Two weeks ago I received word from my brother in Virginia that our mother was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and other illnesses. A week passed and she improved a bit. Then within a few days her condition worsened. This past Sunday (Jan 22) my son Nick and I left for Virginia from Syracuse NY and drove as fast as we could the 500 miles to the Shenandoah Valley area where my brother and mother reside. My brother that lives with me was desperate to go with us, but is unable to travel as he is still recovering from his stroke. My husband has stayed in Syracuse to be with my brother.
My mother was conscious and fairly alert when we arrived at the hospital late that Sunday evening. She greeted me with a big smile and softly said my name. We embraced as best we could around all the wires and tubes and machines. Later that night, her condition worsened. She was placed on palliative care, and for a little over 24 hours she lay unconscious and unresponsive. My daughter and my best friend were traveling to us, and finally arrived. That night, two of my brothers, my son and daughter, our dear family friend and I stayed up tending our vigil.
At 6:00 am the following morning, Jan 25th, everyone, except Nick and me, went up for coffee and breakfast. While they were gone, my beloved mother passed away with me holding her hand. Quietly, calmly and with no pain, she left us.
My mother was 96 and beloved by everyone who knew her. Despite many difficulties in her last years, she always maintained a bright and loving spirit. She was a gracious and delightful woman, and a remarkable mom. In the late spring when early roses are blooming, we will place her ashes in a beautiful place and have a simple memorial service with the close family and friends that made up her circle of love.
I am devastated and drained, but I know my mom is happy and free of pain now. We will celebrate her life and then do our best to honor her in the way we live our lives. My beloved mother, how I love you!