Preparing for a Death

Mom went into Hospice care, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s  claiming completeness  of her body and mind.  My beautiful mother is a shell, unable to eat because simple acts of chewing or swallowing have been crippled.   Her movements are seldom, her rapid weight loss shocking .

I pray I don’t remember her this way, diving into more pleasant thoughts of a vibrant, loving, fun, truly the most kindest human being I have ever known.

I pray God in his divine mercy takes her swiftly to be with ones who wait patiently for her arrival.

I pray my family will be strong.

I pray she is in no pain as she is unable to speak or show emotion.

I pray I was a good daughter and that she knows how much I love her.

Falling Down

I did not see God but I am pretty sure I died the eve before our Halloween party in 2010. The weather comfortably warm for October, invited me to enjoy the late evening hour on our porch.  The decorations surpassed spooky greatness of years past and I sipped my wine, enjoying my accomplishments.

A light breeze showed the large spider web in the corner breaking off at center, prompting me to stand on one of the plastic chairs to fix it.

I opened my eyes blinking, not knowing where I was, pretty sure I laid in my bed next to my husband. But I peered at my driveway still not grasping what had happened. I wasn’t cold, but rather comfortable until I tried to move my legs. Laying on my right side, I took in the night, realising I was not in my warm bedroom, I began to panick. Lifting my head, dried blood held my hair to the cement.

It took about fifteen minutes before I became mobile, my body numb I began to slowly crawl up the steps to the front door. Funny, my thoughts at this time, not wanting to bleed all over my entrance way, holding my face, the blood collecting in the palms of my hands.

Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, my reflection deemed brutal. In shock, I believed I could wash the ugliness away, my nose would heal from the wide bleeding gash. The more I wiped the blood away, the more it poured down my face. I calmly walked into my bedroom where my husband slept.

“Whats wrong? Are you ok?”
“I’m fine.” And I crawled into bed.
“You don’t sound fine” His voice concerned, made me turn away in embarrassment.

I lay there for a few seconds before blood engulfed my pillow. “Honey, I fell and I think we need to go to the hospital”

I look back and know that I passed. I didn’t see Angels or Jesus, all I know I was not afraid, I was calm, the peace inviting. It wasn’t my time and I didn’t even break any of my teeth. Although my face took many months to heal, I feel a calmness knowing death is not to be feared and I will never be afraid to die. There is a place to go.

Mom

I have spent the last month away from home visiting my mom who is in hospice.  I have to send out much love and hugs to the wonderful people there.  They work tirelessly to take care of all the poor souls destined to live out the rest of their days in bewilderment and pain.  There are pictures above my mom’s bed  depicting better times.  She doesn’t recognize these faces  any more, they are not even  distant memories for her.  She is frail and can’t move without help.  Her body is locked up and sleep seems to be her only relief.  She sits at a table with two other women, Carol and Mary.  The table is next to the big picture window which my Mom doesn’t see.  She speaks incoherently and sometimes can’t open her eyes.  Once in a special moment she will come through with a smile.  She recognizes me when she sees me but knows not that I am her daughter.  I asked her one afternoon while feeding her oatmeal and pancakes, “are you still hungry?”

“Yes”  she mumbles.

I lift the spoon to her lips and she closes her mouth.

“Now you are messing with me.”  I smile.

She looks me straight in the eyes.  “Don’t be so grumpy.”  she says plain as day.

I laugh.  There she is.  For just a split second. 

The Two V’s

       I was a vegitarian for many years, mostly when my boys were growing up and in elementary.  My youngest son Beau attended second grade at the time and one morning running late as usual, he  informed me  of a homework assignment due that day.  He needed to  interview me and stand in front of the class.  Being  notorious for last minute requests, I lovingly informed him he could ask me  the questions on the drive to school.   The interogation was basic.  What did I do for work?  What is my favorite food?   What is my favorite color?  What is my favorite holiday?  And so on. 

     In the afternoon at work, I get a call from Beau’s teacher.  She was very serious so I took the call in the breakroom.  The conversation went like this:

“Beau stood up to do his report about you today.  He is such a sweet and very smart young man but he’s a little mixed up.  (Really?)   I thought you should be aware of.. well let me tell you..  his opening line and the title of his  paper.. ( pause)

                                    My mom is a virgin, she doesn’t eat meat.

    

Downtown

     I haven’t been Downtown Denver since my husband’s Christmas party, so when I came up over the Colfax exit this morning, the view was so astoundingly beautiful, I had to catch my breath.  

     I’ve worked in the heart of this city for many years , I know the beauty is abundant and the pictures are amazing.  But when  you look closer, there are countless number of homeless, cold, hungry, with no place to stay.  I used to watch them from my window at work.  Sometimes I’d  give one a sandwich, or a bottle of water from my lunch.  The puppies probably bother me the most.  They are used by these unfortunates to get more money, to grasp and dig into our sympathies. Usually underfed, some weighted down with backpacks, these simple creatures hold no grudge to their owners. A few of the panhandlers simply went into a bad situation, already owning the pet,  but the ones who get the little pups for their own gain, then discard them like they were trash, angers me to no end.

     “You can’t save everybody.” My husband’s well meaning, intelligent words are kind and I know it’s true.  

    Departing my meeting, running out to my car, dodging the snow flakes,  I encountered a  homeless woman with a grocery cart.  She tugged the overloaded basket from the front, inching the wheels over the ice crusted sidewalk, getting stuck besides my car. I pushed the basket from the back to help her.  She thanked me with a nod of her head, turned around and continued on.  I sat in my car  watching her continuous struggle, and immediately started fishing in all the compartments for loose change.

    I know I can’t save the world, but I have a good start don’t you think?Image