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Mom's Winter Passing

Updated on February 19, 2014
Mom age 88
Mom age 88 | Source

September 4, 2012, my eighty-eight year old mother was diagnosed with having cervical cancer. We had no idea that she was sick, as she had not had any symptoms until she began to bleed on September 3, 2012. She told me in the car, on the way to emergency, “I have a feeling that this is going to be the beginning of the end for me,” and I told her to stop talking that way, I said she was being negative. As it turned out, what mom was feeling proved to be true.

My mom worked full time until she was forced to retire at age eighty-five, because she had gotten hurt at work. She was never sick, other than allergies, so, for her to be diagnosed as being terminally ill was unfathomable. Mom made the decision to do nothing, and just go for quality of life, as one of her doctors recommended. We as a family backed her completely on that decision.

It’s amazing how everything changes when someone you love gets sick, and you know that they’re not going to get better. All the things that were so seemingly important before, take a back seat to your, now, terminally ill loved one. Time becomes more precious, and the littlest things that normally wouldn’t mean much, you hold on to for dear life.

Mom got through September and October pretty easily, but in November things began to escalate. On Thanksgiving Day, mom had to have an emergency procedure done to stop the bleeding again, and she was never the same after that. She didn’t get up and get dressed anymore. She didn’t play the piano or write letters to her older sister anymore. The rest of her days were spent deteriorating in bed. That was the most difficult part; to have to watch her deteriorate a little more each day, and there was nothing we could do to help her. Thankfully, mom’s doctor arranged for her to have Hospice care. Optimal Hospice was a Godsend. I can’t say enough good things about them.

January 22, 2013 I had a hard time waking my mom up. When she did awaken, a big change had happened while she was sleeping. Her facial expression looked different, her eyes looked far away somehow, she didn’t make eye contact very well, and her speech was mumbled, barely understandable. I thought maybe she had suffered a stroke. The Hospice nurse came and said that mom was in “Transition,” that she was preparing to pass on. I didn’t even know how to process that. I knew that I didn’t want mom to have to suffer on, but it was hard to face that her life would soon be over.

Mom passed away a week later. It was just one month shy of her living with us for twenty-five years. She was an interval part of my every day. Mom was my best friend and now she was gone. I had to figure out how to live with only memories of her.

I had found a really nice memorial sight online, so my brother and I put our efforts in to honoring mom in that way, as she didn’t want a funeral service. I have to say, that it has been a big help having the memorial to work on during this very difficult time. It became part of the healing process.

The world didn’t cease because my mom died. The winter is passing, and spring will begin, but nothing will be quite the same ever again. I would encourage anyone who is taking care of a terminally ill or elderly loved one, to get their memories down in writing. Ask them to share stories from their past, so that you can record their thoughts, to be able to pass on to their grandchildren.

Memories left behind should be like the newness of spring, not the fading of winter passing.

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    • motherofpearl profile image
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      motherofpearl 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing about your relationship with your dad, and I take your words of encouragement to heart. I know things are going to get better. I’ve never thought of my mom’s life as being cut short, she lived to almost 89, but as you well know, no one can prepare you for the loss. Your mom was taken from you when she was still a young woman. I’m sorry you had to lose her at such a young age. I feel very blessed to have had my mom for as long as I did. Thank you again for your thoughts, God bless.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I so understand how hard it's been for you. My dad and I were just like you and your mom. I lost my mother at age 9~ so dad, my twin sister and I, were like best friends. I seriously thought I would die or go into a insane asylum when he died, but here I am. I lived through it my friend and so will you. It is a different life, but God has a way of making it up to you. You will still have a relationship with your mother like I do my dad, but it's just on a different level. Trust me. she is there with you as dad is still with me. I've written many hubs about his many visits. You will find as time goes on that life will become full and joyous again because you learn that things change but your loved ones are still with you. God has such a wonderful way of showing you new hobbies and passions that help ease the pain. God Bless and Hang in there.

    • motherofpearl profile image
      Author

      motherofpearl 4 years ago

      This last four months, since my mom died, have been the most difficult months of my life. She was a part of everything that I did, and the influence that she had on my life will continue to be a part of everything I will to do. The Tea Party Dream story (For example) was inspired by the fact that my mom used to have tea parties with my son when he was just a little shaver. I was never invited to join them, because that was their special time, but I could hear how cute they were together, and it was precious. On a less happy note, my mom was a victim of a violent crime just two weeks before the birth of my son. Having that new grandbaby helped get my mom through a horrible time in her life, and that too was part of the undertone of the Tea Party Dream story. I miss my mom terribly, but part of her will always live on inside of me.

      Thank you and God bless

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Oh wow~big lump in my throat reading this. I can't imagine how hard it is not having your mom with you anymore, especially as she lived with you for so many years. What a blessing she was in your life~to be able to say that your mom was your best friend is so touching. What a gift to have that close of a relationship with your mother. I am sure she is watching over you from heaven. God Bless.