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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Mother, Going with the Flow...


Early the morning of January 9, my dear mother died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 95. Only 11 days before she had moved to a new home to be nearer to my youngest sister in the state of Vermont. Unfortunately, she had  contracted the flu and was no longer strong enough to recover. Last August the same thing happened and despite being warned that she had only hours left, somehow threw off the illness and survived another 5 months. 

As frail as she was before the illness in August, she become much more frail and was wheelchair bound. And she also had long periods of being extremely confused about where she was and who she might be talking about. So, without a doubt, she was ready to 'go home'.At the time of her death, she had not been told that my brother had died.

In the last months of her life she often spoke about being ready for death, but as various ills befell her, she simply replied that, "I'm just going with the flow"! In fact, when my sister visited her on the second day of her last illness, expecting her to be close to death, she had in fact rallied again and was quite lively and chipper, and repeated what had become her mantra of 'going with the flow"...

In April there will be a joint memorial service in Kent, Connecticut in the same church where we had the service for my father. A few days before her ashes will be interred next to my father. It is all being arranged and we all agree. We all know that the tragedies of the past weeks all for the very best, but, of course, we are all very sad.

She was the last of her generation. I imagine them being all back together now and my brother with them. All  are free of illnesses and infirmities. That generation and the one before left our family a legacy rich in love and goodness and they all of them live in my heart.

What startles me is the sobering thought, that I am now the family Matriarch!

42 comments:

  1. A legacy rich in love and goodness, that is so beautiful. I know it will help you through this difficult time. I remember your mom from you visits with her and thought she was beautiful. I am so sorry for your losses. Take care, Inger

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    1. Thank you for your kind words that are so much appreciated.

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  2. Reminds me of my mom...quite a generation!

    Sorry for your loss, my mom passed away at 94 years old. She was confused for several years. I still miss her.

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    1. It was an amazing generation for sure. I doubt we will see their like again. I am sure, that like my mom for me, yours will always be in your heart...

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  3. My thoughts are with you, so sad...but a beautiful post, and 2 wonderful photos of your mother. Jx

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    1. Thank you, Janice. She was remarkable and so loved by so many people...

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  4. So sorry for your loss. My mother will be 90 in May and it's hard to imagine anything bringing her down. But of course it's inevitable that she won't last forever. I'm glad you have so many wonderful memories of your mother. Take care.

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    1. Thank you, Stephen, your words are very much appreciated.

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  5. I am sorry Broad. It is hard to lose your mum. xx

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    1. Thanks, Rachel. It's harder than I thought it would be, even knowing it is for the best...

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  6. So sorry you've had this second loss so soon after losing your brother, Broad. A peaceful end after a long and happy life is all any of us could wish for, but you will miss your mom. I hope the many, many good memories you have of her will comfort you and your sisters.

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    1. So many happy memories are a great comfort to the three of us -- despite the sadness. There is so much to be grateful for -- on so many levels...

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  7. Sobering, realizing we are now the elder generation. I all was supposed to go on forever, when we were two generations back.
    I will miss the Skyping and the grocery orders, but say a peaceful goodbye to your mother.

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  8. Thinking about yo u and your family as you come to terms with the loss of your mother and brother in such a short space of time. A very sad time for you all but a beautiful tribute to a beautiful and much loved mother.

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    1. Gaynor, your words are very kind and very much appreciated. It is all a lot to take in...

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  9. Kathy, So sorry to read about your loss. Please accept my sincere condolences. Martine

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    1. Thank you so much, Martine. It means a lot to hear from you...

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  10. Condolences on the loss of your mother. No matter how old we are, the loss of a parent is a blow. I imagine her surprise in meeting your brother at the pearly gates! I hope you find comfort in the thought that they are all together again.

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    1. I agree! She will be quite taken aback, methinks!

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  11. Hello,

    This is so very sad for you all.

    How wonderful that you are able to look back and reflect upon a life filled with love and laughter. That is the most perfect of legacies. And, what a great photograph of your mother. A bright spirit shines out from those twinkly eyes!

    Yes, sobering indeed that you are now the family matriarch. Does one ever feel ready for such responsibility? Both sets of our parents have now died and it really feels as if one is an orphan. Who now does one look for wise advice?

    Our thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

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    1. You have got that exactly right -- I keep looking around for the wise advice -- and it all comes back to me!!!

      So many people that have seen photos of her over the past few days have commented on her eyes -- they really were quite amazing and blue. What is it they say about eyes being the windows to the soul?

      Many thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments.

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  12. So sorry to hear about your Mother. A friend has recentlylost her mother, who was well in her nineties and very confused. But, as I said to her, although it is time for them to go, it doesn't make it any easier to lose them. And becoming the family matriarch certainly makes you fell old - I am in the same position. But we must stay positive mustn't we.
    I have friends in Windermere and they had quite a lot of snow, whereas Kendal, literally just down the road, had none. All of ours has gone this morning though.
    I shall put you on my side bar so that we communicate more often.

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    1. We have been so fortunate to have had our mother with us for such a long time in our lives. Most of that time she was fit enough and always up-to-date with what was happening in the world. She loved reading -- especially biographies and histories and was intensely interested in what other people had to say. So the last two or three years of utter confusion was difficult for her and for us, too. But of course, even so, it's hard to say goodbye...

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  13. I remember that I had a strange mix of feelings when my mother died; relief that she was no longer tired, worm out and suffering, but sorrow that she would no longer be with me in body. I'm sure you are feeling the same. And "the sobering thought, that I am now the family Matriarch" is indeed a sobering thought that I have had as the family patriarch!

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    1. You have described my feelings perfectly, BP.

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  14. The awful flu that is going around will be taking quite a few of us this season, I fear. I am so glad that your mom was "going with the flow" and is now reunited with all her loved family members who passed before her. :-)

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    1. She even had had a flu shot. But I understand that in Connecticut anyway, a lot of people still got ill that had the shot. I know that she is a peace now and with the angels...

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  15. Sorry for your loss.
    It seems those who are that close to death know all about "going with the flow" and are sometimes just waiting for the rest of us to catch on and give them permission.

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  16. That's such sad news. Losing your mother is very hard, knowing that you're not a kid any more and you no longer have a mum to look out for you.
    I hope the happy memories you have of her will help you through this difficult time and that soon the pain of your loss will be replaced by a fond remembrance.

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    1. I have known for some time, that my mother was not only 'ready' but 'needed' to 'go home'...

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  17. So sorry to hear of the loss of both your brother and your mother in such a short space of time. You have my thoughts and prayers too.

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    1. Thank you so much, Molly. Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.

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  18. Thank you for sharing your mom's life. It's hard losing people so close but it's great to have such an amazing support group on the blogging community.

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    1. The support of the blogging community goes beyond words. I am very fortunate indeed!

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  19. So sorry to hear such sad news, losing a parent, no matter how old you, or they are is always hard. Also my condolences on the loss of your brother to Parkinson. My mother struggled with the same illness for 20 years before she'd finally had enough and, as you put it, decided to go 'home'.
    You have my thoughts & best wishes

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  20. I am so sorry about your sad news. Losing two loved family members like this must be difficult. I grieve for you and send you all my sympathy.

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