We lost mom 5 months ago, October 14, 2022, at 12:30 pm in my younger brother's arms. I was back home in NC but was there with mom a couple days before. She was already in the dying posture, not yet in hospice, but definitely soon to die. It's still hard to believe, I have to say it out loud to hear it and know it to be true. All my life, I've had a mother, we loved each other, fought, laughed, cried, and celebrated life together.
It was a struggle with my mom at times, growing up she was very strict with what I could wear. As I became an adult, I did my own thing and was happy as the individual that I am. BUT I always felt a small twinge guilt for not continuing her preference in my clothes. She hated denim, I love denim. She hated my long hair, I prefer my hair long, she hated my crazy hippy skirts, they make me happy. She hated the blue eyeshadow that I wore as a teenager in high school, that color we can agree on now.
She was a beautiful lady, my mom. She suffered with arthritis and stomach ulcers as long as I can remember. Her arthritis started early in her life; I don't remember her having straight fingers ever. She struggled with acid indigestion too. When I was 15, she was driving me to work one night and said her fingertips were numb. Later, in the early hours of morning, her stomach ruptured and she nearly bled to death. She was taken by ambulance. Blood clots were all over the bathroom floor and in the towels. I did the laundry while she was in hospital and was alarmed by the size of them. She ended up having her stomach removed. She broke her pelvis twice and ten days before my wedding, she was admitted to hospital with gallstones. A few years ago, she developed something that she had to have emergency surgery to hook her up to a bag. She hated that and was angry that no one told her they were going to do that. Anyway, in her mid 80's she went to three surgeons to reverse it and the third one agreed. It was a success, and she was back independent again. These were just the health stuff that I remember well enough to explain. So that she finally succumbed to old age, still astonishes me, she was 90.
Anyway, my son and I were alone for about 7 years. He and I would go visit mom and sometimes have dinner with her. She was a bank branch manager and had me bring him to her branch so that she could open an account for him. She loved him and how he mothered me. Her favorite memory about him was when I got a new purse. We went to visit her, and he said to me, "Mom, show Gram your new purse." She just laughed about that. Another time was when my son was out riding his bike in the neighborhood, and he saw a lady at her mailbox. She had a shirt with the bank logo of my mom bank on it, and he noticed that and said, "My Gram works there." She asked him what her name was. He said, "Gram." She asked him what her last name was. He said, "Gram". The lady had a feeling she knew who his Gram was and told mom. Mom was in hysterics telling me what she said. We still laughed about mom being Gram Gram.
When my older brother called me to tell me she was fading and that I needed to come if I wanted to say goodbye. I went. I called my son to tell him that I was going to say goodbye to Gram. An hour later, he called and told me his boss had given him 3 days off. AMAZING!! My husband couldn't go with me, so I was going to go alone. It's an 11-hour trip, so now I had my son to go with. Actually, I felt that it was only fitting that he and I went since it was just him and I for a few years with mom.
To Be Continued...
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