"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Sep 15, 2016

I Remember Mama

My Mother passed away peacefully last night.  At the moment I’m at a loss as to what to do so I’m writing.  I’m sad of course, but also glad that she’s reunited with Dad, who has been gone 30 years now; plus she’s bound to be happier than during these past few years while her mind and body declined.

Mom became a Christian Scientist before she met Dad, but eventually he gave in and joined her in church. Hilllary and I dutifully went to Sunday School; and while we don’t follow the exact tenants of the faith, we absolutely understood and respected Mom’s wishes to make her final ‘demonstration’ in her own way, on her own terms, at home. Throughout my own life I’ve carried around a miniature set of ‘books’ fro our faith:  the St. James Bible, and Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.  I rarely touch them.

My Florida plans had not panned out for different reasons, so I was heading down the road towards Atlanta, where I was looking forward to reuniting with dear friends from the 70s.  I just happened to be next to the phone, having pulled off the road for something forgotten, when I got the call that Mom had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. I kept it together during the drive, and luckily I was able to spend several days adjusting to the news without being alone.

Mom was not able to speak and I was at a loss for what to say other than, “I love you.”   Fortunately I remembered the important person in the equation, so I doubled up my eyeglasses and began to read from Science and Health.  That’s not easy for me, especially aloud, and even harder to understand, with all Mrs. Eddy’s BIG words; but I knew it would comfort Mom.  Interestingly enough,  the more I read the more I understood, so while it was intended for Mom’s benefit it gave me warm fuzzies, too; and since I was on speakerphone my sister would likely agree.  She said Mom reacted to my voice, and would either reach for or lean towards the receiver.  Major boo hoo’s…

Mom adored my late husband, Tino, and he loved her in turn.  He never minded helping her with chores, and built her a table, just the right height for her 5-foot frame, at which she could comfortably read in front of a favorite window. I found his little painting from Christmas 1992, titled, “Seek and Ye Shall Find,” when I was in ‘Jersey this past summer. And considering her claim not to be a ‘dog person,’ she never minded that BC became her constant companion whenever we visited.

I read to Mom yesterday morning and felt kinda lazy and tired to tackle those big words again in the afternoon.  Fortunately Sis called so I read some more.  I suddenly wanted to reassure Mom not to be frightened, and to express something more personal than religious words.  I wanted to remind her of the love surrounding her from all fronts, both “on Earth…and in Heaven.”   I did; poorly perhaps but I got my point across when it crossed my mind, and that’s something I’ll not regret not having said.  Fear is one of the hardest things to overcome, no matter the faith.  I said my Love You’s and Til Tomorrows; and a couple of hours later I received the dreaded call. Hillary and I prayed in unison, and then I got off to do some alone, accompanied by my old music box which plays 2 hymns.

Mom had been a dance instructor for Arthur Murray when she was 18? 19?...so dancing was always part of our lives. This shot’s from Fiddler on the Roof.  Fun times to be sure. I’ve a future story in mind for life with this energetic woman, but I wanted to mark this occasion.  Love you, Mom.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Andrea. I'm so glad we got to share in Mom's last hours together. We are not, nor have we ever been alone. Mom is still in our hearts, and you are in mine!


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