The Death Watch

by Ricardo

I am burying my one hundred year old mother tomorrow. These last few months have not been pleasant ones for yours truly.

I guess, as many others in the family thought, that she would just keep on living, even though she was VERY elderly.

She was a product of two "world wars", many other battles throughout the world, a great depression, the flu epidemic of 1918 that took her father and one year old sister within days of each other, severe poverty....yet she pressed on and would not give in of late to death itself!

My mother had been in a health care facility for the past ten years, and as she aged, she lost most of her friends and relatives, as well as five roommates at the facility over the years....yet she pressed on with her life as the small world around her continued to shrink.

She was a wonderful example for me with her daily "rosary", and various other prayers....she prayed for the world and all its short comings and aggravations.

She was a modest, loving, caring, saintly person who just happened to be blessed with one hundred years of life......seldom complaining.....just carrying on the best she could.

As life would have it, my father and her were in the same facility for a few years....he passed on some five years ago. He had been a "controller" during all of their seventy years of marriage, but she allowed it...that's just the way it was back then. When my father passed on, mother began to "blossom."

I have often thought of what she might have done had she not been "under" my father's thumb all those years. She once commented to me, "I will never forget, BUT,I will forgive him".....that was mother, my sweet, dear mother!

Then last week one of my brothers flew in from out of state after I shamed him into helping support me during the "death watch" that I would be facing. He had planned on coming in only after "the call", and her demise. We have not been on good terms for the past few years.

I am here, and he is there.....the burden and problems when they arose, "I owned"......did not like it, but I had no choice. I developed a certain amount of resentment over the years, and to this day find it difficult to shake. Well, as uncomfortable as I was at the "death watch" with him, watching our mother die, and she lingered on for days.....I began to think, was my mother in fact lingering on so that my brother and I were forced to speak and mend some fences?

There as I watched her die, I realized that powers stronger then man, and perhaps as strong as my dear frail 88 pound mother were at work during this "Death Watch", perhaps her prayers were answered....they are a powerful force, and on her death bed she knew that.

Peace to all....cherish your loved ones, and learn from them....even as they lie at deaths door!

Wendy: WOW, Ricardo -- ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD? And your dad died only five years ago? That means you are very likely to have a long long retirement too!

Nice story and nice reflection back on your mother... sending prayers your way.

Comments for The Death Watch

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Deepest sympathy
by: Nina from London

Losing someone you love is such a difficult experience. When it is your mother it makes it even more daunting. I truly understand when you wrote about her kindness and forgiving nature. Her great accomplishment was loving her family and forgiving those that were less than kind.

My brother and I were close to my mom as she began to pass away a few years ago. Then my sister also came. At the end what happens is that people begin to think about what is important to them. I would say it would be the family and loving one another. May your mom rest in peace.

Yours truly, Nina

Deepest sympathy
by: Niki

Dear Ricardo, Deepest sympathy on the sad loss of your beloved Mother. We only get one Mom in this life, and it breaks our hearts to lose her, no matter how old she is, or we are.

My own beloved Mom died when I was 49, and she was in her 80s. Just about everyone I worked with asked me, "How old was your Mom?" I found those comments to be completely uncomforting and useless.

The operative words are "my Mom died" and her age is basically irrelevant, or it was to me. I still miss my own Mom so much, and if she had lived to 100, it would not have been enough for me.

Deepest sympathy, Niki

Death Watch
by: Nettie

Very touching story and one that means so much to me because I just reacently spent a few weeks with my 87 year old mother who fell and fractured her pelvic area.

And I have a sister with whom I have been estranged from for a few years. And during the time when we were caring for Mom, our relationship did have a bit of a change for the better.

Mom is still very fragile and I am sending emails to my sister and brother regarding Mom. Otherwise, I would not be communicating with my sister at all, so like you, I believe that Mom is having an influence on our relationship, the one between me and my sister.

What can i do?

by: Bob Braxton

Recently we attended the memorial service (Presbyterian) of a good friend, our neighbor and church member, who would have turned 100 on December 11 (born 1913) - a great life.

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