There is no easy way to say this…my mother passed away on Thursday, September 17, 2015. So many emotions have been ebbing in and out of my being, however, right at this moment, I am feeling kind of locked up…like I have not been able yet to comprehend all that transpired.
The only way I know to sort things out and remember, is to write.
So here I am, with a heart full of pain, wonder, gratefulness, sadness, joy, and a love that is permeating through my heart as I never felt before. For I know that the Lord, and His Mother, have been with us each moment.
Being 88, my mother had been getting weaker and shorter of breath throughout the years. She was at a point where she was more than happy to just read, watch tv, or do her word search puzzles while in bed. She slowly started to choose eating in her room versus eating with my husband and me in the kitchen. Her appetite started to decrease (she was always a “foodie”!!!) and she only wanted very small portions of meat. Her short trips to the bathroom were more labored.
Then the breathing episodes started. After, and sometimes during, any physical activity, she would become extremely short of breath, and then start gasping for air. It was terrifying for her to experience, and horrifying for me to watch.
Joe (hubby) and I celebrated Mom’s 88th birthday on Saturday, August 8, with her. She enjoyed her favorite coconut cake, and we gifted her with the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy rosary that she requested. A few weeks before, Joe and I drove her to Ohio to visit with my two sisters…I knew in my heart that it was the last trip she would ever take.
A short time after that trip, on July 31, I had emailed the following thoughts to myself, so I would not forget:
“Today I feel a total emptiness and sadness that is running deep in my being. I feel a deep sadness like I have never felt before.
I was talking to God this morning, and asked why has my mother’s life been so sad? She was such a beautiful young girl, and since that time she endured so much pain and struggle. Why??? Why couldn’t she just enjoy her life, family and friends, in a carefree way like so many do?
As I was asking Him these questions, He immediately answered me. He said, “Through all of the pain and struggles that she experienced, it brought her closer to me, and she will be with me soon.”
That is why I knew she didn’t have too much time left with us on earth. But I had no idea of what would happen in the next two months.
Mom ended up being admitted to the hospital the day after her birthday. Her stay there was almost a week, and then she was admitted to the rehab center for a little over three weeks.
With oxygen, nebulizers, and meds she had never taken before, she seemed to get much better. She actually had a good time in rehab…loved the food, received at least 50 cards and some beautiful flower arrangements, had many visitors, did well in rehab activities, played bingo, got her hair done in the salon…and smiled big when we came to visit each day.
One day my husband noticed that she was “down” a little…barely noticeable, but not quite as “up” as before.
We took mom home on Friday, September 4, and she was admitted to Hospice (in our home) the next Friday. So, in essence, she passed away two weeks after coming home from rehab.
There are many stories to share with you during my mom’s hospice time, and there will be many blog posts, I’m sure.
I will leave you with this: my mother had a special devotion to the rosary meditation. One of the promises of the rosary is a holy death.
At my mother’s moment of death, she just peacefully stopped breathing, and I felt nothing but happiness for her soul, because I knew she was with Jesus.
But that doesn’t take away the pain of missing her. I know it will be a journey, and that the Lord will walk that journey with us all…leading us closer to Him.