The last visit I had with my mom, I made her clothes shopping with me. Which she hated. Not just because she didn’t like wearing anything besides pajamas, but because I made her wear shoes. She hated wearing shoes. I guess her slippers were far more comfortable and she found shoes so constrictive. I refused to allow her to go out in public with slippers on her feet, instead insisting on her donning her running shoes. She complained and had she been the type of woman who swore, I’m sure I would have heard a few expletives that day directed solely in my direction, but she complied to my request nonetheless.
I managed to get her out to the Thames Lea Mall with her shoes on and secured in her wheelchair. I think we were out ten minutes before she began asking when we were going to eat. That made my shopping job a little easier since now I could use lunch as a reward. After I told her we would be eating as soon as the shopping was completed, we had new pajamas, underwear, slippers and a couple of tops in our cart in under a half an hour. Food was definitely one of her greatest joys. Of course, once we sat down, ordered and the food arrived, she would take two bites and declare she was full.
If she required other clothes, I would go alone and proudly show her the purchases upon my return, only to hear “I don’t wear that colour” and “What is THAT?!” She would reluctantly have them labeled and put into her closet and I’m not sure she ever wore her new clothes, but she humored me enough to make me think she may wear them eventually.
Mom was stubborn and proud. She had definite likes and dislikes and let you know what those were. She craved being alone and was determined in her resolve to remain as independent as possible. She loved her family, respected others’ opinions and always had a quick smile or witty remark ready. Even when she was in pain and was having a rough day, she continued to tease the nurses and the doctors with sarcastic retorts to their frequent apologies and expressions to remorse for her situation. Mom was more concerned with how everyone around her was feeling than she was about herself. She neither asked for assistance nor insisted on anyone’s participation in her care. She expected those around her to remain dedicated to their families, to be good to those around them and to gain fulfillment through goodness and abundant expressions of love.
I was reminded when speaking with Keith about when we were younger and played outside, Mom would holler to us to come home from the park for dinner. When I was sitting with her at the hospital one afternoon and the pain was evident and her body was itchy and irritated from the morphine, she exclaimed that everyone was hollering. I knew then that the angels were hollering her home, just as she had done with us.
Although we are sad today that Mom has left us physically, her spirit remains active in our hearts and her memory will not fade from our minds. Be comforted in the knowledge that she was a dedicated mother, a trusted friend and a sister to all the women in her life. She is with God and loved ones now, happy to have moved on and happy to have been hollered home at last.
April 7 1929 – March 2 2012 RIP