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Oh, Mama!

Grab some tissues, this could get messy. Just a warning, because sometimes things around here are an emotional roller coaster...

Some things in life are SO hard, aren't they?

I mean, I know this past year, for us, it's been a VERY different life since my hubby had his strokes, but we're "trying" to be OK. We've created our new normal & are making a great attempt at dealing with the cards we've been dealt. We're still living on complete faith as far as our income goes & God amazingly supplies our needs & even just some of the things we'd like, which aren't necessities. It seems like God sends us some of His best angels, just at the right times when we need Him to... We are able to laugh every single day, even on the days we cry. Life is good, in spite of the challenges we face on a daily basis.

Most people around us know my parents. THE most awesome parents on the face of this Earth. Truly! They are ninety as of last year... AND up until summertime of last year, they were both pretty healthy. They were always doing things. Mom cooked all of their meals & she had plants in her greenhouse all winter, then planted flowers & a garden. Dad usually helps with the garden some too. Plus, he cuts firewood & putters around.

I blogged a year & a half ago about my mom having several trips to the hospital & how she told me what songs she wanted at her funeral. Whew! That was a rough day... Well last summer, she started having more of her fainting spells, which usually now ended up with a trip to the hospital, even when she really didn't want to go. She used to tell me, "Don't they know I've got things to do?" Truly, my mom was always busy doing something & she didn't want to have to have the schedule she had in mind messed up with ambulances, Dr's & more tests & stuff. Well, at 89, her heart was getting tired & they wanted to put in a pacemaker, to help make it easier on her. It would regulate her heartbeat they told her.

Oh, Mama!...

If only we could have known the road you were turning on that day when you went in for a routine pacemaker procedure... I was so happy when you came out of there & were doing good. I felt certain you would be so much less tired & dizzy now... But at dad's 90th birthday party, when you felt so woozy & couldn't even join the party, we were all concerned about you. Even still, I'm so glad everyone got together that day, as it was the last celebration you've been able to attend... The past six months have been so hard on you! Hospital rooms, Dr's, nurses, rehab that you could rarely participate in, thickened foods & liquids, infection after infection. When will it ever end?

Never in a million years did I ever imagine things would be this way for you, mom. My goal in life for my parents was that they would grow old, be amazingly sweet oldsters as long as possible & then die peacefully one day. One day when I am ready... I'm not really ever gonna be ready, mom!... The past few months have flown by & yet they have been creeping by, like a slow moving train when I'm in a hurry to be somewhere. Maybe even worse than that. I have hated seeing you suffer the least bit... Mom, I am SO thankful for your bonus years & being able to spend extra time with you & with dad too. Just having the two of you over for tea & coffee every couple of weeks was so nice. The stories we shared together & all of the laughter. It was the best ever! One of my most favorite things was making you laugh, mom. How you'd put one hand over your mouth & slap your knee with the other hand, in full-on belly laughter. Seriously awesome fun!...

& I never got tired of waiting on you. It was the least I could do after all you did for us as kids... Oh, mama! You were so good to us! I don't care what anyone else says, my mom is awesome!! You taught me so much throughout my life. You were the greatest example of a loving wife. I learned so much just watching you love dad each day. Thank-you for loving us so much! This past month has been so hard, mom... I know it's hard to believe, but I'm guessing that you have lost a hundred pounds by now. You are just a shell of your former self. I'm not even exaggerating when I say you are basically all bones, covered in skin. Painfully thin, mom. Even your soft cheek is all bone. Hard for me to believe since you had the softest cheeks in the west... I remember driving home from seeing you one night, when the water from the flooding was up to the sides of the road & I felt like I had cried enough tears for you that I had flooded the area myself... It's so hard when you love someone so much to see them go through everything you've gone through. And dad, mom. Dad. How he has been there to visit you, day, after day, after day, week after week, month after month. Seventy years of love between you & dad. It's amazing! I am SO thankful that Cher was able to be there for dad & bring him to you & take care of him all these weeks, since I was occupied here with Dean. I'm also grateful that you understood why I couldn't always visit you every day. It was amazing how whenever I came & stayed with you for a couple of hours, you always asked, "How can you be away from Dean this long?", because you were always concerned about him. Mom, Dean loves you, as if you were his own mom too. He told me just today that you & dad have always been like real parents to him. He will forever love you... Thanks for being such a great role model for us. Ever faithful, always loving. It was evident how much you cared & I learned that from you, because you lived it & set a great example...

