Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A little over two years ago I received a call from one of my sisters asking if I could help with our Mom. Her recent health issue wasn't critical, however, my sister couldn't shake a funny feeling she had about Mom.
While Mom had received good medical care, it was obvious she was different. One thing quickly flowed into another, and in September of this year she passed away.
Mom was intelligent, witty, artistic, loved nature, pickin' rocks, and had a great sense of humor. She was passionate about her flowers and birds and her yard overflowed with them. She had a 'travel bug' and had been all over the U.S., taken numerous trips to Canada, as well as toured Europe and Australia.
Her other "quirks", included being anxious; obsessive/compulsive; open, yet secretive, controlling, judgmental, co-dependant; and very fearful about her own death. Mom also had what she referred to as 'Scarlett O'Hara Syndrome' (I'll do it tomorrow) and great difficulty in letting go of things.
For whatever reasons, we've had members in every generation with mild to severe symptoms of these other denser quirks. Regardless of backgrounds or experiences, it's common during/after the passing of a close family member, to have a whole host of family and/or individual quirks show up. And it was common knowledge Mom had witnessed some doozies, as she used to say, especially those of her siblings when her parents passed.
Even though the doctors and Hospice had good information and were appropriately compassionate, my brother decided to Google certain things. He would then call with the highlights. This simple, yet liberating, act allowed us to openly talk about what was occurring with Mom, rather than repeat old family patterns.
Mom never wanted to "end up in the hospital or nursing home, have strangers taking care of her, or be alone at the end". As I sat next to her bed as she left her body, I was glad she was finally able to let go. I was also grateful she'd known she was in her own home and not alone. (She 'didn't want a houseful', so everyone else was nearby at my sisters.)
Afterward she was dressed in her late summer travel clothes. Her purse contained a replica passport and favorite sunglasses so she had all she needed for her final trip. And I know she would've laughed over the adventure that ensued in getting her to her destination in Oregon.
So, bless you Mom, and all your quirks. They made you the interesting person you were. Without your quirks we wouldn't have all these stories to tell...or the things in us that we can change or improve. So see, you do live forever.
Photo in this blog: one of my Mom's favorite Giant Red Amaryllis
my brother & sisters - for your unique variations of Mom's sense of humor
my sister-in-law - for all you did for Mom, plus your make up artistry
my daughter, other family & friends - for your love, support, prayers, cards, & etc.
Hospice of North Idaho - for your quick response and valuable support
Merv - for being Mom's best male friend
Anne - Mom's step Mom, for being her best female friend, defender, and confidant
Ewam - the garden of 1000 Buddhas, Arlee, Montana - for graciously accepting the numerous boxes of plants donated from Mom's personal garden, thereby allowing all the animals, birds, and visitors to enjoy her beloved flowers for years to come
Note: next blogs will be: IN YOUR CUPBOARD - GOOD FOR YOU