My mom.

January was a nightmare. My dear mother, Ruth, passed away on February 8 after a devastating fracture that sent her into the hospital and caused her to decline in a horrible, shocking tailspin from which she never recovered. She was 87 and one month away from turning 88.

My mom was a sweet, gentle, woman. She could be painfully shy and never had a lot of confidence in herself.  Yet she loved to travel and had a real sense of adventure. She traveled extensively over the past thirty years, and only stopped going abroad about ten years ago,  limiting her travels to inside America. I know she was proud of me and what I have accomplished in my stupid little life. Yet she was the real hero, having raised 4 girls pretty much on her own on a secretary’s salary.

My mom always asked me about my animals whenever she called, but she especially loved my cat Chloe. Over the last few years, she would mention once in a while that she wished she could have a cat, but her living situation wouldn’t work with one. So she always got her cat fix at my house, and sometimes she would even pet-sit Chloe for me. This is her and Chloe at her little apartment a few years ago.

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During the two weeks when my mother was in the hospital, Chloe appeared to be all right,  although I noticed she wasn’t eating as much. I was gone a lot during that time, being with my mother. Well, about a half hour after I learned my mother died, Chloe had a seizure on the couch next to me. She had been suffering from kidney disease over the past year, and even though my vet and I had done as much as we could to keep her going, it was obvious that the disease was winning. I rushed her to the vet and we did blood tests, but I, in my numb state, still knew that this might be the end. She had two more seizures that night, and by the next morning it was obvious she was dying. I had her put to sleep to end the suffering.

It’s odd that it happened the day after my mother died. I like to think that she’s in my mom’s lap right now.

I am slowly coming back to being productive, but I have moments of intense grief. I have always considered myself to be a strong, independent woman, but my mother was my anchor. The death of my mother has rocked me to my core and unsettled any feeling of comfort I had about my own life and where I am headed.

I started writing again over the weekend. I was really looking forward to getting back to writing, yet I find there are still moments when I cannot function at the keyboard at all. I guess it will all take time.

Thank you, Mom, for everything. Even though I wasn’t grateful all the time. I can only hope that she knows, now, that I loved her and am grateful now – for everything. The kind of unconditional love she gave me was the closest thing to perfection this life has to offer.

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on “My mom.

  1. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Laurie. It was just recently that I found your blog again after a few years. And when your posts dried up after a short time that I was reading again I figured something might be wrong. I’m glad that you are beginning to make some headway forward again, and I pray that you find the joy of life again real soon. I, too, have suffered losses in recent years; both parents and my wife, so I truly understand the grief that can overcome at times. Take care, pretty lady.

    PS: My name is Jerry, and you may remember me, I did a couple of guest posts on your old blog concerning stunts.

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  2. HI Jerry – so nice to hear from you and thank you for your kind thoughts. I’m so sorry that you have experienced so many losses. I hope that you’ve been able to carve out some happiness out of the world. Yes, my other blog on Blogger.com was deleted by Google and I could never get it back.

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    • I knew about the loss of your mother via facebook, but had to put my condolences here also. I lost my own mother in 1992 and the pain at the time was very sharp but after time the pain eased and I remembered all the good things about her. She gave me her love of reading, music (although I am sorry Mom that the piano lessons did not work) and movies. She mentioned to me once when she saw me unwrapping a pulp that came in the mail when she was at my house (it happened to be a Weird Tales from the 1920’s) that she had read them back then. I guess the apple did not fall too far from the tree.

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      • HI Barry – so sorry, I forgot to reply to your comment – forgive me. It’s been a blur the past month. My mother gave me my love of reading too, and for that I will be forever grateful. And my mother made me take piano lessons too, and they didn’t work either!

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  3. Hi Laurie, I just saw this posting tonight. It’s just beautiful and brought tears to my eyes – – you caught her essence perfectly. Love you sister, Linda

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  4. Laurie, I hope you know that yours is most certainly not a stupid little life…doing the fine work of memorializing your parents and the pioneering research on Daisy Bacon and her work is by no means trivial, and that’s only part of what I can see from the distance.

    My mother’s 79th birthday was on 9 February, and eight days later, she passed…Alzheimer’s had sapped much of her ability to communicate, but she never lost her gregariousness. I wasn’t there nearly as much as I should be or wanted to, since our parents lived together near my brother and sister-in-law on the west coast, while I’m in New Jersey. But, then there are things I get to do over here, such as help out my housemate with Grave’s disease, and our eldest cat, who’s survived cancer so far, but is also fighting a slow kidney shutdown (the amino acid pills help a lot, and she seems to relish their contents’ flavor…when I break open the capsules and pour it on her food). So, all sympathies. I think the slow robbery of much of her by Alz didn’t exactly inure me to this eventual result, but there’s a certain numbness that I’m still dealing with…so all sympathies, and that’s a love tribute.

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    • Hi Todd – I remember you posting on Facebook when you mother died – it was right after my mother died. I’m so sorry for your loss. Even if you have been facing this type of end result for a while, the eventual sudden finality of it is still a shock. My mother was 87 and was in relatively good health, but she suffered so much at the end (she broke her tailbone and they couldn’t manage her pain, so much so that she stopped eating, and she eventually ended up with pneumonia), that the whole experience was devastating. In this day and age of modern medicine when so many, such as cancer patients, can just “drift away” with painkillers, having my mother suffer so much for almost 3 weeks was disturbing and upsetting. I don’t want to go on, I’ve probably written enough. My sympathies to you, friend, and thank goodness you still have your kitty. Mine went into the vet every week for fluid intake and got special kidney-diet food, all of which I think prolonged her life for as long as possible. I miss her too. Thank you for writing Todd.

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  5. Thank you, too, Laurie. As someone who broke his own coccyx early in 2014, before capping that with breaking my wrist on Xmas day that year, I can only imagine how much worse it can be to have done so in one’s later years as opposed to the middle years; so sorry that should be the way things ended for her, and you’re right, the lack of ability to do anything but clearly insufficient pain management in her case is at best one of life’s cruel jokes. Life can be full of those. Far better fortune for everyone from here on out.

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