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My Mom

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  • My Mom

    I may have posted this somewhere before, but maybe on OLD Tweb. (This all happened about 10 years ago)

    My Mom had advanced diabetes, and had lost her vision for the most part. In her late 70's, Mom would have Dad type up the prayer list from the Church in HUGE font so Mom could see it, and she would close herself in her "prayer room" (a spare bedroom she had dad convert to her prayer room) and spend HOURS every day praying for the people and situations on the prayer list.

    Eventually, one of my sisters called me from Ohio (where she and my parents live) and asked when I was coming to visit our parents again. I generally try to visit them at least twice a year, and occasionally will fly them to Texas for a visit here.

    I could tell she was concerned about something, but she just said, "I just think you should come and visit Mom, cause I'd like your opinion about something".

    Over the next few weeks, I began to find out what that "something" was -- Mom, supposedly, was becoming delusional, and Dad was having a hard time managing her. Mom would "go out of her head" for a period of time, then be "normal" again. Dad had to call 911 on a few occasions, one in which Mom jerked away from Dad and fell and injured her hip.

    Kathy, my baby sister, called and said Mom was in a convalescent home, because Dad couldn't manage her. I flew to Ohio, rented a car, and went straight to the convalescent home.

    I walked into my Mom's room, and her eyes brightened up. She was in a hospital bed, but looked fine. We had a wonderful conversation, and I was having a hard time figuring out what she was doing there - she seemed totally "in her mind", and genuinely glad to see me.

    Then she got a puzzled look on her face, and said in a halting voice, "you seem like a very nice man, but who are you?"

    I felt like a ton of bricks had fallen on me.

    I walked over to her night stand, picked up a picture of "us kids", and pointed to myself in the picture. I said, "Mom, I'm this one... I'm your baby boy". She burst into tears, and said, "Oh, CP, I'm so sorry, I forget things, but I could NEVER forget you...." And she was in her right head again.

    We continued to talk, she was very coherent, then suddenly that puzzled look, and she seemed to be looking at my right and left hands which were at my side. She asked, "are those children with you?" (there were, of course, no children)

    Things went downhill from there, and just a few months later, I found myself flying to Ohio again, because she had had some kind of stroke or heart attack or something. I decided to stay in Ohio til she got out of the hospital.

    She continued to decline, and one day we had a consult with her doctor who told me "she won't leave the hospital alive, and she won't last much longer". It was Sunday night.

    I pulled myself together, then went and sat by mom's bed, along with my baby sister. Mom woke up and looked at me, and I asked her how she was doing. She smiled and said, "oh, CP, I'm doing so much better - I'm going HOME on Tuesday".

    I looked at my sis, who looked as puzzled as I felt, and I turned back to Mom. Having just been told by the doctor that she won't be leaving the hospital alive, I asked her, "Mom, who told you that?" She smiled, and said softly, "Jesus did".

    At 2:15 AM on June 21, 2005 - Tuesday Morning- my Mom went home to be with Jesus.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    My dad had lung cancer and when they operated on him to see how far it spread, I think the anesthesia brought back some dementia (he had a stroke about 5 or 6 years before that and it took him a while to get back and he had mental problems) - But he always remembered Jesus and would tell the doctors and nurses that he wasn't worried because he would either get better or go to be with Jesus. I think that really impressed them because they were used to seeing dying people cry and bemoan their circumstances (he was too far along for chemo to work).

    I remember him saying once that he heard his mom calling him and saw a beautiful angel in his room. I don't know if it was real or just his dementia, but he only lived a couple of weeks after that.

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    • #3
      Can I post a blog entry that I made after my Mom died?


      Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mossrose View Post
        Can I post a blog entry that I made after my Mom died?
        Please do.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          March 09, 2008

          My Mom passed away a month ago today. How incredible it seems that it is 4 weeks already! It feels, some days, like it was yesterday. She would have turned 89 in May. I will miss her.

          Her death was not totally unexpected. When she went into the hospital for this surgery, I began to prepare myself for the possibility that she would not survive. In fact, when I saw her last fall, I began to prepare myself for the possibility that I would not see her again in this life. She was visibly unwell then.

          And yet, that hope is always there in us that our loved ones, no matter how ill, or how old, will somehow live for just a little while longer here with us. Selfishly, I wanted that, too, deep down inside me. I wanted my Mom to be here a little longer, for my sake. And for my children's sake. They needed to know her better, I thought.

          But, that was not to be. She has gone home. And I am okay with that. I'll see her again. And my kids are both believers, and I know they will see her again, too. And, more importantly, THEY know they will see her again.

