one more hug

A few nights ago I was dreaming that I was in strange apartment at some kind of family get-together. There were small round tables set up and I was scanning the people at the tables, looking for my mom. I walked over and peered around a half wall and saw her. She appeared how I remember her at the end of her life when she was very ill and I didn’t want to see her that way so I went back and sat down at another table. When I looked up she was sitting across from me, healthy and young, younger than I have conscious memory of her. She tried to say something but I couldn’t understand her so we got up and moved toward each other and we embraced.

I was going to tell her that I wanted her to give me a sign or come to me in my dreams so that I would know that she was okay. But as I wrapped my arms around her and  felt the softness of her short curly hair against my left cheek, I suddenly understood what seemed to be happening so instead I simply said, “I just wanted to tell you that you were a great mom.” I woke up with my lips moving and I heard my own whispered voice speaking out loud, “…a great mom.”

wise

The Illustration Friday subject this week is “Wise”. I wasn’t going to post this because I was afraid you would think I’ve totally lost it, but it fit the subject perfectly so here it goes…One morning this past September I was laying in bed meditating. As I came out of the meditation, just for kicks and truthfully never expecting anything to happen, I asked to see my guide or guardian angel. Immediately a woman appeared in the center of my field of vision. She reminded me of the actress Christina Ricci, she had pale skin and black hair cut in a Cleopatra like bob. It scared the crap out of me at first but the moment I felt the fear she “zapped” me in the chest and I felt this warm, happy energy charge through my body. This energy removed all fear and left me feeling calm and centered.

As you probably know my mom died on September 30th. Before she passed away I had several experiences, including the one I’m blogging about today, that enabled me to stay present and be helpful to my mom and dad. I believe that we all have the opportunity to connect with our God, our guides, our Source, whatever you choose to call it in your own personal belief system. We simply need to slow down, breathe, ask and then be still and listen. The answers may not always be what you expected, or even what you want, but they will come.

lullaby and goodbye

Two weeks ago today I was sitting in a darkened room in a hospital ER, my hand gently holding my mother’s wrist, my index finger feeling for her fading pulse. As the fragile beats grew more distant, then seemed to stop, I glanced at my sister who was sitting next to my mother’s head stroking her hair. My sister is a nurse and I looked to her like a child looks up at their mother after they fall down to see how to react. Was this it, was she gone? My sister didn’t say anything though, so we kept talking.

I don’t remember now what we spoke about that afternoon, it doesn’t really matter. I think me and my sister and my father just wanted to erase the sounds of the hospital and fill it with our own hushed voices, a lullaby to a dying mother, wife, and grandmother. Sometime later a nurse floated silently into the room and quietly asked us if we needed anything. My sister shook her head no, then she said that mom had passed away about ten minutes before. So that was it then – no trumpets blaring, no final gasp, no last words, no dramatic goodbyes. Unlike the spectacle of birth and that fierce first breath, there was just sleep for my mother, deep and peaceful, a measured crossing on a whispered river of words.

my mom

I had written a post about my mom Carol for September 30th, saying that we were going to have to begin hospice care for her, but before I could post it my dad phoned and said that he had called 911, that she was having a bad morning. When we got to the hospital they were not able to stabilize her breathing. We dimmed the lights and they initiated comfort care right there in the emergency room. She passed away peacefully hours later with my sister, my dad, and me by her side. We are saddened yet relieved that she is no longer suffering. We were also blessed with a hospital staff that was kind, caring and respectful. It was heartbreaking, powerful, beautiful…I think we felt just about every emotion possible that afternoon. I made a memorial website for my mom. We have a busy weekend of family bonding ahead of us so I don’t know when I’ll be back to blogging:)

Time is not what you think. Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on earth is only the beginning. ~Mitch Albom