Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Been a tough year
I decided to get back on here and talk about my parents. On December 1, 2010 my wonderful dad passed away at the age of 92 after a long battle with Parkinson's. He and my momma had just moved into a really nice assisted living facility just two weeks before he passed away. I believe he wasn't concerned about himself at that point (because he did NOT like it there!!), but was more concerned about my momma being in a place where she would be content and not alone. They had been married almost 67 years when he passed. Momma had a rough time initially but gradually got used to the place and actually started to enjoy herself a little. She made a few friends there, but really depended heavily on daily visits from my sister and frequent visits from my two brothers, and daily phone calls from me because I was the only one not living twenty minutes away. I spent time with her right after Daddy died, then came back at Easter this year when we committed Daddy's ashes to the memorial garden at the church we grew up in. Momma felt the other folks in the assisted living facility were jealous of her because of her daily visitors and very frequent lunch outings with my sister!! At the end of August this year, Momma suffered a heart attack, and though it was not severe (she did not realize she had one), it started a downhill trend for her - she was hospitalized four times in 6 weeks for various issues, and each hospitalization took its toll on her. After the fourth visit (at that point I had been up living with her in her apartment taking care of her), the family decided that Hospice would be a good alternative for Momma, to keep her out of the hospital and manage her various issues as they came up. It worked well, but she continued to decline. I spent six weeks with her, and finally went home just before Halloween to tend to some doctor appointments of my own. I had intended to ride back up to Michigan with my step-son and his family following their visit to us for Thanksgiving. On Friday morning, November 18, learning of a sudden and scary turn for the worse in Momma's condition, I threw clothes in the car and drove up as fast as I could go - about 80 mph the whole five hour trip. I arrived at 8 pm, to my momma's delight as she then knew all four of her children were surrounding her. We talked for a few minutes and I had a chance to tell her I loved her. About a half hour later, she fell asleep and for the next 30 hours remained that way. I sat up Friday night holding her hand and reading a book, then Saturday my sister and two brothers and I held vigil around her bedside, talking, laughing, sharing stories and playing some of my momma's favorite hymns. Saturday night I again camped out next to her, rubbing her foot, praying over her, and then I nodded off for just a short while. When I awakened, she had rejoined my daddy in heaven. She passed away just ten days short of the one year anniversary of my daddy's passing and twenty days before her 94th birthday. So in the course of a year, I suddenly find myself without my parents. They adopted me when I was three months old, and I have continually thanked the Lord for bringing them into my life fifty-six years ago, for giving me a loving home and three fabulous siblings who were born after I was adopted. (You see, my momma had three miscarriages and thought she would never have a baby, so they adopted me. Then, one year later and then five and six years later, my brothers and sister were born!) I miss them both so immensely - I rejoice in the knowledge that they are reunited in heaven, and that I will see them again one day. But for now, I deal with the pain and the loss - I keep thinking I need to call momma to check on her as I did daily and sometimes twice daily. My sister is going through the same thing because she was with her daily and in contact constantly. She was our momma's angel, though she would humbly deny that!!! My prayer would be that if your parents are still alive, embrace them and love them and enjoy them while they are here!!!!