Oct 19 2012 in Pegi's Blog by Pegi
I just returned from my goodbye visit to my beloved mother (There Is No Way to Say Goodbye). I am strangely refreshed, renewed, sad and in total awe.
As she has all our lives, she has somehow managed to make this part of her journey one of joy, love and laughter. She cannot move about on her own, she is too frail. Her morning routine begins with one of the sturdy granddaughters coming to assist my older sister in getting her out of bed and into the wheelchair. After her morning ablutions, we wheel her out to the sunroom and she is “danced” into her lift chair. Any mishaps or missteps end up being a time for laughter and wise cracks from her.
As the day progresses there is a constant parade of children, grandchildren and old friends coming for a visit. Some come daily; for some it will also be their last visit. The house is filled with love and laughter. Nothing makes her happier than to be surrounded by her family. She spends the day holding “court.” We put here to bed the first night I was there, two sisters, a niece and myself; we spontaneously broke into song and clapped as we marched, single file out of her room. She now expects that every night!
In our serious conversations, when she’s not in earshot, we all ask each other, “How much longer do you think it’ll be?” I think we all need to say it out loud. It’s as if we are all trying to prepare; it’s so unthinkable, it has to be said out loud. It is real, she is going to leave us. We can’t imagine a world without her. She told me one morning that she didn’t sleep well; Daddy patted her on her knee and woke her up. He’ll be gone 22 years on November 5. It was just a matter-of-fact statement.
But when Mama’s up, with her smiling, crinkling eyes filled with love, she makes our world right again, as she always has. No complaints, no criticism. One more day, we know we have this one more day. Such a gift, such a blessing.
God outdid Himself with this beautiful 104-year-old woman!
The night before I left, we shared some specials moments and thoughts as I lay hugging her on the bed. Whenever I visit, I always leave on a very early morning flight. As I pulled myself away, fighting back tears and giving her nothing back less than she was giving me, a smile filled with love to last a lifetime. She reminded me, “now don’t forget to come and say goodbye before your leave like you always do”. I awoke this morning, quickly dressed and went to her room. We wrapped our arms around each other for the last time. After our usual I love you’s, her sending love and hugs to hubby; she said “Sweetie, have a nice life, be happy that’s all I’ve ever wanted for you, you and J take care of each other”. The only acknowledgement between the two of us that this was in fact the last goodbye. Have a nice life. Ever so gentle, but so bittersweet. Mama knows how to say goodbye.