Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving.

CHOMP well.

Embrace those you love.

Resist poisoning those you don't.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Captured Moment

On a whim I used my iPhone to record my Mom as I sat by her bed. She couldn't respond to me but I wanted to bring something back to my siblings so they could feel like they were there with me. I recorded my hand holding and stroking her hand as they were the one thing that remained familiar to me. I panned the iPhone eye up to record her face and then back to my hand holding hers while my thumb stroked across her 85 year old knuckles.
I did not realize that I was capturing her last moments of life. That a few hours later she would slip away from this world.

Now I find myself playing that video over and over. It is infinetly precious to me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Walking Ajijic

LV and I went for a walk yesterday, into the heart of the village Ajijic. The place my Mother had made her home for the past 15 years.

The walk was laborious as the streets were made of large rock cobblestone. But the views...beautiful.

The Mexican people love color. All the houses from grand to shacks were painted in warm yellows, greens, reds and blues.

Red, orange and purple flowers crawled up and peeked over colored stucco walls while large cactus stood as prickly sentries.

It was a mix of old world and new. A Mercedes zoomed by us, as the dust settled an old man in a horse drawn cart clomped past.

We sat and had dinner at a little restaurant/bar along the shore of Lake Chapala. We sat outside on leather woven chairs and sipped our drinks at a tiny table covered with a festive Mexican table cloth.

We feasted on fresh guacamole, warm tortillas and melted cheese appetizers. Then gorged ourselves on steak strips, melted cheese and onion pieces that simmering in bubbling mexican sauce served in a large volcanic rock bowl.

For awhile the grief was pushed backwards and my mind fought hard to push through the numbness that has held it prisoner. It was a welcome respite.

We took our time and ambled slowly back to our hotel. Tired and dusty we plunked on the bed and rested our weary bodies.

I am thankful for the momentary peace. And for my wonderful LV who pushed past my fears and talked me into taking Chanda. (my beloved camera).

Monday, November 07, 2011

Time Frozen

Today I went to her little home.
The world was frozen in time while I walked amongst her things.
Schedule reminders. An unfinished book.
Her glasses lay amongst her notes on her desk.
And every crevice. Of her home in Holland. Us kids growing up.
Silly nicknacks.
The only sound while I walked around in what had been her life--was the ticking of her kitchen clock.
I stared at it angrily. How dare it keep ticking after her heartbeat had stopped.
The memory of stroking her face before the funeral man took her away was still brutally etched in my mind.

I found notes to us kids. One in a pretty chest by her kitchen willing it to me.
"To (me), the best daughter a mom could ever have"

I felt my insides tremble--my inner batteries faulter as my strength waned.

Lord V called softly to me to stop. To let it go for today.

To recharge.

So I did. And I am. Recharging--to begin again tomorrow.

She is Gone

She has passed on.

I woke up multiple times last night--each time I whispered a prayer for her Jesus to take her.

3:30 this morning He did.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Final Moments

I sat holding her hand. It was the only thing that remained the same on her.
I sang songs to her. Spoke in Dutch to her. Told her i loved her.

Romantic dramas show people weeping at the bedside of dying family members--pleading for forgiveness or offering forgiveness of their own for past circumstances.

You know what? I stared into the face of the woman who raised me. Who filled my 46 years with angst. And the words of forgiveness were just so shallow. So meaningless. So trivial.

It was no longer my mother laying there. It was a person who shared a history with me and was now at the final moments of her life.

My brain said, "I forgive you"

My heart moved my mouth and spilled out every word of comfort it could offer...and when it ran out of words--i found myself singing to her. Songs she long held dear.

Her face turned toward me and her breathing softened.

In that moment i realized the shallowness of grudges. The trivialness of angst.

In the end you only wish peace.

A Few More Hours

A few more hours and I will be in Mexico, holding the hand of EWO.

Last night was difficult, gathering up the pictures that were the slideshow of her life.

It was odd to view them with adult eyes instead of through the eyes of her child.

I saw for the first time, EWO as a woman, living her life...raising her children.

I remembered posing with her for a lot of the pictures...knowing that the smiling family looking into the cameras eye was just that...a pose.

But it was the pictures of a young, ambitious, adventurous EWO--before she became my mother...that pierced me.

What would it be like to be 85 at the end of your life...and have another gather your photo's. Images of your life...what would that someone see of my life?

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Today was a good day.

Things still loom heavy for my trip to EWO in Mexico...but today there were no emails, no phone responsibilities weighing me down.

It felt good to have a quiet lull in the emotional storm that has been my life of late.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Grief Trumps All

A few more days and then I will be with EWO.

News today is she has brain cancer and a very short time to be here on this earth.

I find all the bad history I've tried so hard to rid my insides of--washed away in the tidal wave of grief.

Good, Bad, is all gone.

I only think now to be able to reach her side before she passes so I can bring her comfort.