Three years ago today, my mother came home to die. Nine days prior
she suffered a massive stroke from which it was determined she would
never recover. After the stroke, I refused to accept that she would not
recover. I held on to every hope despite the palliative care physician's
prognosis. He sat with me many times during those nine days she
spent in the hospital, telling me about his wife who had just lost her
own mother. I know he was trying to be kind, but I just didn't really
want to hear what he had to say. He didn't know the woman my
mother was. He didn't know her strength and will to live.
I stayed with her all day every day during her hospital stay.
She couldn't speak. She showed no signs of recognizing me or
where she was or whoever else came into the room. For
nine days she lay motionless with her only nourishment from
the saline IV drip spiked with morphine.
I talked to her. I told her about current events. I chatted about
everything except what was happening. I couldn't accept the
impending death, so I chose not to talk about it.
Of course, I could not deny the truth forever and her
doctor told me that I must prepare for the end and either
take her home or choose a nursing home for her final days.
Hospice would be there to help me. I chose to bring her home.
I had not noticed that the azaleas had begun to bloom. I was
living in such shock that nothing around me made sense nor
seemed important. I went home to prepare her room. A hospital
bed was being delivered along with an oxygen canister.
The ambulance arrived at 4:00 pm followed by the hospice
nurse. My mama was home at last. It would be her last
twelve hours on this earth. She passed away at 4:00 am on
February 21, 2014.
The days following her passing were dark and cloudy, much like
it is today. While I didn't notice that the azaleas were blooming, I
could see that the leaves of our big Live Oak trees were falling
like rain all over our property. It was as though those
giant ancient trees were weeping.
The last three years have been tough ones. Mom and Daddy are both
gone and my beloved Aunt Susan is too. I have been forced to live in
a new world without my anchors.
My pain is no longer as raw as it once was. I have accepted my fate.
The leaves on the big old Live Oaks are starting to shed once
again. New growth will follow. We had a few days of a hard
freeze back in January and our beautiful ornamental ginger
had to be cut down to 6 inches off the ground. My caladiums
suffered too and only a couple of lonely little plants remain.
Next month I will plant new bulbs. Our azaleas have begun to
bloom and in a few days they will be ablaze with their pretty
I have been working out in the gardens, getting ready for spring
and telling Mom and Daddy about my garden plans. I know they
are listening. I have another plan too. A plan that I know will
make them both very happy. That plan is the answer to my
Mom's question for me .... "when are you going to write
The answer is now.
Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley