Quiet Thoughts

I handed the white Dockers to the guy behind the counter and told him the sale on the Sonny Crockett pants was just too good to pass up. His professional smile was more of a smirk and he asked if I had special plans for Father's Day.

"In fact, I do."

He waited, I swallowed.

"Going to my Mothers funeral," I said.

It's been one of those weeks. Monday Mom called the five kids in, had us all touch her somewhere, told us she was going and that she was ready. She was very emotional and I think she wanted us to be. We all told her we loved her. She knew that.

She gave all of us different advice. She told me I could get another motorcycle, but I should just sit on it and not ride it. I made her no promise on that one.

Some of what she said in the next few days made sense, some of it didn't. One day she thought someone else had died and cried about that. Then she thought she had died and cried when she realized she hadn't. She walked the streets of heaven and wondered where to find our father. When I told her he had been there longer and would find her, she was satisfied. For a while. Then she became aware that she was still on earth and wondered why she had to remain. She was ready. The days blurred. She thought she was still here because she had doubted, but there were no doubts anymore.

Liquid morphine kept her pain at bay. The rest of us relied on caffeine and casseroles.

Yesterday, we thought was her last. I took Mark on his mower down the logging road that leads to the forty acres we now own on the creek. I thought about the Christmas Eve "hunting" walks my brother, father and I had in those woods. I passed the spot where I buried my hybrid wolf the January after Pop died. I thought about the horse we had who had to be forced down that road but who ran like crazy home when you finally turned her that way.

This morning her breating was very a labored and I thought she had minutes. About 1:30 this afternoon Catina from Hospice came in, announced she might live several more hours, ordered a suction machine and oxygen. Fifteen minutes later, she listened to her heart again and went outside to cancel the order.

The family gathered. We waited. I thought about Mom's preacher being out of town all week and that maybe she was waiting on a final prayer. Catrina gave her one more dose of Morphine, stepped out to make another call.

"Mom," I said. " Here's something you don't hear every day."

I prayed out loud for the first and only time in my life. I'm not sure what I said, some of this -- maybe, but here’s some of what I was thinking:


"Those of us gathered around this bed believe your spirit is already gone on, we believe your body remains and pray that you are granted the mercy you so richly deserve. We believe you are in a kitchen somewhere with Pop canning green beans or at your Mother's side watching her fix someone's hair. Maybe you are at the park in Myrtle Beach feeding us deviled egg sandwiches and letting us use the waxed paper to slide down the big slide.

Perhaps you're in the old white 64 Impala going across that bridge that Pop always sped up on to make the car lift off so you would yell. Maybe you are helping us make costumes for Halloween, or cookies for Christmas, or sitting in your spot at church.

Maybe you are standing at the window watching Ann as a child bounce up the hill to visit with the Mothersheds on their porch, just like you watched the other four of us do over the years. Could you have possibly realized that the youngest and smallest of us might turn out to be the strongest?

Mom, it's Friday and you've been asking why you're still here since Monday. Maybe some of us were not ready to let you go. There were stories that needed to be told and stories that needed to be heard. Now we've done the things we needed to do and we've done the things you wanted us to do.

Your work here is done."


Her final couple of breaths were not labored, she slipped away peacefully. Was it the morphine, just her time, or the fact that I prayed.

I’ll ask her the next time I see her.

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Comments 22 comments

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Resspenser my condolences. I believe your mom's spirit is in the hands of love. The words you said at the end were the right ones and my sympathy and empathy are with you and the family. The precious picture with her and presumably the grand children is beautiful. Peace my friend.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thank you, Alastar. I took the picture of her, Abbie, Maddie, and Ellen - Christmas of 2008. There is peace.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Glad there's peace now resspenser, what relation are the children to you?


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

They are my grand daughters. I need to go back and put a caption under that photo!


vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 5 years ago from New York State

I send my condolences my friend. Peace be with her now.

God Bless


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks, vietnamvet.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I lost my own mother in a similar way, so this brought a huge lump to my throat.

My condolences, to you and your entire family.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks, WillStarr. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual story.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi resspenser, my thoughts are with you at this sad time. Sometimes we have to step up to the plate and you certainly did that at the crucial moment. Your mom would have been proud and comforted by your wise words. She gave you and her family so much, but i'm sure she felt that the debt was repaid with interest. Cheers


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks, attemptedhumor. I appreciate the comment.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

It has been a number of years since my parents died. I always think that something might have been done better.I don't know if it is ever easy.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

So sorry, Ron. My father passed much the same way, a struggle for a man with a strong body who so wanted to go. I remember the mixed feelings of loss and relief that it was finally over.

I've often thought we don't face our own mortality until losing our parents...

Be well, Lynda


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Lynda,

You are so right about facing our own mortality. I'm looking at motorcycles again because I'm not so sure 60 is as old as I thought!

I am fine. Thanks for everything, back to Justice!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Glad to hear it. Not all death is a time for grief -- loss yes, but grief, no. When someone has lived a full life and no longer has any quality left, their passing is only a measure of the natural scheme of things.

Oh, and I've heard that 60 is the youth of old age. Lynda


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

oh respenser, this is beautifully written, beginning to end. I am so glad you commented on my hub and reminded me that you exist somewhere east of the Mississippi. The beautiful sensitivities and sentiments expressed in your Mom's final prayer brought tears to my eyes.

I believe mothers especially wait until their children are ready to let them go. Their hearts exist outside their own bodies, after all. They know.

I don't care how old we are or how old our parents are when they go- a huge hole remains, that eases with time. But they are never forgotten. Hugs.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thank you, Storytellers. You're a class act!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

It is all true, friend.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

So kind and warm. Rest your moms soul and a great dedication to her.

best

Ben


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Such a heartwarming hub with regard to your mother's death. I can't believe that my mother has been gone a year and a half. Seems like yesterday! This made me think of her. My condolances to you and your family. Your mother had the sweetest face and smile! She will be remembered with love.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Ben,

Thanks for your kind words and for reading.

Peggy W,

Mom would have loved that you think she had a sweet face. Sorry for your loss as well.

Ronnie


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida

You do know how to lay out a story, my friend.

WELL TOLD!


resspenser profile image

resspenser 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks, Bob. This one sort of wrote itself.

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