I’m taking a slight departure from my usual posts to remember someone who left this plane of existence five years ago today. As some of you may (or may not) know, my mother suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease the last 15 years of her life. During that time I became the parent to not only mom but dad too who was ill with another disease and had passed five years earlier. I kicked and screamed and cried for the longest bemoaning why I had to be the responsible one out of my siblings…but that’s another story on my other blog.
Today I remember the day mom finally drew her last breath and declared that she was out of here and finally free of the clutches of that disease that took her away from us long before her body decided to exit stage left. In typical Dorothy fashion, mom decided when she was good and ready to leave. She held on longer than everyone including her doctors thought she would. But when she was ready to go she announced it by stopping her intake of all food and water. We all knew then it was just a matter of time. I am forever thankful to the hospice people who took such loving care of her.
Even though it’s been five years I can still recall the chain of events leading up to her passing and the morning I got the phone call from her nursing home that said she was gone. I didn’t cry, I wasn’t too terribly upset. I just knew that I had to go say goodbye to her, touch her hand one last time, and kick into command mode as far as taking care of things there and for the funeral.
It took me awhile before I finally had a bit of a cry – the realization that I was an “adult orphan” rattled my cage a bit. I was fine with her being gone, well as fine as one can be all things considered, because in reality she left a long time ago and I hated seeing her just “existing” in that home. She was free, she was home with the rest of her family who had gone on before her, and she was no longer suffering or in pain. Come to think of it, I don’t know if I ever had a real soul purging cry for her; maybe I did maybe I didn’t. But as I write this my eyes are a bit misty and there is just a tiny bit of sadness tempered with a smile. So today I will raise a glass in memory of her and maybe recall a few stories about her like how dad used to call her lead foot because of how fast she would drive sometimes 🙂
Love you, Mom.
(The little lump on her lap grew up to be a pretty cool photographer)