I was re-watching the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility yesterday evening and you may recall the scene where Marianne is lying at death's door and the doctor tells Elinor "prepare yourself". As in prepare yourself for the worst. This scene hit me especially hard as that was exactly what the doctor said to our family. We fought those words and the thoughts of what that meant and hoped against hope for her recovery. It was not to be.
We were all there with her to the end. Praying to God and begging her in her coma to fight. When the doctors and nurses came and told us that she was too far gone to recover, it was finally my dad who leaned in and told her it was okay for her to let go. I cried in protest but knew that I had to let her go as well. It was like she was waiting for that sign from us because she died very quickly after that. Our eyes were all glued to the numbers on the machine, slowly watching her blood pressure and heart rate drop.
As terrible it was, I'm so glad I was there. My only regret is that at one point in the night before she died, she had regained consciousness for a short time but because she was coming awake in a hospital, was full of tubes and she was becoming agitated, I left her side to quickly grab my brother and let him know she was awake. I did get to tell her that I loved her but that was the last I ever saw her awake. I was full of hope because she was awake and we all went to get some rest assured that she was going to make a recovery and would soon be scolding us for making such a fuss.
It was not to be.
So every year we get together on this day and yet we do not speak of her. For my brother, the grief is still too raw and deep and he prefers to mourn in silence. Thankfully, my dad does not mind it when I talk about her because their house is so full of memories there is no escaping thoughts of her.
At her memorial, a close friend of hers came up to me, gave me a hug and said, "losing your mother is hard no matter how old you are" and she was right.
My mom was my best friend, my chief supporter, my confidant, devoted grandmother to my children. There have been a 100 times these past three years when I wished I could turn to her for some advice, sympathy or to share a joy.
My mother was only 60, was still working full-time and had just received a diploma after 4 years of distance education. I couldn't have been more proud of her.
My mother showed me how to care for a family, to love through thick and thin. That you can be a firm parent and yet give in now and then and have a little fun. She taught me to be an independent woman, to think for myself and to never give up. It breaks my heart to think she'll never get to see her grandchildren grow up, graduate and get married and have children of their own. She'll never get to be a great-grandmother.
My mother was never a fan of the camera and so it's hard to find photos of her and the ones we do have don't really do her justice.
Here she is helping my girls dress up in wedding outfits she had just bought them. She was always bringing over little things like that to delight the kids.
This was on her 40th Wedding Anniversary.
She most often could be found hiding behind the children.