Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Mother's Good-Bye

I was always a mama's girl. I could not stand to be away from her when I was young. My father died when I was five, and I was very needy for her. We moved in with my grandparents. I knew I loved my grandmother, but, for reasons I did not know then, she just wasn't like my mother. When I hugged my mother, the touch of her skin, her smell, was better. I longed for those hugs. No one else mattered.

When I was little, I never really thought that my mother would ever leave me. I feared it, but would not allow myself to think about it. Then, one day it becomes reality. You know your mother is dying. That day happened when I went to visit my mother in the nursing home. She had Alzheimer's, and I thought we had many more days together. We didn't. She stopped breathing, I rang for the nurses. There was a flurry of activity and before I knew it, she was being wheeled into the ambulance and I did not even say goodbye. I was going to follow the ambulance to the hospital. When the ambulance did not leave immediately, being a nurse, I knew something was wrong. I got out of my car, and ran into the ambulance seeing the paramedics trying to intubate my mother. I stopped in shock, and someone grabbed me, trying to shield me from the scene, but I relive that experience all the time in my mind. I sat on the curb with a paramedic and knew it was not good. I knew already I was losing my mama.

When I got to the Emergency Room, my sons, daughter-in-law, niece and nephew were already there. The doctor came out and said that she was in a deep coma. I could tell more by the tone of his words than the words themselves. My brother and I decided not to put her through any suffering. We were all my her bedside all night. She never woke up. She never moved at all.

When morning came, I thought I noticed fluttering of her eyes. Soon after this, the nurse came in with my son and daughter-in-law. I excitedly told them what I had seen. I leaned by her ear and said "Mother, this is Beverly, if you hear me open your
eyes". She opened her eyes wide, then shut them. I said, "Mother, I love you". She opened her eyes, then shut them. I said, "And, I know you love me". She opened her eyes, then shut them. The nurse then called her by name. My mother did not respond to her. I looked at my son and he gave me a smile affirming what had just happened. My mother had just told me goodbye and that she loved me.

It has been eleven years since my mother died. I miss her still. I love her more.


Grammie said...

What a touching and beautifully written post today, Beverly.

Such tender and loving words through your sadness and loss.


Brian Dixon said...

I miss Meemaw too.

Shannon said...

that was nice, beverly--so nicely written too. i remember holding her hand in the er.

JeanMac said...

What a touching story of love. I don't think a person ever quits missing her mom.Thinking of you.

Richard said...

If what you read at my blog played any part in allowing you to let this out then I am deeply honored. No matter how old we get there is something so indescribable about a mother's touch and love that it stays with us forever.

I am so happy that you were able to say goodbye.


Cape Cod Kitty said...

THat is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing the story of your mother's passing. I am so happy you were there. You are right about mother's, as I miss mine everyday of my life. She has been gone 7 years and not a day passes that I don't wish I could share something with her or just pick up the phone to chat. I love it when I look at my hands as I type and see hers.

Beverly said...

Beverly, that is such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Wendy said...

So hard to lose a mother. Nobody can replace her. And somehow we think she will always be there for us - after all - she was there from the beginning.
I am so glad you were able to share her last moments on Earth. My mother died in the ambulance 10 years ago with only my father by her side. I never got to properly say goodby, although I believe she must have only wanted her husband with her - not us children.

To this day, I hear her voice in the wind and see her in the flowers and birds every spring. I too often wish I could pick up the phone and share some tidbit of gossip or a recipe with her.
Thanks for sharing your most loving and tender memories of your Mom.

Beverly said...

Thank you all for the kind comments.