Mom passed away a week after Mother's Day last year. She had lived with us for almost two years prior, when my sister in the St. Louis area took her into her home January 2018.
I was able to be with Mom at the hospital for the last few hours of her life. In fact, I was present when she passed at a little before 7 am in the morning. We were talking until the very end.
One of my favorite people in the whole world is gone. Anyone who knew her would say she was kind, a good listener, very well read, and a sweet, gentle soul with a great sense of humor. Mom lived to be 85 years old and had good health most of her life.
Again, she was the best listener I ever knew. When I had struggles as a child, a teenager, young adult, and even in middle age, she never made me feel like my problems were insignificant. And she was never one to quickly find a solution. I appreciated that about her. Instead, she seemed to struggle with me. She validated my confusion while giving me hope and encouragement that I could find a solution.
As we get older, people in our culture tend not to trust older folks as much. This is unfortunate, because my mom's wisdom was a true source of help.
Mom lived with us for almost two years because she suffered with Parkinson's and because my father, who was her caretaker, died in April 2016. Both of my parents were loving parents.
Often people would ask my sister and me with a grimace on their faces about how we were coping with having our mother living with us. The ones with those concerns didn't know our mom. She was a delight. When she left the nursing home a couple of times after needing rehabilitation services due to bone fractures after a fall, some staff were in tears because they were going to miss her. She was just that type of person, genuine and loving.
So as Mother's Day approaches and I see the cards available in the store, I feel sad that I won't be buying one for Mom this year, but I know she is with Dad and they are busy reading, talking, and sharing wonderful memories together in heaven. They also loved music and instilled this love in me. So they are probably also listening to wonderful music in heaven as well as singing. They both had beautiful voices. I miss them both.
I have a picture of them sitting on a couch together from Christmas 2015 taken at my sister's house. It captures their personalities. Both are smiling. I smile back remembering all the lessons they taught me. Being grateful is one of the lessons I choose to remember. Grateful for all the time I had with both of them and the role models they provided as they demonstrated love for us. I remember Mom especially during this approaching one year anniversary. Miss you so much Mom!