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My mom died 4 years ago on July 31, 2007. The end of the month, the end of her life. She had battled Multiple Sclerosis for over 3 decades and on July 13th, she fell down and from there, her health rapidly deteroriated. She had a painful urinary infection, she was almost blind, and she was very weak. She was so weak she needed help to get from her bed to the portable toilet near her bed. Before, she could do this herself.
I saw my mom a few days before she died. I was there with my oldest brother Robert and she said to me, “This is probably the last time you are going to see me.” It was like she knew she was dying. My brother then left and we were able to spend some time together, just the two of us. I tried to get her to think about the happy times in her life but she only wanted to think about the unhappy times which was unfortunate.
My mom was a deeply religious person and was not afraid of death. In fact, she was ready for it and wanted to die years before this.
I remember getting “the call“. I was taking a shower in the evening before bed and I heard the phone ring. When I got of the shower, my husband said that my brother had called. Right away, I knew something bad had happened.
When my brother told me she died, I immediately went over there. She had died in her sleep. Ironically, I remember her asking me once, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just go to sleep and never wake up again?” I think this kind of death is like a saint’s death.
We had a hard time finding a place to have mom’s funeral mass at. To our surprise, we found out that she had never registered at the church that she always went to. Eventually, they did let us have the funeral mass there. I almost missed the viewing which was only a half hour due to horrific traffic.
I gave my 2 weeks notice to my company the day before she died. It was for a job in Maryland. We had planned to move there to be closer to her. Afterwards, to get to my new job, I had to go by where she used to live everyday. And then, not even a month later, I found out I was pregnant with Jack. Yes, a lot of changes within a short period of time.
It is definitely a wierd feeling when you become an orphan. You have no parents left and I, despite having a family of my own, felt quite alone. I really do miss talking to her on the phone and visiting with her. RIP Mom.
I was born in Washington DC and then lived in the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia all my life until a few years ago when we left the city and moved out here to the country. And not just the country...we now live on top of a mountain. Yes, there is definitely an elevation because even now, my ears sometimes still pop when I drive up our winding country road.
Being from the city, I’m used to everything being close, including our neighbors. Not out here...the house are not right next to each other as I’m accustomed. I could scream at the top of my lungs and none of my neighbors would be able to hear me because of the distance between houses.
The grocery stores are a good 20 minutes away. We have to drive into town to go grocery shopping because there really isn’t anything here in Linden except a very small country store at the bottom of the hill.
There are no sidewalks, no street lights, and no power lines in the streets. At night, it is pitch dark. We don’t have trash service...my husband has to take our trash to the dump every week.
But boy is it peaceful!! And there are some amazing views. I saw my first bear, first groundhog, first possum, all out here! The country folk are also very friendly and kind of laid back, not in a big rush like it seemed when I lived in the city.
I love my little country Methodist church. It looks like the churches you see on Christmas cards or in books. Nothing fancy but still a nice place to gather for worship.
I never thought I would live out in the country but it’s been a good experience so far. This October it will be three years.
10 years ago yesterday, I received a call at work from my brother telling me that my father had died. My dad had been in the hospital for about a week. The doctor had told me and the rest of the family that he was not going to make it.
It was a Friday, the 13th that my father died. I left work immediately after receiving the news and went straight to the hospital. The rest of the family was already there, even my husband. I drove to the hospital in a daze...too shocked to cry.
My dad already had his burial plot ready. He had put me in charge of the funeral arrangements. Together with my two half sisters, we picked out the funeral casket which was not fun at all, put together the obituary notice, and selected the prayer cards.
My dad died on my nephew’s 12th birthday and one of his viewings was held on my half-sister’s birthday. The church where his burial mass was held was right across from the funeral home. The cemetery was very close to the church as well.
