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Over the Rainbow Bridge August 6, 2007

Posted by kittyadventures in Uncategorized.

I've put this off for two weeks now, but it is time to face it. I don't know if I can make it all the way thru but at least if I make a start then I can do it in a couple of trys.

July 13th 2007 at 7:10 Pm Colorado Time my Mother slipped quietly and peacfully away to a place where I hope she feels no more of the pain of the last few years of her life. I have cried a lot about it. When it happened I felt extreme sadness and relief for her. It is a mixed thing this passing…

In March of 2006 I went to see my mother to help fix up her house and clean it, give it fresh paint remove all the clutter and make it easier for her to negotiate with a walker and maybe give her a couple more years independence in her own home. Seeing her for the first time in several years was a shock. On the phone my mother sounded just like she always had and in my mind I saw her as I did the last time I was physically with her.. even though I had pictures that told another story. Diabetes had taken an enormous toll on her. My sweet dear mother who was 68 looked 93.

So I spent the week with her fixing, cleaning, painting, and talking. I took her to church the first sunday I was there and on the last sunday I was supposed to be there I took her again. I had grown increasingly worried for her as the week went by as she was definately having some problems sometimes feeling very cold to the touch when she was sleeping.

Well we got to church on that last day with plans for church and then brunch then back to her house where I would finish packing and say our goodbyes. Ten minutes into church my mother collapsed in my arms and stopped breathing, heart beating. She was not there. Some how in the placing her down and getting her on her back she arroused, heart started up again, and by the time the paramedics arrived she was even talking. We of course raced her to the hospital.

Plane tickets were put on hold, rental car extended, work called and notified I would be away longer.

It gave me one more week which was good as I finished alot of the tasks still undone. I got to see my mother home and feeling better. Leaving was heart wrenching as I was so afraid she would die all alone. She told me "you know I am okay with whatever happens" . I told her maybe so but I was not feeling good about it at all. She said "It is okay God is with me". I cried all the way to the airport and most of the way home on the plane.

She collapsed again on Easter this time with a Doctor right in church who told them her heart stopped and they ended up giving her a pace maker. It bought her a little over one more year.

Time to see my older brother and his wife and kids, time to come to California to see me my husband and my girls. One more trip to the pacific ocean. Time to make sure my house is where her kitties would come. Time to see one more great grand child born.

Time to share more of her life with me and to make peace as all mothers and daughters need to do at some point in their lives. To forgive each other for past sins. To find love and acceptance. To hug and share and come to understand each others strengths and weaknesses. Even with all that, it was not enough. Not enough time.

Christmas was not to be. My mother had been taking a drug for the pace maker that caused her to bleed internally she lost most of her blood before they figured it all out and then she went to the hospital and began a slow slid down. We moved her to a nursing home toward the end of February 2007. In March I went to help her get settled in as I had promised to do and to bring her kitties home to their new residence. 

There are no words to express how difficult it is to do these things for the one you love. It is incredibly exhausting and heartbreaking. Sorting thru their things deciding what to keep, what to give away, dividing up and making sure each sibling gets something of a memory. Trying to do what your parent wants done, to get things to the ones they want it given to. To find things that are small enough to not take up too much room but nice enough that it makes it feel like home to them.  Marking everything so it doesn't get lost. It is not like anything else you will ever do.

Worse was still to come. After getting home I found I could not have conversations with my Mom she had no breath to speak. Our one and two hour phone calls were not to be ever again. I was lucky to get to talk to her for five minutes now and I had to do all the talking. She was failing fast and in the midst of renal failure. Her diabetes had devistaded her kidneys.

She would go back and forth between good days and bad. She was really hanging on by a thread. We were expecting her to make it to her 70th birthday comming up at the end of september. There were plans for a party. I was going to fly in for the weekend.  Then it happened on Wednesday July 11th in the morning. My little brother dropped by to see mom and she was unresponsive. She had had breakfast and then had a stroke. It wasn't until the end of the day that they figured out she could blink yes or no to respond to questions. Wednesday was setting up Hospice care and Thursday was setting up flights and rental car arraingments. and Friday was an all day travel event.

My older brother and his wife came from Wisconsin and I came from California. Rushing to get there in time to let her know we loved her and to kiss her and hold her. We made it. I arrived an hour and a half before she passed and they arrived an hour before she passed. We held a special day party for her with friends and family all there. It was then, that she passed over the bridge.

Next comes the flurry of making funeral arraingments. Arrainging the service, arrainging the casket and picking the flowers, fixing her hair, the reception… There is the service, the internment, and everything all in a blurr of tears and activity..  I never knew how wonderful my brothers could be. how thoughtful and how kind.

Then it was time for the funeral. It was perfect as far as funerals go. My mother would have been proud. We read her favorite poem and one she wrote herself, everything wove around her belief in God and Christ and her salvation and her stand. My mothers second marriage was difficult for most of it. She married a non Christian who she brought to christ by her stand and her prayers. It is a testament to her faith that she stood like a rock for the whole family.

She was always happy to go to church and she was always sure of her Father. She was not afraid of leaving this life and moving on to the next life. She prayed daily and read her bible often. I know it pained her most that she couldn't get to church at the end… and I know she was delighted that she finally did get to go back there to the church she loved for her funeral.

We laid her to rest with my stepfather. It was the end of a grand life. The end of a special woman. I have so many special memories of her. Still it is not enough.. still I want to speak to her on the phone or send her new clothes or hug her or walk with her or make cookies together or listen to her sing….

I hope she knows how much I miss her. How much I want her back….. How much I am happy for her release from pain and how much I am happy for her freedom from the bonds of this earth…


Still it is not enough..


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1. Inamorata - August 5, 2007

I'm at a loss for words other than to say I'm so very sorry. I'm sure your mother is at peace looking down and watching you live your life. Hugs to you and take care.

2. Russia Moore - August 5, 2007

I'm glad you were able to write this. I hope writing it can be of help and that we can continue to be there for you.Many hugs.

3. Lurkertype - August 5, 2007

((hugs))I am all teary b/c I know exactly how you feel since my mom passed away fairly recently too.With her kitties safe and her faith in Jesus, I'm sure she was relieved to go.

4. Morgat - August 5, 2007

Oh, Annie… I'm sitting here in tears after reading your tribute to your mom. You've been through so much. She went through so much. My heart goes out to you. take care of you…

5. oaklandcat - August 6, 2007

Annie, so moving. What a beautiful thing you have written for your mother.

6. Annie - August 7, 2007

sorry I didn't answer sooner I cried a lot after I wrote it. Sorry to hear about your Mom too. It is so much harder than I ever expected.

7. Annie - August 7, 2007

Oh Man, thanks to you all I so appreciate all the support from everyone.

8. Laney - August 17, 2007

Annie,I didn't see this before today because I was not keeping up with Vox. I didn't know she passed until you mentioned it on cutetalk earlier today. I'm so sorry.And this tribute is very touching. Huggs.

9. Laurie - August 23, 2007

I just saw this by following a link to one of your other posts. I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my father in December and managed okay with my mom and sisters around, but I can't imagine how much worse it will be when my mother goes. This is a very loving tribute to how much she meant to you and shows how much you loved her. Thank you for sharing your feelings at this difficult time.

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