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Monday, December 31, 2007

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Wow. Just incredible - the outpouring of love. May we all be remembered in such a loving way when we leave this Earth. One of my all-time favorite quotes hangs on the bulletin board next to my computer. It is from a Flavia calendar:

Everyone we love or who has loved us, leaves a footprint of memory on our minds and in our hearts that will remain there forever.

Wishing you all peace...

Diane thank you for sharing your mother's life with everyone.This is a very painful time for you and your family.time will help you heal your pain.I hope this will be a wake up call to any who reads this to spend the time they have with their loved ones, forget the bad and work on helping each other, and always remember to hug each other and always say I love you.No matter what!!! you never know what is around the next corner..

Diane thank you for sharing your mother's life with everyone.This is a very painful time for you and your family.time will help you heal your pain.I hope this will be a wake up call to any who reads this to spend the time they have with their loved ones, forget the bad and work on helping each other, and always remember to hug each other and always say I love you.No matter what!!! you never know what is around the next corner..

WOW - I was gone for a few days & just got back to the keyboard today. This was the first thing I read & it brought back all the memories of losing my own mom. I lost my mom on Jan 26th, 2000. She was diagnosed with cancer in Oct of '99 & I was devastated. IT was pretty far gone & the Dr.s told her if she chose treatment, it would just delay the inevitable. SO as I held her hand in the Dr's office after she was handed her death sentence - she replied that she would live out her last few months as best as she could. She didnt cry - but the grip on my hand told me all she couldnt say. She was scared. I had her move in with us- as the job I held had ended - and I was unemployed at the time (funny how things work out). I was able to spend EVERY day with her until she passed. She was fine at first, able to walk around (although on oxygen) and sit in the living room with me. She coached me on making my first Thanksgiving dinner - as she had always been the cook for these things. She celebrated her last birthday - her 69th. I showered her with Roses - her favorite flower - dozens & dozens filled her room. A huge cake - her favorite kind - balloons, family. But there was the underlying sadness, as we all knew that this was her last one.
Christmas came - she was spending more time in bed - but came out to open gifts. She had bought my & my husbands gifts way before she had gotten ill, so we had gifts under the tree from her. I savored each one I opened, as I knew these were the last gifts I would ever open from my mom. Tears fell as I cherished each gift. I had gotten her a new night gown, a special pillow for her head, a birdfeeder to place outside her window (she loved watching birds) ,some candy. She tried to eat Christmas dinner - but swallowing was getting more difficult for her. New Years eve came & she was so happy to be able to see the year 2000. My husband & I watched the ball drop with her in her bedroom & we all hugged & kissed. Then she started to go down hill quickly after the holidays. Completely bedridden. Hallucinations from the pain killers. At times she didnt know who I was & kept asking me to take her home. That was the most painful thing. I had to start making all her foods pureed, or give her baby food - because she could no longer chew.
She was fighting sleep & terrified to close her eyes. She wanted me with her 24/7 - and as much as I loved my mom, she was draining me. She stayed awake for nearly 2 days at the end. Her last night on earth, she had finally dozed off. My husband, who is also a paramedic, could tell the end was near. He had monitored her vitals & knew that it wouldnt be long. I stood by her bed, held her hand & told her to quit fighting. That I would be ok. I told her it was ok to let go & go to that better place where she would no longer be in pain. 7 minutes past midnight, with my husband & I by her side - while she was sleeping, she took her last breath & drifted out of this world & to the next. I was glad that I was with her & she wasnt alone, in a cold hospital room or a nursing home. I had always promised her that I would take care of her if she ever got sick & I was blessed to be able to do that.
It will be eight years now that she has been gone. I miss her every day. Especially after my daughter was born. She will never know what a fabulous grandmother she would have had.
My mom wasnt a perfect mom, but she raised me all alone & did the best she could. I was honored to give to her at the end of her life - what she gave me all of mine.
To my Mom - Patricia L. Meier
I love you mom. I miss you.

Thanks for doing this for our family, Linda. Memere would be so honored.

I am my mother's daughter, and Memere and I did not always get along as well as we could have, but last Christmas she and I seemed reach a deeper understanding of each other. The last time we spoke I told her I loved her for the first time since I was a little girl. It is a blessing that I was given the opportunity.

Memere was a strong lady despite her fears and flaws. She lived quite independently for twelve years after losing my Pepere. And if I know my mum at all, she sure passed on those genes.

Hang in there, mama... I love you.

I just got around to reading this today. Diane, what a loving tribute you gave your mother. You did her proud!

Sorry for the four comments. I'm new at this.

Brought tears to my eyes. A lovely portrait of the life most of us lead. Thanks.

Brought tears to my eyes. A lovely portrait of the life most of us lead. Thanks.

Brought tears to my eyes. A lovely portrait of the life most of us live. Thanks.

Brought tears to my eyes. A lovely portrait of the life most of us live. Thanks.

Linda: What an incredibly beautiful thing you did here for Diane and her mother Nancy. I concur with Rudy, you are one incredible writer and I too cried all the way through this one. My mom, a mother of eleven children, is still with us, even though all my siblings are not (lost two brothers) - She's 90 and still sharp as a tack, although a bit slower getting around! This was a great tribute to all mothers - thanks Linda.

