Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Mother

Eight years ago today, I was at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  My mother was dying of cancer, and I had been flying back and forth from Maryland to Tennessee for months, guilt-ridden no matter which direction the plane was going.  South meant I was leaving my very young children and husband; North meant I was leaving my very sick mama.  

But on this day, our journey would end.  I knew my mother's illness was terminal, a very rare form of ovarian cancer, so I didn't pray for her recovery.  Instead, I prayed that she wouldn't die alone, that my brother and I might be at her bedside.  I wanted to hold her hand.


It was an oddly gruesome yet beautiful scene.  Her suffering was evident and difficult to watch to say the least.  But the room was white, sun filtered through the window, and her sheets were crisp and clean.  When it was over, I covered her, then spotted a vase of coral-colored roses on the window ledge.  The whole thing had been so ugly—surgeries and treatments and tests and setbacks and loss of dignity, but there on that ledge was something beautiful.  I began to pluck off the petals and scatter them across the white sheet.  Death hadn't won.  Cancer didn't win, either.

Later that day I drove to a friend's house.  Her forsythia bush was in full bloom, its color so bright it felt almost blinding to my sore eyes.  I remember staring at it, thinking how odd it looked and how strange I felt in a world without my mother.  I also remember thinking that spring would get me through.  There was the promise of green and warmth.  God would get me through, too.

On this day so many years later, I am thankful to have been there with her, grateful to have had such a loving, quirky, sometimes crazy, sweet mama.

16 comments:

  1. You wrote in honor of your Mom so eloquently. Very touching!~ May you have peaceful beautiful thoughts of your Mom always.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What beautiful thoughts. My first post to read today and I am crying. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt moments with us. Death never wins, our salvation always does. Human hearts hold all the pain and joy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, I wasn't going to blog hop today because there is so much going on here but I am glad I did. I am sure your Mom knew you were there until her last breath and that she took that thought to Heaven with her. Having worked in health care for many years (and having a hubby that is a chaplain at hospital) I know what those moments are like-the unreality of what is real. God bless you. These anniversaries always bring all those old emotions flooding back, don't they? I am sure she is as proud of you as can be and is watching over you and your family. A special hug today from this Mom and Nana- xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is quite lovely. Your feelings mirror mine, as we had a very similar experience losing our own Mother. It is most certain that your Mother is looking down and smiling as you have shared this difficult time with others and knowing how loved she was.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So painfull yet so peacefull. I am glad you were with her, holding her hand. I understand...it was 9 years ago for me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It was 10 years ago for me that I lost my dad to cancer, so I understand. It's so painful watching our loved ones go through this but when then are at peace we are at peace. My mom and I had our mourning time when we were with my dad in the hospital the last few weeks and we were at peace when he went to heaven knowing he was suffering no more. Your in my thoughts today.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I lost my Mom almost 7 years ago to cancer. It was her birthday last week and I too think of her in spring when everything is blooming. I'm thinking of you today and wish you peace.

    Take care,
    Pam

    ReplyDelete
  8. I lost both my parents that way and understand how terrible it is to watch what they go through on their way to the inevitable. It was standing, looking up at the millions of stars in the sky, that gave me the perspective to carry on and appreciate life. Hugs on this day to you. ~ Maureen

    ReplyDelete
  9. When my mom was dying of cancer, I felt the same push and pull you did. Leaving my young children to be with her and then having to leave her to take care of them. I sometimes prayed for strength to help me be a good daughter and mother at the same time. It was all so difficult.

    Your post is so beautifully written. It truly brought tears to my eyes. I know my mother and yours are at peace now and hopefully we are, too.

    XO,
    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  10. These anniversaries are so hard. You are in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful post! I just lost my Mom alter a long journey with Alzheimers. She was able to remain at home with me, but oh, I miss her so! This time of year, with the flowers blooming and showing signs of rebirth has been healing for me!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a touching story. A wonderful tribute to your Mom--I am sure she is smiling down from above.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a beautiful post and tribute to your Mom! I came here from Martina's and wanted to tell you what a beautiful home you have! :)
    Kristi

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a beautiful memory. I design healing havens for women battling ovarian cancer with the NOCC. It is a quiet cancer and needs more attention.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...