Mother’s care has been turned over to Hospice, she has taken communion and was given Last Rites in preparation for her end of days; and so we are keeping watch over her with her last few days.
They say that time heals all wounds, but some wounds are deeper than others. Some wounds leave ugly scars that have scabs and are hard to heal. It’s only when we encounter the cause of our wounds and pain that we scratch and pick at scabs opening the wounds up to renewed pain. My mother is being taken care of through Hospice and we are coming to the end of her time on earth. She has been resting peaceful and is quiet most of the time with her eyes closed; but always listening. I think she hears much more than we ever thought.
She was admitted to the hospital on the 28th of February and spent a week on fluids, IV and meds. Last Thursday, (I think, cause days get jumbled and I lose track of time), she got up twice and walked a short ways down the hall and back again. That was the last time I got to walk with her. Up until three weeks ago, she would take her daily walks around the small circle, and my sister and nephew spent a few days at the beach walking. They had rented a wheelchair for the beach and they would let her walk as far as she wanted and when she tired, they would put her in her beach chair and wheel her back; picking up shells she saw on the ride back. She always loved waking the beach so she could smell and hear the oceans surf pounding the rocks and shore. After we would have taken mother to supper, we would come home and chat with my sister before saying our goodnights. Mother would sit in her chair and then get up and wander around the room and then sit back down.
My siblings came by often to sit with her when she was in the hospital and once she was discharged to come home, the house was filled with children and grandchildren. It was a time for story telling, laughing and remembering of our years growing up with mother. My father passed away late in 71, so it was up to mother to raise the rest of the children. Three of us (the siblings) were married and the three youngest were still in school when my father died. And so that was when my mother took her first job, at the College library as a door checker. Mother loved to read and the college students always asked for mother to help them find something because they knew she would get up and find what they wanted. She worked 30 years at the library part time while she volunteered at the hospital, the middle school library and a few other places around town.
Being at my mother’s bedside has been a great blessing for me and has created an opportunity for all of us to come together for her sake. It’s as if being in her room, the sense of time slows down and we enter a cocoon, while the outside world keep its whirling frantic pace and rushed time schedule. But in her room stories are told and songs are sung, mother is caressed and kissed. Her time with us is without machines and tubes to keep her alive. She is without pain or anguish, but rests peacefully and quiet, talking some and still giving orders.
I was in the room when my oldest and youngest sister were saying goodbyes, when my oldest sister began reciting a poem, mother chimed in reciting with her. She ask me to join in singing her favorite song, “Beautiful Dreamer”, which I didn’t remember. But the both of us stumbled along as we sang, sometimes not remembering the words, but it was a beautiful moment for those of us who were in the room.