Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Scrapbook

This is what I want to remember about the first day of my mother's death watch:

After we'd all taken our turns at sitting and talking to my mother, maybe 1/4 conscious, my father retired to the recliner in her room and listened to a book-on-tape while Jim sat by Mom and read a book. I, who was three hours off of everyone else (except maybe Mother), sacked out on the floor and fell asleep. I woke to a room in which the only noise was the oxygen machine and the small noises of my family in snug proximity, each of us in our own world. It felt like I was three years old again.

I want to remember, too, the tears dripping off my father's nose as he held Mom's hand during Bach's "Ave Maria".

With sore tired eyes, my father and I came home while Jim spent several more hours with Mom. He asked me to arrange Last Rites for today after having shrugged off the suggestion on Saturday. We will, once again, gather as a family to participate in the most solemn and hopeful blessing of the sacraments. The last time we did this, Mom was part of the standing circle.

We are ready.

31 comments:

Caffeinated said...

My love and prayers for you all. I know you've had ups and downs with the Church, but I hope our shared faith brings you comfort during this time.

Laura said...

Prayers & thoughts of comfort sent your way.
Hugs, Laura N.

Marian said...

She's going peacefully, surrounded by loved ones. I don't think there's a better way to go. Give your father a hug - I can't even imagine what he must be going through

Helen said...

Ahh Frances...it actually sounds kind of...beautiful. Hugging you in my heart...

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you.


Laura

jen said...

I can see why you would want to hold onto this. It's a nice image of closeness and mutual comfort. Glad you are all together in this.

Tam said...

amen.

FunnyBits said...

fmk, she knows you are all there and is holding on as long as she can...she will go peacefully and you will see her again. you are a loving daughter. a brave soul. an inspiration to many.

Anne D. said...

So painful, so bittersweet, these last days. I'm very glad you are all gathered with your mom, Frances.

Anne D. said...

And: I absolutely agree with FunnyBits, above, that your mom knows you are there. My aunt, a private-duty nurse all her adult life who has attended thousands of deathbeds, including my mom's, assured me that the dying -- even when they appear comatose -- are aware of their loved ones' presence and are soothed by it.

Quilting Martha said...

Oh dear. Hang in there Frances. Hugs to you.

G.G. said...

So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

Cindy said...

You are in my thoughts, Frances. What a complicated part of life death is... Keep making your memories and living "in the moment."

Anonymous said...

PJ
I'm very sorry to read this. My best wishes sent your way...

Annimal said...

So glad you can be at your Mom's beside. It is hard, but will make a huge difference in the future and will help with grieving.
You've done all you can do, it's time.

emmabovary said...

My mother died two weeks ago today, after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July. This part--the waiting, the sitting, the soothing--is the hardest part. Peace.

emmabovary said...

My mother died two weeks ago today, after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July. This part--the waiting, the sitting, the soothing--is the hardest part. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Peace and comfort to you and your family. {{{{Frances & Family}}}}
C/

Zesty said...

I'm so very sorry Frances. My condolences.

Anonymous said...

Francis, I'm so sorry. I woke up today and thought about you.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kim

Name Under Development said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

NUD

Cindy...154 said...

What a beautiful post. I am sorry and I hope you are all doing okay. Take care.

Anne D. said...

Frances, still thinking of you and sending prayers.

Anonymous said...

Frances, I am so sorry you are hurting. I lost my mother 5 months ago. Hugs to you.

Bea said...

I used to go into patient's rooms when the family was all gathered together, waiting. I was always an outsider entering something whole. You are blessed to be part of the whole. Take care. Love Lynn

Quilting Martha said...

Hope you are ok, Frances. We miss you.

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