was white as a ghost, lethargic, her mind distant, yet she was aware enough to know it was failing her.  Her life had become a puzzle, not only were there pieces missing, she was giving up the fight to find them.

After six days of care, she began to improve, her vitals strengthened, and her rosy cheeks hinted of recovery. I was informed by her attending physician that a rehab center with a skilled nursing staff was critical at her discharge. This rehab center turned out being a long term nursing home disguised with a different name. Of course I still didn’t get it… until she died six days later.

I guess you’re never prepared to face death, although my Mom’s frail health was no secret, I still felt helpless. But then I had a different feeling, it was like everything my Mom ever told me became crystal clear, and I knew it was her voice giving me guidance and strength to carry out her wishes. Her family was the light of her life, and it was me who she put her trust in to comfort them through this difficult time.  Me? Really? I’m not a leader, and for a job this important I had serious doubts that I could make her proud. But this time there was just no room for mistakes, and although I had no idea how to handle her passing with grace, I would honor her with my very best effort.

I remembered her words, “ Be strong, be kind to each other, and rather than cry, celebrate my life.”  To me, this meant keeping our family close through this difficult time, and acknowledging her strong faith with a church service where her loved ones could say their final farewell.

As always, Mom had the last word, and even though she was gone,  I knew she had one last request from me. It was church… and I was there Mom.

She was a grandma, a mother, and wife,
Her unconditional love will forever touch my life.  

amy elizabeth

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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author, antique dealer. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm.
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24 Responses to Friend, Grandma, Wife… and my Mom

  1. Thoughts, prayers and hugs coming your way.

  2. Nothing about the last two weeks has been easy, but I know it would have been so much more difficult if it weren’t for your strength and resilience. You were amazing through it all, especially when we all had to say goodbye. Grandma knows everything you did for her and she is smiling with so much pride in her daughter.

    • tbnranch says:

      We all pulled through this because of each other. Now we just have to get through the mixed up emotions… sure I’m not alone on that. Thanks for such kind words.

  3. Cindi says:

    I am so sorry for your loss Amy and what a gift you had in having such a loving mother. She did well with you and you passed that on with your children. It doesn’t get any better than that. May your strength and wonderful memories help you through this difficult time and help you with your father. Your mother knew you were more than capable of taking care of her wishes and may you celebrate her life every day.

  4. Reading these posts I see a wonderful strong woman and in her daughter as well. May these words along with your memories bring you comfort in the days and weeks ahead. Blessings – Patty

  5. bykimball says:

    Well put and well done. She was and always will be proud.

  6. Ingrid says:

    Beautifully written Amy. And I know you did your mom proud. Let the healing begin. My thoughts are with you….warm wishes and condolences, Ingrid

  7. Rita A. says:

    Even though its sad your thoughts about this process are amazing. Your mom must have been an amazing woman, because her daughter is too.

  8. I love the fact that you don’t go with the flow and just ‘believe’ because folks told you to. No, you check things out mighty deep, never taking for absolute truth things that folks tell you. Believe it or not, that’s the way God wants it. 🙂

    • tbnranch says:

      The problem with me is like things black and white, everything has to be a scientific fact. This doesn’t work with religion… so I behave, and keep an open mind. ha ha

      • Ahh, so the Creator of the Universe has no interest in science? God works very well with true science. True, “Religion” rarely works well with science because like science, man ‘twist’ science and religion to fit his own thinking, not science or religion (The Bible) teaching man. For instance. Scientist truly thought the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake resulted from using too much electricity. They had facts and figures to back their theory to the hilt. The problem was, they were wrong. On the other hand, the Catholic Church denied the world was round! Meanwhile, all this time the Bible said is was. A clear case of putting a square peg into a round hole and saying it fits 🙂

  9. Oh my heart is with you…and my prayers. We are never ready or prepared to loose our parents. Your Mom chose you as she knew your heart and knows you are a good daughter:) Sending big hugs and gentle thoughts of comfort. Be good to yourself and take time to just breath….grief is hard work that has to be done so that you can move forward…and remembering your Mom with happy thoughts…you are a strong lady:)

  10. Sorry to hear about your loss…those feelings of helplessness are the worse, but sounds like you handled everything just fine.

  11. You did good my friend. The humorous slant at getting your rawhide butt into a church made me smile and I bet got your Mom rolling down Gods isle! Next time I’m visiting, I’d be obliging to take your Moms wishes one step further. Stuck in the middle between John and I, (for support) we can show you the real reason your Mom wanted you in Church… to find the creator that gave your Mom her life… and yours. 🙂

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