Mama

17 01 2011
Mama, me and sister Cora about 1953

I’m sorry for the long dry spell but my mother has been in the hospital since December 22 and has not done well. Time and motivation have been in short supply lately. I believe she has endured every ailment known to mankind. At 86 years old, when you treat one thing you create other problems, and it has been one problem after another. I’ll spare you the unpleasant details.

A week ago the doctors suggested the family come in to say their good-byes. But Mama rallied, and here we are a week later and she’s still hanging on.

This morning her condition had worsened. Her blood pressure at one point was dangerously low at 56 over 38. She is in her final days, perhaps her final hours.  For a week now she has been speaking with my father, grandfather and aunt-each of whom has passed away. She lays in her hospital bed reaching skyward toward something or someone who only she can see. Nurses on the floor tell us that when patients begin speaking with the dead it is usually around two weeks before the end.

It’s hard to stand by and watch your mother in this condition. She lies there, at times squeaking out a word or two, flashing the occasional weak grin, eyes at half-mast, but mostly sleeping.  I look at her now and see the years of a hard life carved on her face. The hands that held me, spanked me (probably not as often as I needed), fed me, loved me and cared for me are now shriveled with time; her fingers are bony and gnarled with arthritis.

5 generations. sister Alice, Granddaddy, Mama (seated) my great-grandmother and nephew Chuck

She is tired…very tired. She is too weak to raise her hand. Too weak to speak. Every movement takes a great effort resulting in periods of rest and labored, deep breathing, as if she just finished a marathon.

You know her time is near, so secretly, and not without a bit of guilt, you wish, for her sake, the end would come soon. Yet at the same time, realizing this is Mama, you want her to live on. It’s a catch 22. You cannot win. But she has already won. She speaks of being ready. She has asked God to deliver her and He will. When the end finally does come, she will wake up in a far better place. Her race is nearly over and she will soon receive her prize.

The gate is narrow. That makes her one of the blessed few who will enter. We’ll see her again one day, but for now, this generation moves on. That’s life.

Mama with Aunt Marie (Mama's baby sister)

My sister Kay, Mama, Aunt Pat, my sister Alice-Summer 2010 Mama and Aunt Marie-Summer 2010

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6 responses

17 01 2011
JACKIE GARNER

Bill my prayers are with you and your Mamas whole family.I do know that you will see her again when it is your time and she will have the young spirit she has always been there deep in her being Till then… “to God Be The Glory”

17 01 2011
Bill Taylor

My favorite clown once told me that sometimes Daddy God picks the prettiest flowers for His garden. Thanks Jackie!

17 01 2011
Stan Slaughter

You and your family are in our prayers. Take care and lean on the Lord. Your mother has and she is at peace. She will meet you in the morning.

17 01 2011
Bill Taylor

Thanks, Stan. My sisters have asked me to speak at her funeral so I am planning to post my comments, or at least an abbreviated version, so my good friends who visit this site can learn a little more about her.
Thanks and God bless!

18 01 2011
Wendy Brown

I look forward to your comforting words Uncle Bill. She will carry on through all us until we meet her at that beatutful door!

18 01 2011
Bill Taylor

I look forward to having everyone together and having the chance to share something about her. See you Saturday.

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