I couldn’t believe my dad has died. He had been in hospitals lots of times before and he had always gotten out. Always. And he was relatively young...only 73. But he was in bad health, he was going for dialysis 3 times a week, had heart issues, and high blood pressure. For a while, I told myself he had traveled to Bolivia, where he was from, and just didn’t have my number. That only worked for a short time.
Ten years ago. It seems like a lifetime ago. There have been many significant changes in our family since then too. More grandchildren that he never had a chance to meet, my brother’s divorce, my other’s brother’s second marriage, moves, etc. Lots of changes.
Some things you just can never forget. Like where you were and what you were doing when you find out a parent dies.
I celebrated my last Father’s Day with my dad in 2001. My brothers, their wives and families, my uncle and my husband were all there. We had a cookout at my dad’s house. Little did I know it would be the last one...my dad died the following month.
My parents divorced when I was 2. He remarried and had 2 girls. I have no memory of having ever lived with my dad. Whenever he came over to visit, there was some pretty nasty fights with my mom.
Ocassionally he did take me out, sometimes with my sisters. That was nice because I rarely went anywhere. He did attend all my graduations and when I was in college, he helped out by giving me money for books. When I got married, he walked me down the aisle.
Still, I don’t feel like I knew my father very well. I don’t remember having any deep conversations with him. When I was a child, I was honestly afraid of him because of his volatile temper. When I was an adult, after I got married, we moved close to him and we got together on a regular basis. That was nice but shortly after that he died.
I wish I had known my father better. I wish I would have had a better relationship with him. And I wish he would have met my sons.
Most of you know that my mom had MS but regardless she was a great mom. My mother had a very difficult life and faced many obstacles. She was born in Bolivia and her family was poor. She said she didn’t have sufficent food to eat and her dad was abusive.
Unfortunately my mother married my father who was also abusive and a cheater on top of that. My parents divorced when I was 2 so I really don’t have any recollection of living with my dad.
My mom was an excellent cook, everything was made from scratch. She also was a seamstress and made me some beautiful dresses when I was a little girl. She ensured I received the BEST education by putting me in a private school from first grade until 12th grade.
She had a wonderful green thumb and we were always surrounded by beautiful plants like African violets, geraniums, pointsettas, prayer plants, etc.
She was there for me literally 24/7. My mom never ever went anywhere. I don’t ever remember having a babysitter. We shared a bedroom when I was growing up. She was always home when I came home from school.
My two brothers, my mom, and I went to church every Sunday. Most Fridays we would pray the Rosary in Spanish. Spanish was the first language I ever spoke. Unfortunately my Spanish is fading though.
She learned to speak English on her own. She watched shows like I love Lucy and had books like Aprendemos Ingles (Let’s Learn English).
She was a wonderful Mom and I miss her so much. For those of you who are still blessed to have your moms with you, enjoy this special day with them.
This Saturday, May 7th I will be walking in the MS Walk. I have walked in the MS Walk many many times over the years. My mother had MS for over 37 years. She died in July 2007.
For those who don’t know, Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system. It affects different people in different ways. But the victim is not the only one affected, the whole family is. My mother has chronic constipation and lost her balance. Towards the end, she was in a wheelchair.
I remember going to church with her and she would literally hold on to me for support. As a small child, it was absolute torture to keep still and walk really slowly, but I had to because otherwise she would fall.
She had to take cascara sagrada, which is a powerful herb so she would have bowel movements. Unfortunately this sometimes caused some accidents as she couldn’t get to a bathroom fast enough.
She couldn’t play catch with me or go on leisurely walks or drive.
My parents divorced when I was 2. My mom was a single mom with MS and raised 3 kids. She could not work and did not speak English. She had no extended family here in the United States that could provide support either emotionally or financially.
I don’t know how she did it. No, I do know. She was a woman of TREMENDOUS faith. She prayed constantly, read the Bible, prayed the Rosary, and taught me and my brothers about God.
So this is why I walk. If you would like to support me, please send me a personal message and I can send you the link to my page.