The Last Gift Edited
I hope you are all doing well. I am doing pretty good. I don't want to come across as being depressed for the holidays as I also have much joy with my family and especially Briana who is so much fun lately, she is a hoot!! and I am so grateful for my friends and all the new friends I have met through my blog. You have helped me in so many different way this year I can't thank you all enough. But I also want to share with you what is going on in my life as well. Tomorrow will be two years ago that I last spent Christmas with my mother and mother in law. I still have moments of tears, tears of missing our traditions even though my sister carries on my mother's tradition by giving me socks every Christmas and I love her for that. My mother loved the holidays at my sisters house with all of us and her grandchildren. She would always go out and buy a new sweater or shirt, and do her makeup and hair. She was living on Disability but she managed to give of her six children and 10 grandchildren a gift, even if it was small. The thought behind those small gifts was simply I love you, and this is my way of showing it no matter how big or little. To be remembered is all that is important my mother would always say. What a sweet soul she was. I am grateful to have had both of them in my life, I miss Elsie's special cream cheese and celery every Christmas and her candy and smiles. I noticed today my father in law is also having trouble with his new normal, he just did not seem himself. He was just going through the motions. He is lost without my mother in law. At his tender age of 83 I worry he may just die of loneliness. It was said to me that after the losses it becomes your "new normal", but I don't know how long it will take me to get used to the feeling of this "new normal" or if I ever will. I will always long for the "old normal" even when I have been healing and starting over and have gratitude for everything and everybody in my life. I am sure all of you who have lost loved ones will understand what I mean.
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The Last Gift
At this time two years ago my mother was in Hospice care. She had suffered a double stroke 16 months earlier. At first we thought there was a chance she would recover. But the damage was too much for that to happen. She was paralyzed and had many other issues. Amazingly enough she could still talk and remember the past and all six of her children. At times she was so clear you would not have thought nothing had happened to her. As time went on she began to get aspiration pneumonia and urinary tract infections over and over again. It got to the point that she could not eat regular food because her throat was damaged from the stroke. She had to have puree food and thick it. Her quality of life was slipping away. After treating her many infections, it was clear they were not going to go away. Her health was failing. The Doctor said there was nothing more that they could do. My siblings and I discussed the situation and we knew what we had to do as painful as it was, we had to let her go. She had fought and suffered long enough. My brother being her health care proxy had to sign her into hospice care. The Hospice care began around Thanksgiving. When Christmas came around she was very weak and heavily medicated, but could still converse with us. I wanted to buy her a gift for Christmas, but every time I went into the store, no gift seemed right. I froze in a way. I could not handle the fact that I was buying her the last Christmas present from me. After a few attempts to buy her a gift, I just gave into the fact that I just could not do it. The shiniest diamond would not have brought her a moment’s happiness or peace. I don’t think she was fully aware of any gifts she did receive. Now that I am reflecting back I think I know why I could not buy that last gift. Even though I was in a lot of pain my instincts knew the only gifts she needed that Christmas were spiritual. I realized I was giving her those gifts every day. I gave her the gift of time, by leaving work to be with her as much as I could. I gave her the gift of comfort as I held her hand when she was scared. I gave her the gift of unconditional love as I kissed and hugged her when she needed it the most. I gave her the gift of peace when I told her everything will be alright, and I would take care of my brother Jimmy who she lived with for 20 years. I feel the last gifts I gave her were the best gifts I had ever given her. The gifts she had taught me throughout my life by example.
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Two Beautiful Women that I was blessed to have in my life!!