My grandmother died on the morning you posted this, but I was not able to see the keyboard well enough to respond. She did not do anything famous, she raised 3 sons and had 7 grandchildren of whom I am the oldest. The Thanksgiving menu I serve every year is hers, and half of my recipe box is from my grandmother. She taught me about tact, style and grace under pressure. She was always dressed, hair done and make-up on until the end. She showed me how to live and die in her own way. When I visited a few weeks ago she even asked what I wanted of hers to remember her by. I asked for the crystal chandelier that hung above the dining room table in her home for all of the family gatherings. Soon I will be able to look up at it and think of her. The ripples do indeed continue on in large and small ways.

yes I know I am biased, and yes I think my wife is the most talented writer there is, but this was amazing. I had tears running down my face reading this, both for Nancy and Diane, but also for the amazing gift Linda has to be able to communicate the humanity and dignity of Nancy's death and it's meaning to all of us.

I have always felt that we all cause a ripple in the universe when we pass on. Some are larger than others but everyone makes an impression in this world. Every life we touch changes the direction of our life and that of many others. Too many to even imagine. Everybody has a purpose in the world, good or bad, fulfilled or not, we all contribute to so many unknowns. Every action we make causes a reaction somewhere else. Nancy's life was no different. The impact she had on the lives of her family is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
May she rest in peace.

To All,

I most certainly can relate--my own mother passed away December 28,2004, just a little over a month after my fifth child was born. I talked to my mother every day and miss her dearly. She was ill off and on for a few years, but when she went to the hospitial for the last time, she was having trouble breathing and they intubated her. Evidently, she tried to remove the tube and suffered some heart trauma when they were trying to reinsert it--this is hearsay, because it haappened in the middle of the night when noone was there. At any rate, by the time I arrived, she appeared semi-conscious and never woke up. I, being the oldest, had to make the call. Seeing that she would not recover, I and my siblings felt that she had suffered enough and she took her last breath as we stood around her bedside and sang hymns taught to us by her. While she was only 64, I was indeed VERY thankful to have had her as long as I did. My only regret is that she never had the chance to hold her last baby granddaughter. So thank you, Diane, for sharing your story and don't feel guilty for "squandering opportunities". Embrace your memories, for that is all you have.

I can't tell you all how overcome with emotion I am, first with Linda for writing this column, and secondly for all of the comments. What a gift, indeed. You have no idea what this would have meant to my mother. To all of you who have lost someone dear, please accept my deepest sympathy and understanding. And to all who read this and pass it on (thank you Marsha!) I am indebted beyond telling.

Nancy's ripple shall go on!

Linda, I am going to use your picture of Linda and the ripple as well. If that is not okay with you, let me know and I will remove it.

Great job Linda. I am going to post a link to this post on my blog and suggest that others do the same so that Nancy's ripple will go on and on.

Nancy is a hero and did mean something. Thank-you, Linda for writing about her. In so many ways her story echoed my mother's story who died in 2002. We had the oil and water relationship but I miss her daily. My prayers go to Diane, Lori, and Shawn.
I am back from Pensacola after spending 18 days with my father (who had back surgery that went terribly wrong). Thanks to all of you for your prayers when Linda so kindly wrote about it. I really did find Linda's blog a "little island of bliss" in the middle of the chaos when I was finally able to find a computer that worked.
Happy 2008 to all of you!

It is a New Year today. To Lori in Texas, Shawn, Diane and Linda - I am incredibly moved by your words about your mothers. I fell so lucky that my mother is still around - I plan to call her today to tell her just how much I love her and how much I appreciate everything she is to me.

We lost her mother, my grandmother early in 2007 - I was able to go home right before she died - I spent a week with her just holding her hand and telling her all the ways that she impacted my life. Going home for Christmas was bittersweet - we all talked, and cried about how much Grandma meant to us and my Mother saved some of my Grandma's things for me. My Grandmother, like Diane's, Shawn's and Lori's Mothers was here on this earth for such a short time, but the lives she touched did make a ripple in the fabric of things and I wanted to share her name with you as well. She was Bernadette Becker, Wife for 50 years, Mother of five, Grandmother and Great Grandmother of many - but most of all, she was loved and the love and wisdom she gave in return is something that will live in her family for as long as we breathe.

Thank you Lori, Shawn, and Diane for sharing your mother's lives with us, and thank you Linda for giving us perspective.

I am pretty much speechless at this moment. What a wonderful tribute to Nancy.

To NH Diane: I have had that heart wrenching talk with a loved one when they ask if they are going to die. My brother was given less than 1 week to live once he left the hospital. He was too out of it to comprehend what the doctor was telling him. My Uncle and I had to explain to him ourselves what was happening. Hardest conversation I EVER had. My heart goes out to you and your family.

To Lori: Sorry for the loss of you mother. My mom died from complications due to inflammatory breast cancer, which is just now becoming known. She died 20 years ago next month when I was 22.

God bless to all.

My Mother, my best friend and my soul's touchstone passed away on Friday, November 5, 2004 at 2:15pm in Plano, Texas. My parents were married just one month shy of 45 years. My Mother was only 65 years old, and had spent six years battling breast cancer which had spread to her bones.

I wish someone had bothered to write about my Mother this way when she died. Obituaries are a joke, and the people who spoke about her at her memorial service only spoke about certain periods of her life. I would have loved to have been able to say something, but my Father didn't want immediate family to speak and, to be honest, I doubt I could have made it through anything in one piece, emotionally or physically.

Now, I seem to be the only one that still talks about her... but that's because, even 3 years later, I still can't accept the fact that she's gone. I manage from day to day by pretending that my Mother is just away on a very long trip... because when I allow the permanence of my Mother's absence to worm its way into my brain, I dissolve in tears and anxiety, have trouble catching my breath and feel utterly lost.

Diane, my heart is with you, sincerely. I have never experienced anything in my life more difficult than losing my Mother. My "self" has been sadly incomplete since 11-05-2004.

Linda, thank you for an amazing tribute to a stranger (a stranger no more, I should say). The gift you've given Diane is beyond value.

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