Sitting with Mom

Sitting with Mom April 13, 2014

Please continue to pray for my Mom. Yesterday, we moved her things out of her room where she has lived the last few years because, well, she not coming home. Then the nursing home called and said she had taken a turn for the worse, so we all went to see her and, it was true. She had. When we saw her on Friday, she was sleeping lightly and startling awake. But when she did, she would see one of us and give us a sweet smile and nod. Yesterday, we was totally non-responsive, breathing shallowly, and with a BP of about 80/50. We sat with her for three hours.

I’ve been ready for this for quite some time since this has been a long process. Indeed, I’ve felt sort of guilty because I haven’t felt super-emotional, partly due to the fact that I’m just carrying around a lot of responsibilities for things and just don’t have *time* to let emotions slow me down. “An emotional pack mule” is how I’ve described it to myself. I have tasks I need to do and have to get them done. So it’s been one foot in front of the other. But the result was a certain sense of guilt for not being all weepy. I know that’s stupid and that emotions have no moral content and are akin to physiological weather. But still, it irked me.

Well, my little nephew brought in two flowers and laid them on Mom’s bed yesterday. Somehow the sight of those two fragile things, so beautiful and so brief in life, unlocked the floodgates. 87 years is a long life well-lived and yet how brief! And there’s so little I can do at the end of it in payment for 55 years of being such wonderful mother to me, to my brothers, to our children. It all comes down to holding her cool hand, just thin skin stretched over bones, and saying thank you in to those deaf old ears that can’t hear a word I say. I thought of this poem:

How can I possibly repay all that?

In the parable, the king doesn’t praise the sheep for healing the sick, and you can’t heal the dying, or they wouldn’t be dying. He praises them for just being with the sick. Cuz sometimes that’s all that’s left. I thanked mom for everything. I told her goodbye. I wasn’t sure if that meant “till tomorrow” or “till I see you again in heaven”. I look at the pictures by her bed of her in her prime, her as I remember her when she was running a household, and going camping, and managing three boisterous boys, and loving wife to my dad. And I think, somehow in the Resurrection, everything that was purely good in all that will be back and this frail husk of the seed will sprout into something strange and new, but familiar. Won’t that be a Day though!

I think this is the week, perhaps the day, my mom will die. Please pray for her. We are all such weak and fragile things, flowers that bloom for a day and vanish.

Update: Just got word. My mom died this morning. No details. Please pray for her.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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  • Eternal memory.

  • Dorothy

    So sorry, Mark. Requiem aeternam.

  • Old Guard

    Sincere condolences, Mark, and prayers for your mother.

  • Stephen Sparrow

    Praying for your Mum and all of you. Condolences. Don’t worry about the non weeping time – it will happen.

  • irena mangone

    My deepest condolences may she rest in peace

  • James H, London

    Sympathies, Mark. All the reassuring phrases might sound like platitudes, but they’re still true.

    God grant you consolation. May your mum rest in peace.

  • ivan_the_mad

    You have my condolences and my prayers.

  • Laurel

    I’m so sorry for your great loss, Mark. Prayers for all your family and may the new little one (and the Holy Spirit) comfort you.

  • Steve P

    Our deepest sympathies, Mark- Thank you so much for sharing this, and allowing us all to share prayers and consolation. May your Holy Week be blessed in ways unforeseen.

  • Jane Wangersky

    So sorry, just saw the update now, may the Lord have mercy on her and comfort your family.

  • Sherry

    I so get the emotional pack mule, there is no “right way” to grieve in that, what you allow is what you allow. Prayers for you and your family.

  • Eric

    Praying for you all.

  • Mike

    This is so sad to read i am so sorry for your loss. I almost started crying as i was reading it, it was so beautiful. So sorry Mark.

  • merichiara

    Praying for you all Mark.

  • So profoundly sorry for your loss. Praying for your family in this time of grief and for the repose of her soul.

  • virago

    She ran the race and won the prize. I shall be praying for you and your family.

  • Néstor Aldo Stura

    Hi Mark, I know how you feel, I lost mom last September when she was almost 93. It is good to know they have full lived their lives and that are mow resting with our Lord. God bless her soul and take her to His sight