She has endured a lot in her 68 years of life. Amongst all of that she has battled illness after illness since she was a child, has been in the grips of crippling depression, and has come through a difficult life with a brazen smile and a very hard-headed attitude. She has been once of the strongest people I've known.
She has always felt the need to take care of people and things.
She is a matriarch.
Once she got something in her head, she was determined to see it through.
Has she been perfect? Of course not, but none of us are. She has made mistakes, some of them dire, and her hard-headed personality has been difficult to deal with sometimes. But that's part of who she is.
She raised me as her own child (when I am biologically her granddaughter). She made sure I had everything I needed and then some. She stuck up for me, taught me, told me I could do anything I wanted in life if I tried. I wouldn't be the person I am if it weren't for her.
She helped me onto this interesting spiritual path. She made me into a big Star Trek and Star Wars fan, raised me on older music and films, and taught me how to be a smart woman. I would watch her crafting abilities since I was a small child, and I think I got my creative bones from her.
We would talk for hours on end, whether in person or on the phone. In my adult life, she easily transitioned from a mom into a friend as well.
We liked to go up to Walmart in the middle of the night and shop when no one else was there. We would buy pocky and we would have Star Trek and Twilight Zone nights. We'd usually get up at the same time every morning and enjoyed a cup of coffee together. We would chat in depth about prophecy, Edgar Cayce, theology, and she wistfully talked about how cool it would be to be picked up by (friendly) aliens and see foreign stars and worlds. She wished for advanced space travel to be available before the end of her life so that she could do just that.
She adored my husband. She adored all of her grandchildren. She always offered to help, and even when she couldn't, her heart was still there. She made all my Christmases incredibly magical.
She cared unceasingly and unquestioningly for my dad, her soul mate, after he suffered a massive stroke in 1997 and experienced declining health from then on until his death in 2009.
She had open heart surgery in July of this year and survived when no one expected her to.
She has been through a great deal since then and has struggled and suffered much. In the past 24 hours, a hard decision was made, her wishes were respected, and she will be kept from all further suffering. She is being kept comfortable, pain-free, and breathing easily. In the past few months while she was still cognitive and aware, she has been begging to be let go, to be freed from this life. Her desperate wishes are being heeded, but tonight my family and I are struggling with the knowledge that she will most likely not get better. The doctors say this is best, and my family agrees. I want the bright lights out of her face, the poking and prodding and invasive procedures to be ceased, and her soul to joyously fly into the arms of my father.
I'm not ready to let go of her. I never will be. You never think that your parents will die, and as stubborn as my mom always has been, I kind of thought her physical form was immortal. We had talked a lot about her coming up here after her health had improved; exploring Toronto together, spending time with me and my husband. We had talked about her moving into senior citizen apartments in the city, where she would gain independence (in the last couple of years her vision declined so much that she could no longer drive). She was so proud of me for starting my life up here, and she was excited for Trevor and I to start having kids. When Christmas rolled around, she and I were always excited about it and couldn't stop talking and planning.
May she always be greatly blessed and her path be bright and clear and lit by the silver of the moon and the gold of the sun. May we also be blessed, those of us who know her and are a part of her. She will no longer suffer.
May she see all of the stars and other worlds that she always said she wanted to see. And one day, when my time on this earth plane is completed, I hope to see them all with her.
I love you so much, Mom, and I am so grateful for you.
Mom and my dad when they were children.
Mom and her brother
Mom at her grandparents' stead in Salem, Virginia