Up Side Down

Four days a week, I go to work in the morning.  Every one of those days I pass the cemetery where my Mom’s ashes are buried.  My Gramma’s are there too. Each morning as I drive by I always say a “Hey Mum” or a “Love ya Mom”  and I get choked up.  Every time.  I haven’t been by to see her grave since last spring and a lot has happened in my world since then.

I think back to the day she died in March 2007.  I was with her when she said her last words.  I will never forget them.  She had been very frightened, knowing that this was “it” and I was trying to give some level of comfort while waiting for my siblings to arrive at the hospital.  I had no idea what to do or what to say.  She wouldn’t let go of my hand.  She was so scared.  I was so scared.  This was my MOM, my rock, the wisest person I knew.  But it wasn’t the time to think about me.  She needed me this time instead of the other way around.

“Let’s go dancing, Mum, okay?  Let’s be light on our feet and feel the spotlight on our skin.”  Through her oxygen mask I could see her smile through her tears.  She managed to get the words out: “You be Fred and I’ll be Ginger.”  We both swayed to imaginary music in perfect rhythm with our eyes closed.  I could feel her hand in mine relax a bit.  When I looked at her again, she had the most serene expression on her face.  She was smiling.  There were no more tears.  She never opened her eyes again as she slipped into a coma.  My hand was still holding her limp one.

The rest of my siblings arrived along with my Dad.  We were moved to a bigger room as 4 of her 8 children along with various spouses and my own son made for quite a spectacle.  She died so peacefully a few hours later with us all in the room.  Her presence was felt by all and she continues to be a force in my life.

Funny thing about the cemetery; there is an angel stationed at its entrance and it is supposed to be pointing up to heaven.  My interpretation is a little different.  Remember, my gramma and my mom were very strong women and pioneered many aspects of the women’s movement and equal rights in their own way. 

So you tell me; what does it look like the angel is doing?


6 responses to “Up Side Down

  1. I read this entry so grateful to have stumbled across it. My mom died in March of last year and the vacuum left in her wake remains. Still, I try to be mindful how much she did with so little and rejoice that.

    Then I got to the end, and how could I help but giggle? I’ll be if it doesn’t look like the angel is flipping off passersby!

    • Thank you so much for reading AND responding. I won’t say that things will get easier as time goes by but it is a life changing event when you lose someone you love. So life is…different. You will find humour, though, and appreciate it more.

  2. Oh my dear, I wish I could give you big giant hug. Life is so hard sometimes..gah! Although that little bit of amusing from the picture..that’s a surefire way to bring a little bit of a smile back to your world..haha! I know it sure did mine! Guess as much as life can suck and be hard..you do have to find the little things to smile about through the tears. Although I STILL wish I could give you a big hug!

  3. i so love it you are a wonderful strong women yourself you prove that more and more everyday

    xx ang

  4. This is a wonderful post; sad, yet beautiful. I lost my mom when I was only 20 and she was 48. You were so lucky to have been with her when she passed. (((HUGS))))

    • Thank you for the comment. I shudder to think what my life would have been like if I lost my mom when I was 20 instead of 45. I realize how lucky I am to have had her in my life as long as I did. She came, did her job of showing her children love and teaching them about the world as only she could. Blessed, we both are Sprinkles!

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