          My Mom taught me so much. She had the heart of a servant......not a slave, but a servant in the way that Christ was a servant. She gave so much of herself to everyone. She was a helpmeet for my Dad, and raised 6 children unselfishly and without thought for her own comfort or pleasure. She stayed at home her whole life to look after us, never worked outside the home. Her life was her family.

          My Dad was self-employed. (Boy, do I know all about that NOW! Because my husband spent 20 years working for himself!) Dad worked hard to provide for us all. As I look back on my growing-up years, I can see that every single need that we had was provided for us! Amazing, in this world now, many years later, when our "wants" have suddenly become our "needs", and the things we used to need are now merely taken for granted as we fill our lives with toys.

          We never wanted for food. Or clothing. Or a home. We had many things that I know my parents sacrificed their own wants to give us. We had toys and treats at Christmas and birthdays.

          I also had a lot of hand-me-downs, as I was the youngest of 5 daughters. But the majority of those hand-me-downs, I was proud to call mine, eventually. (I drew the line at my first bra.....I didn't want one worn by 4 older sisters!). Most of them had been sewn by my Mom on her old Elna sewing machine, that never did work properly when I tried to use it, but worked like a charm for her. Often she would sew late into the night to finish a dress or other outfit for one of us girls, or maybe for herself. I was proud to wear anything that my Mom had sewed for me. Those items of clothing were always better than any store-bought article. She taught me to sew. And to embroider and do other handwork. Things that I still love to do to this day.

          We had good food when I was growing up. Mom cooked every meal and made Dad's lunch for him every day, and made our school lunches for us when we entered schools that weren't close enough for us to come home for lunch. Lazy children we were! How easy it would have been for me to make my own lunch, as my own children have done, and take a little of that burden off my Mother! How little I learned until I was older and had children of my own......

          We had roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes every single Sunday for dinner, unless it was a holiday. I learned how to make good Yorkshire pudding, but they still don't taste like Mom's did. My children love Yorkshire pudding now, the odd time we actually have roast beef, and I have them all here. Doesn't happen very often. When I was first married, and until we moved away, Mr. mossy and I still had Sunday dinner at "home" every week.

          We had dessert every night. Most times something simple, like a pudding or a cake, or rice pudding or tapioca, or pie. There were always home-baked cookies for our lunches and for snacks. Mom taught me to cook and bake. I don't love to cook or bake, but I know how, because of her example.

          We didn't eat out very often, there weren't fast food places like there are now. I remember a real treat would be a trip on a Sunday afternoon to the Dairy Queen for a chocolate dip cone, and then a drive down to the river bottom......Indian Battle Park, usually. Fort Whoop-up. (Look it up.....I bet it's on Wiki.......). A bunch of kids and Mom and Dad all piled into the great big ship of a car, no seatbelts, on a Sunday afternoon drive and playtime in the Park. Good memories.

          When we were all married and out of the house, Mom and Dad treated themselves every week to a dinner out at one of the Chinese food places, every Saturday night. They deserved it. Often, they invited us.

          My Mom worked hard. She didn't have all the amenities that we enjoy. I was an older child before she had a washing machine that was not the old wringer type. And even after she got a dryer, she hung the wash out on the clothesline most of the time, even in winter. I remember bringing in frozen sheets and underwear, and having to iron them dry! I remember ironing! There was no permanent press, everything was cotton, and it all had to be ironed. Dad's shirts, our dresses, the pillowcases, the tablecloths. I don't recall ironing sheets, but Mom might have, at one time.

          There were no dishwashers. The kids took turns doing the dishes at supper. One would wash and another dry. Mom did the dishes during the day, since we were off early to school and had no time to do the breakfast or lunch dishes. We had a couple of dishwashers when my own children were small, but they never worked to my satisfaction, and now we haven't had one for many years. My daughter is gone now, but I remember her and MelMak taking turns washing and drying dishes, and they had the same good times and silliness that I had with my siblings doing the dishes when I was growing up. Good memories. I hope my children will keep those good memories, too.

          Mom and Dad took us to church. I feel like I was born in the church! And I am sure we practically lived there! We learned at a young age how to worship God. Mom played the piano. Dad sang. We all sang. We still sing. Music was and is an integral part of our lives. We sang as a family group, we sang solos and duets and trios and all sorts of combinations. And we all sang in the choir. After Mr. mossy and I moved away, it was one of my greatest joys to go back "home" for a weekend visit, and to sing in church with my Dad, Mom accompanying us on the piano. We had a repetoire of many songs, and once or twice through one of them on Saturday, and once before leaving for church on Sunday morning was usually enough practice for us. We learned new songs, too.

