My mom died last week. Because of her dementia, she hadn't spoken in over a year. The last word I ever heard her say was "yes." In fact, that was the only word she used for quite some time.
|No language, but a big smile.|
|Taken a few years ago at Christmas. Mom thought this was a hilarious picture.|
|Mom as a young nurse in Hawaii.|
|Years later in Hawaii, with her daughters and her favorite drink: a Lava Flow.|
her laughter rising in the California foothill sun."
Yesterday I said to Dave: "When the day begins with paying bills and writing your mom's obituary, you know things can only go up from here." She would have loved that line. In fact, I think she did. Her laugh seemed to echo off the kitchen walls.
|They loved nature. And they were great dancers. I think they're now foxtrotting in the stars.|
Gary and Laurie characterized my mom perfectly as a "gentle soul with toughness and resolve who not only performed the art of motherhood as well as any we’ve known, not only served as caregiver to her husband for decades but here was a woman who allowed her own personhood to blossom beyond her life duties. ... Hers was a special beauty."
They added: "She saw you grow and settle, she experienced the future of her DNA as she enjoyed her beautiful grandchildren, she drank deeply of a marriage, friends and the recognition she received as a vital professional and community member. Most never live so much life."
No one is ever really gone. All we have to do is think about them and they can be right there. I've had great conversations with my dad during the five years since he passed. And I know I will with my mom, too. I think there will be more laughter.
|Mom in her beloved Yosemite, where she worked as a nurse and met my dad.|