MIAGD: Make it a great day
“Make it a great day!”
I am more than certain Mother would not want it any other way.
There is still a day to be lived. This is a new day that requires not only work at my career, but another opportunity to make a difference.
I’m glad to have spent the last 3 1/2 hours of my Mother’s life, sitting by her bedside. Those 3 1/2 hours were very calm, even uneventful. My sister and I simply watched her inhalations until they ceased at 1:05 AM, just one hour in to August 5, 2019.
When my grandmother died in 1992, I was holding her hand and heard my cousin, Debbie, say, “she’s gone.”
I turned to look at all the faces gathered around my grandmother’s bed and noticed Mother standing at the foot of the bed, looking upon my grandmother’s face. Mother had replaced her anguish and tears with a content, weary smile.
Tonight, my sister sat at the head of the bed, holding Mother’s hand. Like my mother at her mother’s death, I positioned myself at the foot of the bed.
By 12:30 AM, the rhythm of Mother’s breathing was no longer consistent and even, but sporadic and labored.
At 1:05 AM, she took a break. As we had done for the past several hours, we searched for, even expecting another breath to follow.
There were no more breaths to come.
I looked upon my mother’s face. The strained, anguished features of illness were completely gone, magically transformed within minutes. Mother’s body was finally at peace.
After making several calls and sending texts, Dena and I busied ourselves, packing up Mother’s room. As our natures, we promptly transitioned into shared laughter. It was lightheartedness as we packed things, often glancing over to the tiny figure lying in repose, thanks to the nurses who prepared her for removal.
By 2:15 AM, Jordan Cannon from Dunnichay’s Funeral, Elwood, pulled into the parking lot. Moments later, Dena and I saw the gurney bearing Mother’s body moving down the dimly lit hallway.
We finished packing up the room, bid farewell to the night staff, and said our good byes and “I love yous” in the parking lot.
Exactly at 4:00 AM, just two hours and fifty-five minutes since Mother’s passing, I was headed eastward to Kettering, arriving at 5:30 AM.
My quartet of dogs did not bark nor demonstrate their noisy, physical exuberance upon my entering the house. Tails wagged but the full burst of enthusiasm was amazingly subdued.
The week will be committed to teaching, prepping for a new school year, adding final touches to the funeral, and finally, making the trip back to Elwood for the funeral.
I’m at peace.
She taught me how to live, how to laugh, and how to love.
Mission accomplished, Mother. You raised three children who followed your instructions and examples, individually creating our own fascinating worlds of living, laughing, and loving. You should be proud of this accomplishment, alone.
Know you are loved, Mother…