Sunday, August 03, 2008

My Mother's Passing

The phone call is never expected even though it's not totally unexpected.

When the phone rang this morning, I thought it was Christine who was out shopping, calling to check if we needed one thing or another, but instead it was a hospice nurse at the nursing home telling me my mother had passed away.

I'd planned on a visit today. She cycled back into not knowing me a while ago, but I've tried to go and sit with her a while on weekends, thinking there must be some virtue even in sharing stories of my life that didn't register.

She was 41 when I was born so she'd already lived a half a lifetime. Her father died when she was a year old, and my grandmother supported the family as a seamstress and somehow they made it through the Depression and the home front of World War II.

The youngest in her family, she was educated with the help of siblings and became a school teacher just after World War II.

She was headstrong and unwavering at times, but always giving and devoted to helping others, caring for my grandmother until her last breath.

She taught mostly home economics, some English. Aside from my dad's imagination, that's where what I do comes from, I suppose. There was always Shakespeare in the house and Steinbeck.

She was a seamstress like her mother and taught a host of students to cook and sew. A few years ago when we had to go through her things I found some labels purchased from a mail order catalog -- This Garment Made by Mildred Williams. I don't know how many she used over the years.

I thought three Christmases ago she'd reached her last but she held on a while longer.

As the hospice nurse put it this morning she reached a point where she just couldn't bounce back.

I wish I could write more eloquently about her, about what she did, about things she created, but the eloquence will come later, I suppose. For now it just seems important to note her days and that she is resting at last, freed from the clouded thoughts and brittle bones that had become her prison.

There's consolation in that, that she is at rest at last.

15 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Damn, Sidney, I'm sorry to hear this. I know it was to be expected, and like you say there is some peace in it for her. But still it's a hard thing to have to go through. I wish you the best, my friend.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Hey, Sid. What you wrote here was eloquent enough. We've talked about your mom over the years but it seems I know more now from just these last paragraphs.

Sidney said...

Thanks for the thoughts guys. Writing about her was kind of comforting.

Shauna Roberts said...

Very sorry to hear about your mother. Thanks for sharing her story with us.

Lana Gramlich said...

I'm so sorry, hon. You're in my thoughts. Please let me know if there's anything I can do. Take care. *hug*

Sphinx Ink said...

My deepest sympathy, Sidney. It is a great loss, even when expected, and even considering how much she had been ailing for so long. You will feel stunned. Allow yourself to feel whatever comes to you.

I am sending good vibes your way.

Steve Malley said...

I'm sorry for your loss. You wrote about it beautifully.

Erik Donald France said...

Sidney, I'm sorry to learn this.
Best wishes and to your eloquence which comes through in abundance.

Avery DeBow said...

You wrote beautifully. Be well.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Peace to you. We are alike in that our mothers were in their forties when we were born. Mine was forty five. I look back at her passing, quite a while back now, and I think of how different life would have been if I had had younger parents.

Still, your mother, with her life experience, probably had more to pass onto you and was probably a different woman than she was at twenty, and had she had you then, you would have been a different man.

So, my condolences. I am sure you have great memories and of course, you are a physical testament to your parents' presence.

Sidney said...

Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. We had the services for my mom today and saw a lot of relatives I haven't seen in a while.

Some of my mom's former students came by the funeral home and visited a while, so that was very nice.

rolandmann said...

Wow. Always anticipated, never expected. Best to you.

Miladysa said...

I am sorry to read of your loss Sidney.

If this post had been written by one of my children and I would be delighted with each and every word. I sure you mother is :-D

You are in my thoughts.

M

Leon said...

My condolences Sidney. I have found that those for whom I have good memories continue to live in me long after they are gone. Your comments suggests that will be true for you and your thoughts about your mother.

Jessica said...

Sorry to read about the loss of your mother.

I lost my mom recently, so I know how it feels.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...