Category Archives: Mom’s Death

Hodgepodge and Potpourri

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My goodness, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve written anything here! Just under a year, in fact. A lot has happened. Mom has been gone a year and a couple of months. I had no problem dealing with it at all until Christmas, and then her birthday, and then the one-year anniversary of her death. Those days were a little hard, but I have the most wonderful friends, and the most amazing God, and between my friends and God, even those days were much easier than they would have otherwise been.

I’m teaching myself to  crochet, and amazingly enough, I’m going to learn how to weave. My Peanuteer friends got me a small rigid heddle loom for my birthday. And one of the cool things about it is that it arrived one week to the day after my birthday, on the day of the one-year anniversary of Mom’s death, so that I had this cool new loom to distract me, instead of having to ruminate on Mom not being around for her birthday, or my birthday, or Christmas, or…, or…, or…, ad nauseam, ad infinitum. I got to assemble it and everything, which was a special treat.

Riverside-Karen is pregnant and is due on June 9th, and it’s a boy. Karen and her husband are naming him Jonathan David. Isn’t that a beautiful name? I’ve already been to one baby shower, and Karen has invited me to another one this coming Saturday. The last one was for family and friends, and Karen says this one is for people from work. So I have to go and get a shower gift. I’ll probably get some 12-month outfits at Carters. I got Newborn, 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month outfits for the last shower, and afterwards Karen told me that she now had enough clothes for every age up to 12 months.

Here’s an update: I ended up not going to the shower because I was exhausted, and couldn’t stay awake. I felt like I was sleepwalking. So I called Karen and told her I couldn’t make it, and she said she understood perfectly. What a relief! She’s fighting exhaustion herself because David is in the hospital and she has to go and visit him all the time. I’m very grateful for understanding friends! She wants me to be there when the baby is born. How cool is that!

I’ve been reading in the book of Romans for my Bible reading. I love the book of Romans because it’s so logical. It’s just chock-full of rich spiritual food. I think Chapter 4 is probably my favorite. I’ve been focusing in particular on Abraham, and the phrase, “the righteousness of faith”. The Bible calls Abraham the friend of God, something I’ve always wanted to be to God, but always felt was impossible.

But maybe the reason I feel that way is because I’m still seeing God through the lens of my father, instead of who He really is, something I don’t want to do anymore.

Anyway, back to the righteousness of faith. The Bible says in Genesis 15:6, (as well as Romans 4:3, 9 and 22, Galatians 3:6, and James 2:22-23) that Abraham believed the LORD and He counted to him as righteousness. For me the passage in James encapsulates it best,

And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’ He was even called the friend of God. ~ James 2:23, NLT.

And Isaiah 41:8-10 says,

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, my friend — I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said to you: You are my servant; I have chosen you; I haven’t rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. ~ CSB.

There’s a lot to think about in those two passages. God is speaking through Isaiah, and calls Abraham His friend. How wonderful to have God Himself call you His friend! Jesus called the disciples His friends in the book of John. In John 15:15 He said, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends…” ~ NKJV.

Also, there’s that phrase again, the righteousness of faith. What that says to me is that God regards our faith in Him as more important than what we do for Him ~ our works, at least in the beginning. Once we’ve become a Christian, what we do becomes more important. At that point, our faith is still important, but works become an outgrowth of our faith. The way I look at it, I’m so grateful to God for saving me that I want to do things for Him out of gratitude. So faith in God is what makes me righteous, and then works follow because I’m grateful to God for His righteousness that He’s given to me as an incredible free gift.

I hope that makes sense…

The Continuing Saga of My Struggles With Mom’s Death, or Why Can’t I Cry?

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Well, it’s now May 8th, seven weeks to the day since Mom died.

I’m still struggling, though the issues are somewhat different. Now it’s more about realizing how much I miss what I had with her while she was here. And the frustrating thing is, while she was here, I didn’t know I had it.

Jeff says I was never, not from the very beginning of my life, able to establish a real bond with my mother, so it’s understandable that I wouldn’t feel much in the way of grief when she died. I can see where he’s right about that, but it still feels wrong that I’m not all broken up that she’s gone.

I still haven’t had a memorial service for her. I’m fairly certain there are people who would come to one, but I can’t seem to rev up any interest in planning it. I just want to forget about the whole thing and go on with my life, but I don’t know if it’s okay to feel like that, and even more, if it’s okay to do that ~ mostly because it feels like if I did that I’d be pretending my mother never existed.

I feel like my mother left a desert in my heart. I know that’s not true, because God has done a tremendous amount of healing in me, but somehow, that’s how it feels, and that’s the picture I get when I think about my mother’s influence in my life over the years. I guess I shouldn’t worry whether my feelings are right or wrong, and just accept them as my current reality. If I do that then I can ask God to heal what’s there and change my current reality to a new one that’s better and more God-honoring, as well as mother-forgiving, with no desert. Isaiah 35:4-6 says,

4Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” 5And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. 6The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. ~ NLT.

