This is my first post since my mother’s death on August 19th, a day that was also my daughter’s birthday. The death wasn’t totally unexpected: My mother had been shocked back to life four years ago when a heart doctor over-dosed her on medication that stopped her heart. There was never any heart surgery, but was a truck-load of brown bottles with child-proof caps that she couldn’t open.
Despite cataract surgery, my mother’s eyes were clouded. She joked that she was “blind in one eye and couldn’t see out of the other.” Her weekly meds, as a result of this blindness, had to be divvied out into little daily buckets. After I moved away, she had a nurse come in each week to measure her vital signs, and dispense her meds. But my mother was a stubborn Taurus, and ran off the visiting nurse, and the one after that, and the one after that, and….
She was scrunched up with a back hunch, a so-called dowager’s hump that made her look like the mother of a nineteen-thirty-something horror show (think Notre Dame…). One of her doctors was so off-put by her ghastly appearance that he couldn’t even look at her. She may have been blind, but she wasn’t stupid, and she was very intuitive. She found another doctor immediately.
There was no autopsy. She had collapsed after taking a shower and putting on her undergarments. It appeared as if she was reaching to hang up the towel as she took her final breath. At least that’s how I’m hoping it happened. I’m hoping that she did not lie on the floor for an extended period, crying out for help that never came. She was still warm when the paramedics pronounced her. I’m hoping that she had not “fallen and [couldn't] get up” like the trademarked tagline of the commercial for that little crisis contraption suggests. I had seen that commercial on one sleepless night only the day before she died. I recall thinking that she needed one of those necklaces with the panic button. It is doubtful that she would have been wearing it in the shower, so likely it wouldn’t have helped.
The truth is, my grandmother lived to be 93 and has been gone only three years, thus at the youthful age of 80, my mother’s (premature) death was a surprise. Sure she had a dying heart, but she had been taking the meds. Moreover, she was a stubborn woman who would not relinquish the reins of death without a fight. I can only imagine her anger at the Angel of Death coming so soon. She was “not ready to die” and when asked by her doctors if she would like to sign a “do not resuscitate” form in the event that her heart stopped again she adamantly told them “No!” I’m left to wonder at what point she was ready.
Those who have read Blessings in the Mire are well aware that my childhood and my attachment to my mother were tenuous. We had been apart many times while I was placed into various foster homes, and as an adult I walked away from her for twenty years. It was only in 2007 that I saw her for the first time in over two decades. I then became her savior, her slave, and her scapegoat. I also got dragged into a lawsuit, which I lost due to the pity that the judge spewed onto the lying Cyclops with the hunchback. She was nothing if not manipulative.
There is a reason I have not blogged since hearing of my mother’s death, and it has little to do with the travel time. As I saw her for the last time, laid out straight on the slab, with her long waterfall of white hair, her perfectly wrinkle-free alabaster skin (she never saw the sun as she was agoraphobic, thus, no sun damage) she appeared happy. With her eyes closed, and her spine straight, she appeared much younger and healthier. As I looked at her, I saw her rare beauty, remembered her quick sense of humor, and I recalled her love of books and intellect. All these traits are the genes which I own. The stubbornness is something with which I will wrestle. We all have challenges to look at in 360 degree clarity, and the stubbornness is the one issue I will look at, and alter if I find it.
There is a peace with death that comes only when the mental and emotional dust has settled. My own mother did not attend the funeral of her mother. Being removed, I contemplated only for a split moment not going for the final act. I went to ensure closure, and I went for her grandchildren. I went because this is as close to a family reunion as we get. And even that was a disappointment. And then I figured out that it is not up to me to deprive my siblings, nor anyone of their lessons. And I am freed of my position as eldest daughter, of nine children, of the familial more that suggests that I am responsible for the actions of any other than my own. And I own my power. I live my truth that I am the sum of all these experiences. Without the wolves of childhood, there would have been no reason, no fodder for writing the books. There would not have been the psychology classes, or the gestalt training courses, or the rainbows of self-sufficiency. Sans the grime, there would be no need to scrub harder, to seek the Blessings in the Mire. I am grateful. I am blessed. And it’s good to be back.
~As always, and most especially, with love and light.
PS ~For the first ten buyers who purchase Blessings in the Mire, I will add a FREE book bag, at absolutely no cost. The book will then be pulled from the publisher. There are only ten bags, so I must absolutely take only the first ten. In order to track the first ten, I have set up a secure PayPal account for the purchase of this book and bag set. If you have an interest in the offer send me a private email through the form below and I will provide the PP link. Of course if you not interested in the FREE bag, it is possible to purchase the book from the publisher (until I revoke their rights to publish) at this link: http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-3850-X
The book and FREE bag orders that I do receive will be at a cost of $15.95 (the actual cost of the book) and I will pay the postage to get the package to you. Autographs are available, only upon request at time of purchase.
Thanks. In gratitude.