I will never forget that day, the chaos that surrounded it, and the cloud that overshadowed that holiday celebration. Without going into too much detail, my mother had been suffering from Alzheimer's. We lost her at the young age of 66, after she courageously endured the effects of her dementia for 10 years...at least.
Her death did not come as a surprise, it was an expected departure. The timing of it was what was, to me, a surprise. Early on that day, we had gotten the call that she was unresponsive. While I wasn't sure exactly what was meant by that, I made my way to see her as quickly as I could. I sat with her, talked to her, read some Bible verses with her, and then just prayed with her. The very last thing I said to her was that I could not watch her die. That if she was going to go (as we had had some false alarms in previous years), I would rather not be present. I trusted she was going to a better place, one where she would be free of the shackles of disease. But please, go without me.
That evening, I arrived back to her room at 7:05pm....not even 10 minutes after she had passed.
|Angel given in memory of Mom|
Oh, she didn't die alone. My 3 sisters were with her, as well as our dear Pastor. Her passing was peaceful and serene, and perfect in every way. And when I arrived, my tears were of her heeding my last request. She had heard me.
Life has continued on in a normal fashion. I do feel sadness from time to time. It's a selfish sadness, really. I wish that I could hear her voice, or joke with her the way we used to. I wish she could see my children grow and change, and be the grandmother I know she looked forward to being. I let the sadness pass (usually quickly) and remind myself that she can see everything, that she knows everything. I trust that she is with me. And really, that is enough.
The significance of that day, I feel compelled to remember. Not in a sappy, feeling-sorry-for-myself, oh-woe-is-me way. I am not that type of person. Instead, I feel the urge to find a special way to remember her. Nothing fancy, nothing crazy. Simple, meaningful, and a way to honor her memory...for my sake, for my family's sake.
|Love this new snow!|
|No one was taking her spot by the fire!|
This year we chose to focus on Light, which seemed appropriate, it being the Winter Solstice. We had a fire, which proved a bit more challenging than we originally thought (thank you, dear hubby). Kids played outside, I took many photos (attempting to learn how to use my camera better), and we released a couple of lanterns into the night sky (again, thank you, sweet hubby -- my sisters and I are terribly inept). We shared stories, had many laughs, and froze our butts off.
|Lantern - pre-launch|
I'm pretty sure my mom would've thought we were crazy. She hated the cold.