It all comes down to this

 In her last two years, my mother was plagued with increasing poor health and dementia.

Her move from living in her own house to a quasi-nursing home was swift and dramatic. I bundled her home with me on Christmas Day so I could help her get over a flu bug and by New Year’s Eve she was sipping “champagne” at Victoria Place retirement home.

We whittled her many possessions down to what was most precious to her. We filled her one new room with books, photo albums, vases, some paintings, a chair and a large cabinet. I also stashed many of her endless crafting supplies in the nursing home’s rec room, but my mother never touched them again.

Everything else, including her house and car, was given to family members or charity or sold.

A month before my mother died, I had a birthday party for her and invited all her friends. I brought her mother’s vase to the nursing home and filled it with lilacs. My mother could no longer recognize some of the people at the party, but she exclaimed over the vase and was lost in memories of her mother, of lilacs, of birthdays past, of the vase and of bringing it to Canada.

In her last week, my mother was taken by ambulance to the hospital. The only possession she ever expressed any concern for was her false teeth. Where were they? Could she have them in?   

Eventually she slipped into a coma and her teeth were taken out. It was just my mom then – naked under a sheet in a mercilessly sunny hospital room with her family and her dearest friend at her side.  

That’s what your life comes down to. You. Your experiences. And the people you love.Image

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6 thoughts on “It all comes down to this

  1. Lovely picture. It’s almost unreal to look at a picture of someone looking so well and then within weeks we lose them. Loss of those we hold close to our hearts is so difficult.

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    • Pat, you really got that right. It was a surreal day. I knew that would be the last time we were all together with my mother alive and present. I don’t know if SHE knew though and we were all surprised by how swiftly the end did come. I suppose it’s better. I wouldn’t have really wanted to have known.

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  2. Audrey your post made me cry…I was missing my mom so much today and then I read this. You so succinctly nailed it….your experiences and the people you love!

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    • Ah, Thea… I didn’t mean to make anyone cry and am sorry you’re missing your mom so much today. I have those days too! But in the pang there is a lusciousness of living, isn’t there – aliveness, experience, memories, so much feeling? You are a passionate woman and that is your proof!

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