          Both of my parents served in the church beyond the music. They taught Sunday school, they were members of the board and the trustees, and took part in all the activities that came along. And they were hospitable. Almost every Sunday evening after church we had a group of people into our home for coffee and fellowship. Often we had a missionary either staying at our home or having a meal with us. I loved to have the missionaries over! What wonderful and terrible stories they told! As a young girl I remember going with my Mom to missionary meetings during which we tore up old sheets and rolled them up into bandages or packed clothing (with buttons intact......that's another story) into boxes to ship off to the foreign fields.

          Mom and Dad taught us how to worship at home, too. Scripture reading and prayer were common. And discipline. We learned to respect our parents, and by extension, other authorities, and God. We didn't learn respect out of fear, but out of love. The love that allowed our parents to discipline us when we needed to be disciplined. I remember the only time my mother spanked me.......I had lied to her about something. I was about 5. I hate lying to this day.


          My Mother's children sometimes grieved her. Out of 6 children, 4 of us are believers, one sister is not, and spent her life reflecting that, and the 6th, the only son, took his own life at the age of 33, two years after my Father died. Only God knows my brother’s heart. Mom grieved. And blamed herself. For my brother's death, for my one sister's lifetime of seeming unbelief. I think in her later years she realized that she could not force her belief on any of us. We had to come to faith on our own. I learned that about my own children from watching her grief over hers.

          And for those of us who did come to faith, we are at peace with Mom's death. I pray hard for my one sister. She is SO empty. She feels Mom's absence more than the rest of us. She has, at this point, no hope of seeing Mom again. She wants to fill that hole inside herself with Mom's things. She wants! All of Mom's things. She wants those memories that she has, to be imparted into the things that were Mom's "stuff", when the memories are really in her heart. But she thinks her heart is empty. I ache for her. (Edit to add: This sister has since passed away, less than 2 years after my Mom).

          From the moment I heard about Mom having died, I was at peace. I still am. I know that peace is from God, because I know that I have no peace inside of me apart from Him. Yes, I am sad. I will miss her. I weep as I write this. And music! Music is SO hard for me right now. But that will pass. It was that way when Dad died, too. I will sing again, I know.


          And I am so grateful for the peace that God gives, and the assurance that I will see Mom, and Dad, again. I am so thankful for my Mother. For all the things I learned from her. For her life of giving and love and unselfishness. For her love for God.

          Mom had a good dash. I am still needing to work on mine.

          See you in the morning, Mom.


          Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mossrose View Post
            See you in the morning, Mom.
            Had to read the whole thing twice.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
              Had to read the whole thing twice.
              It was long, I know.


              Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                It was long, I know.
                Yeah, but well written, and lots of love.
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                  Yeah, but well written, and lots of love.
                  Thank you.

                  Bill and his situation have been much on my mind and in my prayers, and I was thinking of my own Mom today when you started this thread. It will be 7 years in just a couple of weeks. Hard to believe.



                  Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                    Thank you.

                    Bill and his situation have been much on my mind and in my prayers, and I was thinking of my own Mom today when you started this thread. It will be 7 years in just a couple of weeks. Hard to believe.

                    I often wonder if "false memory syndrome" is involved (half kidding) when we think about how much better Mom's food tasted than stuff we make from her own recipes.
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                      I often wonder if "false memory syndrome" is involved (half kidding) when we think about how much better Mom's food tasted than stuff we make from her own recipes.
                      That might be more the case with guys. Wives never live up to their husband's mother's cooking. I KNOW my cooking isn't as good as my Mom's was. Although MelMak is getting good, and comes close, even with Mom's Yorkshire Pudding recipe!



                      Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                      • #12
                        Watching one of your parents sicken and pass away is incredibly tough but probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do was tell my mother it was okay to let go when it was getting real close (something the hospice nurses that visited told me I should do).

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                          I often wonder if "false memory syndrome" is involved (half kidding) when we think about how much better Mom's food tasted than stuff we make from her own recipes.
                          I think that in many cases the ingredients they used were fresher and of better quality and not as full of preservatives and other chemicals

                          I'm always still in trouble again

                          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                            I think that in many cases the ingredients they used were fresher and of better quality and not as full of preservatives and other chemicals
                            In the case of fudge, my mom insisted that the temperature and humidity had to be just right to make the fudge -- I don't know how to describe it - not runny, not hard, not gooey -- but she never taught us what those perfect weather conditions were.
                            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                              Watching one of your parents sicken and pass away is incredibly tough but probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do was tell my mother it was okay to let go when it was getting real close (something the hospice nurses that visited told me I should do).

                              We went through that, too, rogue-y. I wasn't with my Mom, but I did speak to her often on the phone in her last days, and it was important for ALL of us, not just her, to know that it was okay for her to go. That we would all be okay. She had all her faculties about her, so it was especially important for us to "give her permission" to let go.



                              Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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