My mom passed away August 25th 2014 at 6:30am. My mom lived a quiet long hard life. She did not graduate high school. She has no special awards and almost always held basic booking keeping jobs. From the outside most people only saw that Mom spent her last few years of her life in poor health, chain smoking and feeling paranoid.
What my mom did accomplish: she overcame a hard life. She went back to school and completed some college, though she never dreamed she would step foot in one. She was beautiful inside and out. She helped start and run two restaurants. She spread love to all around her. She raised two boys to love God. She stood at the side of a good man through thick and thin for 39 years. She helped family. She loved.
Moms physical and mental health faltered. With angst she ended up at Lifecare in OP. After her roommate threw water at her, moms new roommate, Mrs. Dorothy, sparked a little life in her. She had a new friend.
After a few months of being there, mom fell out of bed and bumped her head. “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” always rings out in my head! Mom loved to sing old folk snippets like that. (No, mom was not jumping on the bed. hehehe) They X-rayed her and found no real injury from the fall. But they discovered cancer all along her spine. Mom digressed quickly. I was able to spend almost every day with her. The weekend of moms passing, her roommate ended up going to the hospital. Mrs Dorothy told me later that she could not have handled being there.
I got a call about 12:30am. My wife and I went. Dad had just recently had hip replacement surgery. But he still came out for a while. He always watched out for mom, even after she divorced him.
Sherry and I stayed awake all night that night. I dozed some time in the morning and then half awoke, laughed out loud to a scene from a classic black and white “I Love Lucy” episode. I noticed it had gotten quiet. Mom had struggled with each breath all night long. I looked over and realized mom had stopped breathing. Mom passed to the sound of laughter in the air. Then there were tears.
The week was much harder than I expected. Much harder. The fellowship and funeral was filled with friends and family, even on such short notice. There were lots of beautiful flowers. Mom loved flowers. Uncle Rodney sang a song he wrote. Katie and Tori read a beautiful story. My high school friend Greg read the 23rd Psalm and offered up a prayer and I read a poem written by mom’s father. Aunt Judy shared a story of beauty about mom. Some chose to not participate.
Family drove across the continent. Friends shared their time. Some bros shared a stogie and a brew. Facebook friends shared hope and stories of love. The unexpected opened their hearts. The unknown shared hugs. Joey Mozzarella’s for lunch. It was divine. Pun intended.
Home now. The aroma is joyous. Even the dog likes to sniff each individual flower. Our living room is filled with funeral flowers. I hug my wifey. I kiss my daughters.
Sleep. Work. Reality.
I get off work, think to myself, I have to hurry so I can visit the nursing home…
I do have a skill. When I visited mom, I took the gift from my father, Para cord, and learned via YouTube, how to tie knots. Not just any knots. An ancient tradition from the Orthodox church. They don’t use a rosary, they use a prayer rope and say the Jesus Prayer. My mom never seemed to feel forgiven. She did not attend church. I think she was angry at God. I also know, that she guided me to God.
The Jesus Prayer (Orthodox Church):
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me; a sinner.