Sunday, May 5, 2013

Anna Jean

Mom holding me with sisters surrounding!
 
My mother Anna Jean passed quietly into eternity on January 31st of this year.  I cannot believe that it is already May. May.  It still seems so fresh...this new existence...this seeing life from a new angle.



Mothers are so much of who we are...how we see ourselves....how we see our world.  We struggle to break free from this imprinting,  yet it is still so close to our heart.  I had a special mother-friendship  as an adult.  I began grieving the loss of this relationship in little spurts at the beginning...the first time I realized that I needed to be there more for her than she was for me.  The first time she could no longer care for my father by herself and finally broke her silence and cried out for help which we (my husband and I) were more than willing to give (and realized how much she had tried to do it all on her own). The first time she could no longer trust herself to drive and now needed me to take her places, to dr. appointments, to provide company and do errands, give showers and cleaning.  God gave me so much love to do the tasks that were needed.  He gave me endless patience and desire to do a good job at this new role.  Yet the grief process had begun.

Grief.  It continued for many years.  Not really showing itself, just sneaking around when I least expected.  When I was surprised that things were not quite like they had been between us.  That I could not react in "little girl" ways but that I would learn and do what she had always modeled for me.  And there were times when she was not happy with MY mothering, and making the decisions, and having to make hard choices.  Gratefully I had a good teacher.

I think that my grief is not yet fully realized.  I was intimately involved in all her care for so long  that each step, each period was a new challenge of letting go...allowing the change, the aging, the frailty and a new definition of the relationship to take place. 

Just before she went "home" she seemed scared as if to say with her eyes, "what is this...is this it?  am I dying?"  All of us...her family...helped her to make that final transition, to let go without fear, to know that we would be okay, that we would miss her and that we were excited for her to see all those who would joyfully meet her. She let go peacefully and it was a gift to be with her in those final moments.  We tearfully sang "What a friend we have in Jesus" and "Amazing Grace" in those last breathing moments, we prayed and thanked her and as Pastor Greg said in her eulogy,  we had come full circle.  The mother who sang and prayed with us as children and invited us in to cuddle when we were scared and had gotten us off to church each week whether we liked it or not! now had her children singing and praying and helping her to not be afraid and trust the strong arms of God. 

How can I grieve when God has given me the best?  The chance to be reunited.  The love of a passionately loving mother who did all she could for her family.  Thanks mom!  You are missed.  It is a joy to remember all the years.  The early ones, the middle ones, the later ones.  Thank you.
November 2012

Sun City Dec. 25th, 2009

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4 Comments:

At May 6, 2013 at 11:05 AM , Anonymous Kathy said...

Ruth, this is a beautiful post honoring your mom. Thank you for sharing it. Am thinking about "Tear Soup" now and how it takes some time to make and digest, doesn't it? Really appreciate that you took the time to write this.

 
At May 7, 2013 at 12:38 AM , Anonymous Debbie said...

Beautiful tribute to your Mom. You're so right, you were blessed to have a Mother that loved you and cared for you and prayed for you.
I share some of your experiences - including many years of care-taking. My Mom died 7 years ago and my Dad, 11 months later. My heart rejoices that they are with their Father who loves them, but their daughter here still misses them. I expect your grief will come and go, Ruth. Some days there seems to be only joy in the remembering and some days, a great aching. Both are their own gift.

 
At May 8, 2013 at 8:46 AM , Blogger Ruth said...

Thank you Kathy and Debbie for commenting! It encourages me to write more. ;-)

 
At June 6, 2013 at 5:59 AM , Blogger Grandma-klepac said...

Love you sister Ruth for all you are to me and to our mom and to so many others. I am with you in heart today as you lay our mom down one last time. Love you

 

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