Thursday, March 12, 2009

Flowers for Her Birthday

Mom was born ninety years ago today.

She is grateful not to have to face a cake with that many candles. She didn't want that many years, or even the last few of the 89 she completed.

A year ago I took her to lunch at Carrow's and noticed that it took her so long to eat. She was having difficulty swallowing but managed to eat about five breaded shrimp.
She ate a spoonful of mashed potatoes and applesauce, a few French fries.
She wanted rhubarb pie--not on the menu.

She drank a huge cold glass of milk, but three weeks later she couldn't swallow milk or water.

She starved to death, actually--they call it "end stage dementia" when the brain and throat muscles of an Alzheimer's or other dementia patient can't work together to swallow.

But at the end it was a peaceful death, painless, with her daughters holding her hands.


Rev Emily said...

Well, its Tuesday April 7 and Holy Week to boot. I am off today because of all the services later in the week.
Some internal clock has been tugging at me the last week, "this time last year....this time last year....its the anniversary of your mother's leaving." I have learned to trust this internal clock as I count the minutes of a worship service: "Bring it home preacher, the service is ending. The people know its been 59 minutes and they are ready to go to brunch." In the same way, my soul marks times of death days, of crises passed and proven.
So today, I visited the blog, knowing that you are enjoying ancestral lands in cold gray springtime.
I don't know whether to mark it on Wednesday, as that was the day of the week or on the 9th, which sounds funny to me. I will remember somehow on Maundy Thursday as we share the Lord's Supper. But for today, it is enough to remember her life and her 'story' and how she touched so many, even in dementia. Thank you for watching over her so intently, so intensely. But today is yours, and I hope you can release the sense of loss.
Sunday is coming, and with it, the promise of resurrection. That is the day I will remember our mother.

Anne Eggebroten said...

That internal clock--what a good way of expressing the tug around days like this.

Lovely to know that you were expecting your internal clock to tug at you in the Maundy Thursday service--and that you model moving beyond it to Easter Sunday and the promise of resurrection.

Thanks for taking the time to record these reflections.

john said...

God Bless ....What more can I say.