For the past couple of weeks sleep has eluded me. I just can not shut my brain off. I keep thinking of all the things I need to do, all the things I should have done, all the things I plan to do. I think now that maybe the universe was trying to alert me that my reality was about to change forever.
My mother passed away Friday, July 6th. I haven’t slept since.
I lay awake in bed staring at the clock as it changes from 1:00am to 2:20am to eventually 4:08am. . . I also lay there thinking about the past few months and years.
My mother had her first stroke in 1994. She was 45 years old. Extremely high blood pressure was the catalyst. Fortunately there was no physical damage but her brain suffered. She had several clots that would also result in another stroke several years later. Again her brain suffered as did her memory. She was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. She was 56.
In a matter of ten years I watched my mother go from being a witty, stylish and independent woman to a shell of who she used to be. It was painful. I was at the age and experiencing life events (marriage, the birth of my children) where I really needed and wanted her to be around but she was too detached (mentally) to really be engaged.
When she went in April of this year at age 63 to have heart surgery, I felt we might actually lose her. But she survived an operation that repaired an astounding SIX blockages in her heart. She walked out of a rehabilitation facility almost two months later surprising everyone with her strength and determination. There were signs of her returning more to her old self and she started to display her independent spirit. We had very high hopes that she was on her way to an amazing recovery. But she experienced complications with her breathing on Friday morning and her heart gave out.
It’s really surreal right now because although I didn’t see her every day, I always took comfort in the fact that she was just a call away and at this very moment that I am writing this, it seems as if all I have to do is pick up the phone and call my sister and she’ll say, “Mama is upstairs asleep or she’s watching t.v.” But that won’t happen. Ever again.
I’m an eternal realist. I know that death is how all of our stories will end. I also know that she is in a better place but I am human therefore selfish and I’d prefer her at arms reach. But it’s not my choice. I just have to deal with the decision that’s been made by a higher power. And it will be hard. . .but I have my memories and I am a part of her legacy as are my children and eventually their children. So she will live on. . .her lessons and her love will live on as well.
My mother taught me how to carry myself when I went out in public. She taught me the importance of speaking up for myself. She taught me that the world was much bigger than our neighborhood and how important it is to travel and experience new things. She taught me how to be responsible for myself. She taught me how important my sister would become to me as I watched her relationship with her sister. She taught me not to care so much what other people think. She taught me how to see the humor in things. She taught me to treat people how you want to be treated. She taught me that you only get one life and you should live it on your terms.
She taught me all of these invaluable lessons by not saying a word. It was all in her actions and the way she lived her life.
Obviously I haven’t really been focused on blogging as most of my time has been spent helping my sister prepare for our mother’s funeral but I do find that this gives me some peace. I want to sincerely thank EVERYONE who has reached out to me and my family and we appreciate your continued prayers and support. We’re blown away and humbled by all of your kindness.
John 14:1-4 ”Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”