I am a woman falconer, enjoying the Great Outdoors with a hawk on my fist.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
A Final Goodbye
It's almost appropriate here at the very beginning of this new blog that one of the foundation stones in my life is removed. This is a bleed-over from much that occurred in my previous life, which I'm leaving behind in the previous blog . . . . but the passing of my mother cannot go un-commented on . . . and not memorialized.
On Saturday morning, October 3, 2009, at about 12:15 AM, my mother passed away. In recent years her health has been declining. She has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for far too long, and it has brought her a great deal of pain. This is an auto-immune disease, and that combined with some of the treatment modalities, has resulted in a compromised immune system and damaged lungs. Mom gets infections easy and often. Every winter for the last few years she has gotten the "crud", and I thought this was just the first bout of it this season. We were all wrong.
We were to re-locate my parents this past weekend to an elderly apartment complex, and we did go forward with moving my father. It saddens me that my mother never made it out of El Paso. She would have enjoyed the new location in Fort Worth. We were moving them to be closer to us kids . . . which is one of the primary reasons I came to this area, back to Texas, to be closer and of help to my parents. Well, my mother is beyond any help I can render now.
My mother was a good woman. Maybe not terribly outgoing, but those who did know her loved her well. There was a fairly good turnout of people to the memorial service, and the funeral. She is buried at the Fort Bliss Military Cemetery in El Paso. It is a well-maintained, and very efficiently run place. Just three hours after the graveside service and she was in the ground with very little sign that it had just occurred.
We each of us deal and cope with our losses differently. I have been coping with loss for a couple years . . . trying to come to terms with things that are passed for me, and letting them go. My face is directly pointed to the light of the possibilities of the future. I have loved those that are no longer a part of my life . . . . but for many reasons they are no longer there. I have to keep on living, and making new ties, and growing. My mother has been a firm and steady rock in my life, and I will miss her terribly. It saddens me that she won't get to meet Rich. He is coming to visit me in about a week and a half. I need his visit . . . . and might cry on him a bit.
My family's religious beliefs were on full display this past week. It gives comfort, I know, but is a way of looking at the world that is changed for me. I still believe in the permanence of the soul, so feel my mother's spirit still exists. However the way of that existence truly is beyond our knowing . . . until we make the journey ourselves. I trust that all that she was is not lost, and that somewhere her soul rests, either for a season of healing and reflecting, or perhaps soon to return for more learning.
If I could speak to her I would tell her that I love her . . . . as strong a love as I can express for anyone. She is the womb that brought me into this world, and I have continued to be tied to her through an umbilicus of love. Several times as I struggled with my changes and loneliness and challenges of the last few years, she was the steady and loving voice on the other end of the phone, giving me encouragement. It is not that I have come to a point in my life when I don't need that . . . . but only that her time here has come to an end, and she must go.
I am happy to know that I did arrive, we all arrived, in time to be there for her. If her soul was hovering, watching, then she saw that all the living people who were the closest to her made it to her bed prior to her passing. We had gathered, then departed for some much-needed sleep. Within about 40 minutes of our leaving, her heart's patterns became erratic, and stopped. We had chosen to not revive her . . . as there really was no point to attempt it. Her body was failing . . . we let her go in peace. My sister Jennefer had chosen to stay the night with her, so was present at the moment the silver threads of her life were severed. We returned and waited for a physician to come and officially declare her death. I requested, and was allowed to extubate the ventilator equipment . . . freeing her body from the machines that still filled her lungs with oxygen, though her circulation had stopped. Even so, her body was stiffening and cooling. This is the most intimate I have been with one who has died . . . and it did not horrify me, as I had great respect for the body of the one I have loved since infancy. We stayed until she was fully disconnected from all the support equipment, and walked behind the gurney as she was wheeled out of the ICU.
The next few days were filled with the responsibilities of arranging for her final resting place, and finishing the arrangements for my father's transition to a new location. All was done, and now I have returned home to attempt to get back into a normal routine again. I don't quite feel I'm putting into words the emotions I am feeling . . . . and maybe that is because I'm still not completely in touch with them.
I will miss my mamma! I will miss her terribly! However my path continues on, hopefully for many more years to come. Letting go is a part of life! It is something I have had to do a great deal of in the last few years, and maybe because of that, I am becoming a bit numb to it all. But that numbness does not lessen the bond I felt for my mother. It will express itself, I'm sure, in the days and weeks and months to come.
Goodbye Mamma! Safe Journey!
Falconry! Or more appropriately for me, Hawking! It is a passion, and a way of life. I happily pursue this sport, with the loving assistance of my husband. Come along with me for our adventures with the birds. Primarily we actively pursue it in the colder months . . . the rest of the time I try to make this blog as interesting as possible. Come let me share my stories, and feel free to contact me. I always enjoy talking about my obsession with this sport.