That’s what I want my life to be like: where flowers are always blooming, and hearts are always joyful, and God is easy to find. In other words, Heaven!

Mom Died and I’m Struggling…

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Mom died. It happened almost three weeks ago, on March 27, 2017 at 2:55 a.m. I’ve been dealing with various aspects ~ like getting her buried (actually encrypted) next to Dad at Forest Lawn, getting her death certificate, and notifying various insurance companies and pension plans of her demise for starters. Then, once I get the forms from the aforementioned insurance companies and pension plans, I get to fill them out using the copies of the death certificate that I got from Forest Lawn ~ and I HATE filling out forms.

But it’s got to be done. Harrumph.

I’ve been flooded with a myriad of feelings since she died, and I haven’t really had any place to take them. I know I can talk about them with Karen, or Helen~Kim~Rachel~Jesse~Jacob~Rob~Isaac via email, or God via prayer. Of course, I’m talking to God about them ~ I talk to God about everything ~ but sometimes it FEELS better if I can talk to a person I can see with my eyes. And that precludes all of the above-mentioned people except for Karen, but it’s hard to think of talking to Karen, because there’s never a time when she’s not sleep-deprived and therefore struggling to stay awake as you’re talking to her.

So that leaves here. As in talking about all these roiling feelings here, regardless of the fact that here isn’t a person I can talk to face to face. Here feels like it would be the same as talking to God, because He knows my every thought even before I think it, but writing it down here feels somehow different. Maybe it feels different because I feel like I can say whatever I want and/or need to without regard to what anyone might think of me. I’m pretty certain I can do that with Karen, and with my email friends, but because of the issues already mentioned, it’s much more difficult to talk to them. Another complicating factor with my email friends is that they live all over the world ~ literally. Helen lives in Sydney (that’s Sydney in Australia). Rachel lives in Northern Ireland. And that’s just for starters.

With that said, let’s get on with it.

As I said, I’ve been flooded with a myriad of roiling emotions since Mom died. Actually, they started beforehand, once I knew she wasn’t going to survive this illness, but I didn’t really let them come to the fore until after she was gone. So I’ve decided to use this blog to process all of it. It may take several posts or it may take a few. For all I know it’ll only take one, but it may take many. I just don’t know. I only know that I have to get it out from inside of me, because if I don’t it’s going to fester. I can already feel myself getting seriously depressed, only for the first time in my life the depression has a temporal focus and isn’t free-floating, like it’s always been in the past. This time it’s actually related to something in the world that happened to me that I can pinpoint on the calendar. Which means that, hopefully, it will end at some point. Hopefully.

So…

One of the biggest things I’ve been feeling is that I hastened Mom’s death because I didn’t visit her often enough. And my fear isn’t without justification. By not often enough I don’t mean I visited her once a week when I could have gone to see her three times a week or everyday, even though there were times that I did see her once a week. I mean that, while I did see her once a week at times, most of the time, I came up with reasons and excuses to not see her at all, every reason in the book, in fact. I did pay her bills as needed, though I wasn’t very good at that either, and whenever there was a care-planning meeting for her at Monrovia Gardens I always showed up and asked questions and signed whatever papers they needed me to sign. Whenever she ended up in the hospital I would visit her everyday while she was there. I just couldn’t seem to make myself go and visit her at Monrovia Gardens on any kind of regular basis.

Mom never did advance beyond mid-stage Alzheimer’s Disease. She just kind of gave up. I know what advanced and end-stage Alzheimer’s looks like. Karen’s mother is in end-stage Alzheimer’s (I think). If she’s not in end-stage, then it’s very far advanced. Mom never got that far. She was still able to talk and feed herself when she felt like eating. She was no longer ambulatory, but she wasn’t yet bedridden, and she could still socialize and interact with other people when she so desired. Karen’s mom hasn’t been able to do any of that for a very long time. Karen says she can understand what her mother is trying to communicate, even though she’s completely nonverbal.

As I said, Mom just seemed to give up. She stopped eating and drinking, and then she ended up in the hospital because she got dehydrated and came down with pneumonia. At first her doctor told me he thought she’d recover from that illness, but that she’d fairly quickly become ill again, and that she wouldn’t recover from the second illness. As it turned out, she didn’t recover from the first illness. She died two days after coming home from the hospital.

I had started praying that God would take her Home right around the same time she stopped eating and drinking. I just felt like her quality of life was such that she wasn’t happy, and wasn’t at peace, and I couldn’t really ask her about it because she wasn’t able to communicate on that level anymore, and hadn’t been able to for a long time. And the point of it all was that she wasn’t going to get any better, but rather would only get worse over time. So the overall picture was fairly bleak.

On that note I’m going to end this post and continue with this in my next one…