Oh, Mama!!... Seeing your frail, worn out body lying there has been so hard for me to take. SO MANY times I wanted nothing more than to scoop you up & bring you home with me, so you wouldn't be alone, lying there, staring at the wall. I hated that!!... I love the joy on your face & the sparkle in your brown eyes whenever I'd tell you a story about what happened that day. You have always been so beautiful, with such an amazing smile & there has been nothing I loved more than bringing joy to you as often as possible.

I hope I've done you proud mom... & As much as I will miss you, you are the one who taught me to be strong, because you were so strong. You taught me to love Jesus, before I was even born & I have such a ginormous faith, because of you, mom. You have done well, mom. You had a long, successful marriage & you raised six kids with dad & I think we are all pretty stinkin' awesome. You can be proud of your accomplishments. You prayed a hedge of protection around all of us every single day when you woke up in the morning, which was the best & the most wonderful thing we could ever ask for.

Oh mama! I will always cherish the memories I have of you & the life we shared together. I've known you for 54 1/2 years, which is a long time. I'm pretty sure I wont like you not being here. Who will I call when I have something cool to share with? You're my "go to" gal. Man, I'm gonna miss you!!... Fly high mom. Footloose & fancy free. Tonight you are dancing on streets of gold, at the feet of Jesus. No more pain. No more sorrow. No struggles. Only sweet Jesus peace... Don't worry mom, I have me some sweet Jesus peace too, thanks to you! You have done well, good & faithful servant... I love you mom. Fly high, my angel.

Earlier tonight, as I sat with my mom, I held her hand in mine & I felt the smooth softness of her wrinkly old skin. I could feel her pulse in her fingers, as I caressed them softly & I thought to myself, "It's time". In my heart of hearts, I somehow knew this day would bring mom's ultimate healing.

When I had gotten to mom's room, she was VERY soundly sleeping. I talked to her & rubbed her legs through the blanket. She knew I was there & acknowledged me with a squeaky groan. At one point, she barely opened her right eye a tiny slit to peek at me. I spent over two hours sitting by her bed, holding her hand. I talked every now & then... I said, "Mom, just think you'll get to see Verle & your two sisters, & granny & grandpa, aren't you excited?" & she squealed a very odd sounding, but excited yes... I told her I loved having her as my mom & thanked her for ALL the wonderful things she taught me throughout my life & that she was such a good mom to me. I said I didn't want to see her suffer & I knew she was tired, so she could go & rest now. She was gonna have a new heavenly body soon... & As I sat there, I prayed silently in my head & said, "Jesus, please, take her, so she wont suffer" & I kind of hoped she would go while I was holding her sweet, soft, wrinkly old hand, because I didn't want her to die alone... Something inside me said I should get home to my hubby to make him dinner, so I rubbed mom's bony legs through the blankets one more time & squeezed her hand, which was surprisingly warm for once. I kissed her forehead one last time & brushed her hair back away from her forehead a few times, just loving on her a bit & told her I had to go now & she could rest. I said, "Don't worry, mama, it's OK, I'll be fine. I love you LOTS & thank-you for always loving me so much."... & I walked out her door & down the hall & drove myself home. I cried a little on the way home when the music I was singing to made me emotional... & Tonight mom is dancing on streets of gold, at the feet of Jesus, with her brand new heavenly body... & I'm SO glad I was with her until the end. She waited until I was gone, before she went on to her ultimate "Home"...

When I got home & started to make dinner for my guy, my sister called me to say mom was gone... & As I started pacing the floor, sobbing, while I was talking to her, both of us saying how glad we were that I had gone to be with mom. I couldn't believe that I had just been with her literally moments ago. Part of me wished I had stayed on another twenty minutes, so she didn't have to die alone, but my sister reassured me that she wasn't alone. That I was there & that she would never die in front of me, so she waited until I'd gone home... She finally got her ultimate healing & though it's bittersweet, because she suffers no more, I will miss her, but I rest in the fact that she suffers no more. Hallelujah! Mom got her heavenly body. She is free at last. & I'm so glad that I got to be there for her end & that I could, "walk her home".

I love you mama!