Mother liked her new home at first when she saw it but that didn’t last long, especially as winter came. She didn’t like the cold and snow. It became very hard to get her down the stairs. We tried doing therapy with her but she was not at all cooperative and I had to take her out for it which was a pain, especially at that time of year. It was getting cold out. Evenings continued to be difficult.
In December she got sick. We thought it was pneumonia. We took her to the doctor and they said she had pneumonia and put her in the hospital. The radiologist said she had a pulmonary embolism. She was in the hospital for at least a week. She would get difficult in the evenings and the hospital would call me to come sit with her. I was usually on my way there anyway. Then I would help her with her dinner and sit with her until she fell asleep. She would constantly say I want to go home and would be screaming it. Once she got out of the hospital, the doctor ordered an ultrasound of her legs to see where all the clots were coming from and found that her legs were full of clots.
That started a whole new set of problems. Now we had to put her on warfarin. I had to give her shots in the stomach once a day at night until we got her stabilized on the right amount. It was expensive to give the shots. We would take her to the clinic or hospital for her morning shot and blood draw to check her levels and then I would give her the night shots. She became much weaker while she was in the hospital and just seemed to continue to decline. We called in hospice and they were great. They helped with baths, which was great because they were getting really hard to do.
She was having a hard time sleeping so my dad was overmedicating her at night. Hospice decided to take her to their facility which was not real close by and she was there for over a week. She declined again and they said she was at the end. We wanted to bring her home because she was always saying I want to go home. They brought her home on a Thursday, in an ambulance. It was a miserable day, cold and snowy. They didn’t know if she was going to make it but she did. All of my kids came over and my brother and his kids came. She went home to be with the Lord the following Sunday, February 10, 2013. Her twin died about six weeks later. Now the whole family is together again in Heaven.
My dad is doing okay. He is keeping busy as he always does. He had several pre-cancer spots on his skin frozen. He complains constantly about living here but not much we can do about it now.
I miss my mom especially at this time of year. She loved being outside with the flowers and I have a black thumb. My flowers aren’t happy and I don’t know what they want. I got some very pretty blue and pink hydrangea bushes for her funeral and have had a very hard time keeping them alive.
This is the Eulogy I had my husband read at her funeral. We had her cremated and got a very pretty pink urn with a rose on the front.
Mom – That word brings a flood of thoughts and emotions. In relation to my mom, you can’t think about Mom without thinking about flowers. They are synonymous. My mom had a green thumb and from my earliest memories was always outside planting or tending to the flowers and plants. People would bring their dying plants to her to fix and she would bring them back again. I did not get that green thumb from her. I have a black thumb. If you want your plants to die, just bring them to me. I do have a couple of plants in my house that have survived my black thumb somehow that my mom foisted off on me a few years ago. Now, they remind me of her. I used to tell her that one day, she would be tending the flowers around the throne. Sunday, that day came.
Servant – My mom had a servant’s heart and was always wanting to help. She helped my dad with projects around the house. They worked for Sowers – Servants on Wheels Ever Ready for several years at various missions and when they would visit she would always ask if she could help. Is there anything I can do to help? Do you need any help? If I didn’t have anything for her to do, you would find her on the floor on her hands and knees wiping up the water that the dogs dribbled when they’d get a drink. I told her to just leave it, they’ll be back and do it again anyway but that was my mom. I finally gave up and gave her a towel.
Pharmacy – I used to tease my mom that she was a walking pharmacy. She used to carry a bag of various pills around in her purse. Whatever your ailment or complaint, she had a pill for it. Here, take this. No mom, that’s okay.
Scrappy – My mom was scrappy! She and her twin sister had cruddy lungs right from the start. I and my kids have gotten some of that as well. She had bronchitis growing up which turned into emphysema. My kids and I have asthma so I used to tell her we had SCLS. Stevenson Cruddy Lung Syndrome. She never let that stop her from doing stuff though. She walked every day, uphill. Seriously. They had a big hill behind their house in Tennessee and would often walk up it, wait for her to catch her breath and then continue on. She could way out-walk me even after the strokes. I’d walk her around their circle and on the way back Uphill, she asked me if I was okay. Here’s my 80-year-old mom, after three strokes, with COPD, asking me if I’m okay. The doctors said, early on, that she and her sister would not live to be old because of their lungs. He saw my mom many years later and had to eat those words . After the strokes she got even scrappier and could be quite a handful to take care of but it’s that scrappiness that helped her live as long as she did.
My mom found out that kids could be quite hazardous to your health. She got hit in the head with a baseball bat thanks to John, hit in the head with a golf club, thanks to Steven. That one almost killed her in two places, in the temple and behind the ear. Then she was in her first car accident with me in my Datsun B210 and she knocked the rearview mirror off with, of course, her head. She had a big goose egg on her head from that and we couldn’t find the mirror until they took the car apart. Poor Mother. It is a wonder she survived our childhood.
Family – You can’t think of my mom and not think of family. Before they moved away, we got together at least once a month for some occasion or another, holidays and birthdays. Those are some of our fondest memories were times we all got together for family picnics. The family has gotten considerably smaller in some ways with the loss of grandparents, aunts and uncles but has also grown with grandkids and great grandkids.
Christian – You can’t know my mom long and not know of her strong faith in Christ. When we were kids we all had a drug problem. We all got drug to church whenever the doors were open and I’m so glad we did. If my mom never did anything else for us our entire lives, the best thing she could have done for us is introduce us to Christ. This life is so short. The Bible says it’s like the grass that is here today and then withers and is gone. Maybe we get 80 years and that sounds like a long time when you’re 20 but, believe me, it goes by awfully fast. Jesus said there is a Heaven and there is a Hell. He talks more about hell in the Bible than He does Heaven because you DON’T want to go there. You may think, well, my relatives are there, we’ll have a party when I get there and nothing could be further from the truth. Hell is the opposite of Heaven. Heaven is being reunited with our loved ones and with our Saviour. Hell is separation from all human contact and from God. Where Heaven is light, hell is darkness. Where Heaven is fellowship, hell is being totally alone. It is a place of punishment and suffering and a place you DON’T want to be. There is NOTHING good there and there is no escape from there. Once second after death it is already too late. Jesus died so that we could live. He said in John 14:6 I am the way the truth and the life. NO ONE gets to the Father except through ME. God has provided ONE way to Heaven and ONLY one way. His way. He’s standing here today offering each one in this room that gift of salvation. Accept His gift and live. If there is any ONE thing my mom would want today, it is to know that each person in this room will meet her in Heaven one day.
People would ask me, after her strokes, how I could understand her and I would say I know my mom. I know how she thinks and I know her heart. She used to pray for all of her kids and grandkids every day. She used to tell me that when she planted the big flowers she prayed for her kids and when she planted the little flowers, she prayed for her grandkids. Her heart’s desire would be that each one here be in Heaven one day.
Make sure that you are there and when you get there look for my mom. You’ll find her in the gardens.