Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The annual pilgrimage is over.  It was all I hoped it would be, and more.

I came home just in time to go to the nursing home and tell my mother that her only remaining sister died that morning.  Once there were 6, now there is one.

It seems to have taken the wind out of my mother's sails, a bit. It would truthfully be a mercy if she could go - she is in physical pain, of varying degrees, most of the time.  Up until Friday evening, the suffering was primarily physical.  Now there is the emotional pain of a goodbye that, frankly, I am a little frustrated that she had to endure.  I wish that God would agree with me about when to say "Enough."

I come from feisty women.  My mother glaring at me from the nursing home bed she rarely allows them to get her up out of.  "I think that woman feels sorry for me!  How dare she?!  I am perfectly happy!"

My Aunt Betty ("Auntie BopBee", we called her), mischievous elf, playing cards with my five year old daughter on the floor of her garage at 4 in the morning.  Donning a hard hat, so many years ago, and following my father down the mine shaft, just to see what it was like.  Getting cheerfully, hopelessly lost, time after time after time.

My Aunt Norine ("Auntie Rene") giggling behind her hand at me as her husband walked by in his pj's.  "Don't you just want to tickle those cute little buns?" she asked.  (I did not)

My mother is the only one left.  "What makes you happiest, looking back on your life?" I asked her today.
"You kids and your dad," was the immediate reply.  And then with a definite TAKE THAT note in her voice, "Living so much longer than those doctors said I would."  (she was born in Rocky Mountain House, AB, in 1937.  Rocky Mountain House is still considered rather remote.  She was born at 26 weeks gestation, and weighed 2 lbs 10 0z.  If her father hadn't been one of the only men in town to own a car, her story could very well have ended differently.  And earlier.)

I laughed.  "It's that kind of feisty that's keeping you here, you know."

She laughed, a slow, tired, laugh.

Oh Mom.  I'll forgive you if you leave.  I will be so sad for me, but so happy for you.  And I promise I will stand up at your funeral and tell everyone there that God was gracious enough to let you live so long that I realized how much I love you.


Kay Day said...

Oh, Susan...
As if I haven't been leaking enough today.

I'm thankful too, on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

Well now, that made me cry.


Anonymous said...

Made me sad for you, sis, and happy too. You write so amazingly.-BB

Marcia said...

I can so relate, Sue. My mom has now been surviving on chocolate milk for over a year. The doctors don't know why she's still alive. I don't either but God does.

Colleen Taylor said...

I did my crying yesterday.
But today you made me sigh ... and think of my own ancestry of amazing women.