The Lesson of a Mothers Death
Dedicated to my mother, Florence
November 11, 1920 - May 25, 2005
The Passing of the Torch
She lies in peaceful repose on her back with her hands, one atop the other, gently resting on her tummy. Those hands that loved to play the piano, taught me how to make the most delicious fudge, brushed my hair, held hundreds of books, gracefully parted the air during Tai Chi practice, pounded a career of typewriters, peeled logs in preparation for their new home, produced many a midnight sewing machine creation and, most importantly, held her children close to her heart.
Her nurse and youngest daughter dress her in her mauve outfit, so complementary to her silver hair. A rose is placed on her chest and special little mementos from loved ones circle her pillow: A fire agate from a firefighter grandson, pictures of grandchildren and great grandchildren, a small bag of pebbles, a miniature sombrero, a stuffed Sugar Bear, each holding special significance of a treasured memory.
On this final day we watch silently as the lifting and falling of her breast becomes slower and more shallow until finally it lifts no more. Her journey is completed and I know that Dad has come to get her.
I wrap my arms around her still form one last time, lay my head on her chest, kiss her cheeks and promise her I will still have tea with her every Saturday afternoon.
I am the last family member to spend some private final moments with her. I know that when I leave this room I will never see her again. It strikes me that for the first time in five decades of living I am now motherless, that I no longer have a Mum with whom to have tea. This is not a thought that I can comprehend. I am trying to leave the room but keep going back to her to give her one more kiss telling her I just can't leave her. I know I must but it is the most difficult thing I have ever done. How can she just be gone? The one constant in my life since the day I was born? This is so surreal. My mind just cannot wrap around it.
Death is so FINAL. Life IS so short. Our lives are filled with "doing" and yet our most common disease is procrastination, as if we will always have time to get around to it. Never more, in our time, has the setting of priorities been so important. It is so true that when our lives come to a close, among what we may regret most are things we did not do for ourselves or with our loved ones.
Is there anything that you have been putting off for yourself that you know is right and good? Have you put yourself low on the ladder until some project is finished. Are you bowing to the expectancies of others at your own expense? Why not read that book that's been set aside for months while you intend to get to it? Always wanted to visit some area of the world, but have only just talked about it?
You really can actually set a goal, small or large, and make it happen.
How about those whom you love? Putting off that call, letter, that visit, that little errand you could do? How would you feel if that person were suddenly just not here anymore?
Imagine yourself or someone you love facing the end of days right now. What regrets would you have?
Don't let death be your cure for procrastination.
Mum was with me when I drew my first breath and I had the honour of being with her when she took her last. The circle is completed and I have no regrets.
God bless you Mum. 'Till we meet again for Heavenly High Tea, I love you.