Endurance develops strength of character in us~ Romans 5:4 NLT

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

When The Time Comes~

You are never ready for the call...
When it came - when I heard the words - time suddenly stopped.  In the next instant - my thoughts became a swirling vortex of emotion so strong that I felt like I was going to fall down... 

My mother had lost her battle with COPD...  None of us expected that the end would come so quickly.  Just a few days before, I'd received a call from my Aunt; Mom was in the hospital & on a ventilator.  Unable to speak, she was still fully alert, responding to the hospital staff & writing notes to communicate.  Within a day, she was breathing again on her own & when I spoke to her - she sounded stronger than she had in weeks.  With her usual tone, she was unhappy to be there & not excited at the prospect of having to go to a nursing home - rather than back home.  I made calls & she was moved to one of Boulder's nicest facilities.  During our last conversation - just two days before, she was looking forward to a meeting with the Doctor & staff to decide on the date she'd be released & what type of in-home care she would need.

So when the call came - I was caught totally off-guard.  (We'd been working non-stop for two days to empty the last of our things out of storage & move them to the house.)  Butch took one look at me & realized what had happened.  As he wrapped me in his arms, all I could do was stand there as the grief washed over me...   A feeling of emptiness so complete that words can't begin to describe it.  Both my parents - now gone...

I called both daughter's, spoke to my other Aunt before we drove home.  We worked into the night to unload the truck, close the house & pack to leave - on a shorter trip than if we'd still been in Washington.  Late the following day, we were in Boulder, where my sister - who flew in from AZ met us at Mom's.  As it was when we lost Dad, walking into the house that had been Mom's home for so many years - without her there - was awful.
Mom's Home 1/16 Boulder, CO
 Mom grew up in a time when smoking was "in".  Starting with corn husks - behind the barn - she was hooked at an early age.  Dad tried to get her to quit over the years, but as we know now, it's an addiction that's hard to give up.  Almost 20-years ago, after she passed out at the wheel of the car, narrowly avoiding an accident, she gave the habit up completely.  We were so proud of her!

Mom loved to drive & loved to take long distance road-trips.  While her health was good, she visited family & friends in Iowa several times.  She had made the drive to Washington too, by herself on several occasions & loved the state.  With my sister Laurie & her family in AZ, Mom made that drive as often as she could - loving the area enough that she'd thought of moving there.
Mom at the Leaning Tree - 08
 Her home & yard were always immaculate!  During our visits over the years - we were still hauling squares of flagstone for new & improved walkways :-)  She loved her five grand-daughters & one grand-son.  With three great grand-sons & four great grand-daughters, she always remembered to send birthday cards.  She spent several years collecting historical information on our family's genealogy & compiled several notebooks full of family lineage & old photos.  Each of her four-children had an album of photos that she'd complied from both old & newer photos over the years.
Me & Mom - at Dad's 10/12
Every time I called & talked to Mom, I felt so lucky, at my age, to still have her in my life.  When Dad passed - our shared sorrow made us closer.  Now - I work to accept her loss as I assimilate yet another major change in my life...  I'm thankful for the family & friends who've provided me with their love & support during this difficult time.  Daughter Courtney is flying in to accompany us on our trek back to Iowa this coming week.  Services will be held at the Greenfield Cemetery on November 11th.

Rest in Peace Mom - know that your family will always love you & keep you in our hearts.  We will cherish our memories of the happy times & will remember & appreciate the great gifts that you've given us~

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