The day was Sept. 23rd. She struggled with COPD for decades. But still, we always joked she wouldn't die, she was too stubborn. But it finally got bad enough, she couldn't recover from it this time.
I struggled with our move from Tx last year. I was positive I did not want to leave Mt Pleasant. I was not a happy camper. My poor husband took the blunt of my discontentment. But in the last few weeks, I realized we were exactly in the place we needed to be. God had this under control all along!
First, when we first moved back to Florida, circumstances caused it so Mom had to live with us. Her health was poor, but living with us was not something she would have done voluntarily. She became my sole job. And I was ok with that.
One of the 1st people who welcomed us in North Port are 2 sets of couples. We met them at church, (another blessing). They had already walked the path of loosing a parent to a long illness. They could really say "I know what you are going through" I have found great support from them.
The hospice house (Tidewell Hospice, Englewood) was amazing. The staff there loved my mom like she was theirs. From the chef coming in, talking to mom and seeing what he could make her. To the nurse who knew mom liked Andrea Bocelli and bringing in a CD for mom to listen to it. (it was playing the night she died) And not only did they care for her, they cared for me and my family. Always asking what they could do to help us.
Lastly, my brother and his family were close. AND Stephany was my support. I couldn't have gone through it without her. She came with me to see mom in the hospital, then at the hospice house. She loved on mom the way I couldn't. She has a heart of gold.
So, maybe it hadn't been in MY plans or MY will. But I clearly see how things absolutely worked out. In the last couple of years, Mom would say 'I don't know why God won't just take me'. Well, maybe she asked Him just that when she arrived. OR maybe she didn't. I am sure she was busy enjoying herself being in the presence of God. :)
I miss Mom. the house is quiet. The first few days, I swear I could hear her shuffle of slippers, the clicking of her walker, even her cough. Funny how some thing you once found annoying are now what you miss.
I hate clutter. I hate disorganization. Mom was a collector/hoarder. She has a LOT of stuff. Fred and I always said we would just load the truck and take it all to Goodwill. I have taken some. But I feel all of the family needs to have something of mom's to remember her by. This is important to me (and to mom). So, I have taken all her stuff and set it out. We have boxes everywhere.
And we aren't even talking about the boxes of papers and pictures. Those we will take our time looking through. Already, the little bit we have found has given us some insight on her that we never knew... It will get done. In time. I want to do it right. The last few days of mom's life, her biggest worry was the pictures and her dolls. I assured her I would guard them with my life.
I am trying to make sure some of mom's things go to people who will truly enjoy/appreciate them. This takes time. And I am ok with that. See, God is teaching me to be ok. To understand I don't need to know all the details. I may have to wait to see the grand picture. Boy, that is not easy for me.
Another thing we have in the papers we have looked at so far. Mom journaled some. But so far, it looks like she mostly did it when she was unhappy. I guess it helped her put her frustrations and heart aches on paper. It was almost too much for me to hear the things she wrote. But I find that I also tend to journal when I am unhappy. I am going to change that. I need to make a concerted effort to write down the good things too. I don't want my family to go through my papers and think I was an unhappy person. I want them to see how blessed I was, how much I loved.
Fred kept saying to me that I needed to prepare for mom's death. He was worried how it was going to affect me. But I am actually doing ok. Much better than I thought. I have my moments. I still can't talk too much about her without getting teary. But for the most part, I am ok. Of course, then I feel guilty that maybe I shouldn't be ok... Oy!
I loved my mother. Maybe there were more things that could have been done. But I truly feel I did the best that I could. Sometimes I get caught in the 'should have, could have, what if' game. But I turn from it quick. It helps no one. Any guilt that creeps in is just a reminder to be better with the present. Love unconditionally to all God allows in our path.
Another lesson He is teaching me.. Always learning.