Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our Mom...3/11/1936 - 9/13/2011

Dear Friends,

It is close to midnight and I can't sleep. Our mother died today. My mom died today. That seems so weird writing mom is dead. How can that be? How can she no longer be a part of the world I live in? She practically willed herself to live until I got home, and that rebound surprised everyone. She lasted far longer than we thought possible and told me she loved me until she was no longer able to speak. Hospice told us that during the dying process, the dying person sometimes withdraws and limits their responses to just a few people or even one person. That person was my dad. She would not look at me or respond to me, just kind of slid her eyes over me. Even though I knew what was happening, it was still hard to not have her acknowledge me. That withdrawal from me changed as she was dying. When she was in so much pain and I was giving medicine to her, she would look at me as I told her everything was going to be ok. She watched me as I stroked her head and if I stopped, she let me know to start again just by looking at me. And then when she took her last breath and died, it was just the two of us, looking into each other's eyes.

Despite the heaviness of our loss, we received words of joy from Diana’s 4 year old granddaughter. When told that Nana was in heaven, she asked, “Is Nana all better now?” Yes, she’s all better. “Is she happy?” Yes, she’s very happy now. “Yippee, Yeah!", she shouted as she jumped up and down and clapped her hands. And I know that the joy of an innocent child is being multiplied by the angels in heaven, welcoming her home.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dear Followers

I read my sister's post and your responses to her words with tears in my eyes. I know that you know already but I want to say it ...We appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and long distance support so much during this time. I don't know which one of us has the more difficult time...LaDonna because she is there every day or me as I travel back and forth on the weekends. I want to be there (and feel like I need to be there) but am unable due to home responsibilities. I am so torn. Anyway, thank you and please continue your loving support. As I was reading with the tears, I felt the hugs and love.


For some reason the comment button was not working earlier. I have copied the comments to Diana's post. So even though it looks like they are from me, they aren't. Sorry for the confusion..I don't know why it didn't work earlier.


Monday, September 5, 2011

An Update on Our Mom

Dear Friends,

If you're a regular reader of our blog, you know what is happening.  If you're new, I'm thankful you found us, but sorry there's not much quilting/sewing going on.  We are going through a difficult time in our family.  This is a personal post so I'll understand if you don't want to read it.

Last Wednesday, as Tony and I were in the midst of packing and cleaning, my dad called and said hospice was expecting my mom to die within 24 hours.  I told my dad to tell my mom to wait for me to get there.  We started driving at 9:30 Thursday morning and got to Tennessee at 3:45 Friday morning. Two vehicles fully loaded; a trailer, also fully loaded; a car top carrier bursting at the seams, and a motorcycle in the back of the truck...slow going.  What normally takes me 14 to 14 1/2 hours took us 18.  Mom was awake and literally waiting on me to get home.  When she saw me, she was so excited, her eyes got big and round and she wouldn't let go of me.  Diana had tried to prepare me for how she looks now, but really, no words could have expressed how she is.  The diseases have ravaged her body.  We stayed up the rest of the night/morning talking and hugging and saying  "I love you" repeatedly.  I lay between my mom and dad on the bed.  She told my dad, "Isn't this wonderful!  My baby is home!" 

I've now been here a little over a week and after the rally Mom had when I came home, she is declining once more.  But not a day, and practically an hour goes by that Mom doesn't tell me that she loves me. Even during the painful process of having a catheter put in, she was telling me she loves me.  Diana was here for several days so Mom had both her kids home together and she repeatedly told us that she loves us and that there was no difference in her love for us.  Like she had to tell us that!

For the next several days after I got here, Mom was making us laugh at the things she said, cracking some jokes, just about every time she was rested and awake.  That is not happening as often now.  We have no way of knowing how long she'll last.  Hospice tells us every death is different but there are common stages.  She is definitely in transition and there are signs she is moving closer to death.  But she could still stay with us for a bit longer.  It's amazing how strong she is, despite the frailness of her body.  She is sleeping/resting more now, not eating or drinking as much, which is to be expected. 

As I sit beside her, watching her breathe, stroking her head, I'm still learning from her. My mom is a highly educated woman, has worked her whole life, been a pivitol part of so many people's lives, loved and served her Lord and family. She says Heaven will be wonderful and smiles when she's talking about it. She is looking forward to seeing Jesus and her mother. She is quick to tell us she loves us. She won't put up with any complaining or whining and she's not afraid to tell you to stop it. She may not know what she wants all the time, but she knows what she doesn't want and lets you know about it. She is such an encourager, thinks I can do anything, and loves the quilt blocks I'm working on as I sit with her. She says she has the most wonderful family. She is proud of her grandchildren and thinks they can do no wrong. She brightens up at just the mention of her great-grandchildren and tells us to let those babies do what they want! (That's not what we heard growing up, I can tell you that!) She is so thankful for the friends that drop by and always tells them she's fine when they ask how she's doing. (Such a Southern lady!) Even though she doesn't understand how people all over the world know about her, she is thankful for your prayers.

I know we are not the only ones going through difficult times.  We deeply appreciate your thoughts and prayers for our family.

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