“Mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” ~Unknown
“The love of a mother is the veil of a softer light between the heart and the heavenly Father.” ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
During my visit with Mom in May of 2018, I knew it would most likely be my last. As she sat in her rocker/recliner, I would frequently sit on the floor beside her so I could lay my head on her lap…a ritual. Stroking my hair, she wondered if I could prolong this visit. There was never enough time with my frequent physician appointments, requiring strategic planning for my visits between appointments.
Her declining health and understandable fatigue in living with her complicated health issues had slowly stolen her joy for life. In spite of our compromised health situations, I managed to rent a wheelchair for her (a gait-aid for me in an emergency). We enjoyed our favorite lunches out, split “our” desserts, finagled some shopping, and had some of our special girl talks over ice cream and Life Time movies.
A serious and abrupt emergency had me quickly return with a grim prognosis. In a rebound/setback scenario, emotions ran high for my siblings and me. In her good moments, Mom was clear in her expressed desires.
Always a genteel southern lady, a “steel magnolia”, my mom gracefully made her exit from this life in her time, her way.
Dealing with deep grief, somehow I was able to handle her affairs. Due to her advanced age and serious health issues, Mom had not been able to take care of her business like before. This was a major undertaking, especially as stress and emotions are triggers for Stiff Person Syndrome. I believe love gives one superhuman strength. God was my comfort.
It has taken all of this time to get everything settled while submerged in the sadness of missing Mom. So often I find myself thinking to phone her just to have another wave of reality submerge me again into a heavy nothingness. She is not there.
I am now experiencing some renewed physical setbacks from the emotional shutdown and my derailed comfort routine of the past several months. I know my siblings and I will never “heal” from losing Mom, but I can refocus and work on regaining lost ground.
In going through papers, I found this birthday card to me, close to my birthday. The sentiments of the card were a heaven sent message from her, encouragement for me to continue to work hard.
I kept her chair. At first I did not want it, but now I am glad I have it…so many precious memories. I sit in it at times. Quiet. In those moments, I feel her hug me.
Life with a chronic rare disease is hard and all consuming. It is not the only issue to have to cope. Life has the ordinary common trials, obstacles that come our way; sometimes a heart punch. I was blessed to have a great role model. Mom dealt with some difficult life problems, later diagnosed with a differing rare neurological disorder after I received mine. As always, she handled everything with grace, faith, and strength. A steel magnolia, my best friend, my mom, forever in my heart. ♥
“My mom is a lifelong smile in my heart, her voice a comfort to my soul, her hugs my ladder to the stars.” ~Terri Guillemets
© 2019 Debra A. Richardson