It was on July 7th, 1984 at 3pm that my Mom passed over into the spirit world. She’d had a recurrence of her cancer and had spent the last days of her life in the hospice unit of one of the local hospitals.
I was just twelve years old at the time and used to spend my days largely avoiding her hospital room. I’d go from the little kitchenette down the hall to see if the nurses had been kind enough to stock the freezer with my favorite pudding pops, to the gift shop downstairs to eye up the big stuffed dog and all the other little wonders, to the the living room area for hospice families to watch tv and play dominoes.
I remember my sister JoAnn calling that morning to tell me she’d be over shortly to pick me up. I argued with her, telling her that I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay home and clean so the house would be nice when Mom got home. I think I knew that Mom was going home. I just didn’t want to believe that it wasn’t her earthly home. JoAnn was left with that task no one should ever have. She explained to me that Mom wasn’t coming home and insisted that I be ready to come along to the hospital. I rode with her in a grudging silence.
At the hospital I did my regular routine. Sadly, there were no pudding pops that day. The nurses had hid them so another family wouldn’t eat them all and hadn’t replaced them yet. Then, at 3pm I was playing dominoes when one of the staff came to get me. She began to explain that my grandma had died. I was confused for a moment, why hadn’t Dad or Jo Ann come to tell me? Then she continued to describe to me what “Grandma” looked like now that she’d passed and I knew that she was talking about Mom.
Now, it’s 36 years later and I still think of her. I can hear her voice sometimes when I listen to the old songs that we used to enjoy together. When I am feeling sad and alone I can imagine her arms around me. When I am scared I can feel her presence in the air around me as well as deep in my heart protecting me with that mother love that isn’t bound by the simple limits of an earthly life.
Each year I try to do something to honor her life on this day of her passing. This year I got the opportunity to do something unusual and special. A few weeks ago I was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for an appointment regarding my epilepsy. My doctor and I agreed that my medication hasn’t been achieving the results that we’d like and that we’d like to get my seizures more fully under control. So, we agreed that I would return for additional tests and a stay at the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Luck would have it that the scheduler offered me today to start my stay at the EMU. So, this year to thank both my Mom and Dad for the great gift that they’ve given me, that gift of life, to honor their lives, and to commemorate the passing of my Mom I am taking what I feel is a major step in my rebirthing process to reclaim my own life.
With luck this process with bring some seizures, help my doctors find the source of where the disruption in my brain is coming from, and make it possible for us to pursue surgery or other options to render me seizure free again. All the way along this path, I know my Mom will be there with me.
Love you Mom!