Sunday, September 12, 2010

I hardly know how to begin this...

But it's important to write, for myself.

On September 5, my mother died. She had been in the hospital for two weeks. She had her 75th birthday there. The doctor allowed her to have fried chicken chimichangas for her birthday meal. The Monday after that, she went into respiratory arrest, and was rushed in for an emergency cardiac cath.

Amazingly enough, it wasn't her heart. I could list a litany of treatments she was subjected to after her cath, emergent dialysis, life support...

On the one hand, I am furious with the hospitalist who talked her into rescinding her DNR. She would have gone peacefully the day she had the cath, but no. She never really woke again, that I could tell. I visited her, I talked to her, rambling on about ordinary things that seemed so trivial in the face of her grave situation. We held her hand, we smoothed her hair back. We prayed, sang to her. Told her it would be ok. And there is the other hand. We had time to say goodbye, and know it was right to let her go. We told her it was okay, if she was too tired to fight anymore. We told her we would be all right.

And she went. I wasn't there; the hospital didn't call me, and neither did my brother. I tell myself that the important thing is, she was not alone at the end. I tell myself I couldn't have taken watching that beautiful spirit take her leave of this world.

I don't know how it was for my brother and sisters; she was so many things to all of us. For me, I lost my mother, best friend, my child...I had taken care of her for the last two years. I don't know what I'll do with myself, now. She was my company late in the night. We talked, reminisced, played games, drank coffee together.

And then I think, Oh, what she gave me...laughter. Music. Poetry. Heart. Life.

I know how lucky I have been in my life, how fortunate I was to have her and be with her these last two years.

A long-distance cousin sent lavender roses flanked with lavender calla lillies. She wanted something unique, she said, because Mom was such a singular, beautiful woman. Last night, I woke to the scent of those roses. I like to think it was a visit from her, a message that she is here in all the rare, wonderful things in this world.

I'll miss you, Mom.


Mark and Elayne said...

From what I read, your mum knew you loved her. Rest in that. Hugs,

Anonymous said...

Mara, you will devise a new way of life~and she will always be a major part of it, but in your heart, instead of sitting by you~she resides in you. ~Mary

Lori said...

Mara, I am so, so sorry. I hadn't realized I'd quit blog reading for so long, and I wish I'd read this sooner. I hope you are okay. Don't really know what else to say, except that I shed some tears reading this, and you are in my thoughts and prayers.