Earlier this evening, exactly five weeks (within ten minutes) from Mauri’s dad’s death, his mom began breathing new air.
Mauri got a call from sister-in-law Margi the day before we returned from Florida, reporting that Mom had an “event” that made her weak and disoriented. By the time we got home, she was in a deep coma, apparently caused by a stroke or brain trauma. We could hardly believe it.
For someone who regularly spoke of her desire to “be gone,” Mom held on to life tenaciously. The Friendsview folks worked tirelessly to care for her (and our) needs as we four (along with most of her grandkids and a community care team) shared the vigil by her side for more than week. We sang every heaven song we could think of—two, three, eleven, sixteen times. After watching the grueling process of dying two times in one month, I plan to stop taking fish oil, vitamins, or any other supplement that might make me too healthy.
In between Dad’s and Mom’s deaths, we experienced “Aunt Dorothy” Barratt’s death. She was a long-time family friend for whom years earlier we had agreed to take care of her memorial service and estate distribution.
With the onset of this last development I asked Mauri, How’s your heart? In his usual understated way he answered, “It’s a bit much.”
And now they are safely and happily home in heaven—memory and health restored. And we are left behind to remember the lessons we learned from them. We’ll keep telling the stories about them, like the time Pete and Linsey were in Fred Meyer (a Target-like store) buying their semi-annual lottery ticket. The grandparents, who enjoyed their daily walk inside on inclement days, came in view just as Linsey was dropping her dollar in the machine. Pete shouted: “Abort! Abort!” then scrammed lest they hear a lecture on the evils of gambling.
I expect we’ll hear some great stories as we plan yet another memorial service. We tend to remember the very best—and aren’t we all glad about that?
This eventually grew to…
Love this pic, snapped at our 1994 wedding! In pink, Mom Edna, our one remaining parent. We cherish her.
At Mom’s 78th birthday we celebrated her “newborn” party. Why, you ask? Beginning with her 39th birthday, she decided to count backwards.
All guests wore a bib to the party, and the birth day girl was fed every 15 minutes. She was a good sport but by the end of the evening might have wished she was celebrating 78 years instead.
Mom’s famous humor faded in her last years, but we will choose to remember these days of love and laughter.