A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post on being a traveler and being a daughter. Today, with a heavy heart, I write about my mom who passed away on April 4. There are things we do in life in that we think are difficult – running a marathon, breaking up with a boyfriend, climbing some big peaks – are some of the ones that come to mind for me personally. Watching my mom decline and being with her as she took her last breath was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Being with her the last 2 years as she battled her pulmonary arterial hypertension and dealt with the changes in her life has been tough, yet we cherished each moment and made the most of our time. And, as heartbreaking as it was, it was an honor and a privilege to be with her as she passed on.
Her final days were filled with so much love from our wonderful family. A loving husband (my Daddy-o) of 61 years, 3 kids who whole-heartedly loved her, 2 kid-in-laws who called her “mom”, 9 grandchildren (6 of whom married wonderful people and one who is about to be married – she too has chosen wisely!) who adored their Grams. And, 6 great grandchildren who made GG light up when she spent time them.
I told her how how lucky I was to have her as my mom. She told me she was lucky too. I agreed, telling her that so many people love her. Her life was truly filled with lots of love…and laughter and smiles.
On her next to last day, I grabbed some private time with her, sitting by her bed, talking to her as she slept. I was crying, telling her I loved her – that I would miss her. I knew her time was coming. My sister, almost 9 years older than me, found me there and came in to comfort me. I was sobbing. I couldn’t imagine life without my little mama. Well, Mom woke up, looked at me and asked, “what’s the matter?” She brought her hand up to brush the tears away from my cheeks. I lost it, put my head back down on her bed and sobbed uncontrollably. She put her hand on my head, to comfort me. Always a mom…forever my mom.
I still cannot believe she is gone. I feel her with me though. I see her face, as it changed over the years…the young, tanned, brunette mom of my youth (who went blonde for a while) to the mom of my later years with beautiful silver-white hair and a few wrinkles. But, always the mom with the big smile and those memorable dimples.
While I miss her more than words can express, I know that she is in my heart, and in the hearts of all of our family and those whose lives she touched. She was truly an angel here on earth and now I do believe she is an angel in heaven watching over us – yes, mom, I will get my hair cut and I will clean my room! I love you so much, Little Mama, and I miss you…