Tag Archives: loss of mother

It’s been a year

Mum and Me at her 83rd birthday party, 3 months before

Hard to believe that she passed away a year ago today. The call came shortly after 6:a.m. After two weeks in Palliative Care at the #SaintJohnRegionalHospital, Mum slipped away.

For quite a while she’d been struggling with cancer and she told us that she’d reached a point where she was tired. She wanted to wait until all of her kids made it home to say goodbye, and she did that. Bill got here from Calgary, Jerry and Bob from Ontario, and the rest of us were already around the area. She got to visit with us, several of her grandkids, nieces, nephews, siblings, spouses, cousins and friends. For a while there was a steady stream of visitors to her photo and memory-laden room – as one by one, alone or in small groups, we had a chance to share memories with her and each other and make peace with the reality of her impending death. Even so, that phone call was heart wrenching, as were the calls I then had to make to let everyone else know.

The next couple of days are a blur in my memory – visiting the funeral home with Bob and making arrangements, ordering flowers, answering phone calls and then being there for the two-day visitation. Then there was the funeral itself. Through it all there were hugs, tears and, as she would have wanted, laughter.

It took me 42 years to find her and I enjoyed 24 years getting to know my mother (and the rest of our family) before she left. I wouldn’t have missed that experience for the world. RIP Mum.

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The ups and downs of Mothers’ Day week-end

I wandered down the card aisle in my local store last week and suddenly realized that, for the first time in 67 years, I have no mother to buy a card for. That realization hit me like a sledgehammer.

The woman who chose to be my mother when I was just four months old passed away in 1988.

She chose to be a mother – my mother.

The woman who gave birth to me and stepped back into the role of mother for me in 1992 passed away last November.

She gave birth to me – and became my mother, again, in 1992 – giving me the sisters and brothers I’d always wanted.

Instead of two mothers, now I have none.

I became a mother in 1973 and learned what an overwhelming, but totally fulfilling, role that was and remains until the day you die. Your baby remains your baby no matter how old they are, how grown up, married or even parents themselves, you still hold that tiny infant in your heart.

I was so young!

It feels strange to be the oldest generation in my family. I did find a lovely Mothers’ Day card for my daughter-in-law. She’s the mother of my two grandchildren and deserves recognition for that role for sure.

Mothers’ Day carries a lot of emotional baggage – not just for me but for many women out there who are affected by the constant reminders: those who’ve lost children; those who, for whatever reason, didn’t have children; those who are pregnant but not by choice; those whose children have abandoned them; those who were abused by their mothers who should have protected them; and so many more.

Perhaps we should celebrate the day for the concept of motherhood alone – for we wouldn’t be here at all if we hadn’t had mothers, would we?

 

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