Be Kind To Everyone: 1926-2020

Mom

Well, it’s been quite interesting around these parts over the past few months. The original story is one that no one wants to hear while scrolling through their reader. And lord knows I don’t want to relive it.

The short version is my mother was in the hospital for 10 days with a flare of ulcerative colitis, Covid went through the roof in Pennsylvania, we refused rehab and converted my family room into a replica of mom’s apartment in 2 days so she could move in with us. Honestly, it’s still a blur.

That was back on November 18th, which seems like both 5 years and 5 minutes ago. For the record, let me be clear that I am not a nurse, nor do I exhibit the skills to provide medical services due to my large hands and not knowing my own strength. Trust me.

Mom was over the moon about moving into our abode for many reasons, but mainly to be around family, her family, which was the most essential part of her long life. As a Great Depression orphan, her family was important.

Let’s say mom crossed the threshold into her new digs with a bang or a Code Brown. Use your imaginations, folks.  This led to a complete strip down, shower, and both of us feeling like maybe this was one of those ideas that looked great on paper, but the reality sucked—sort of like that 30 foot Homer Simpson Christmas decoration. 

Once she was settled and my assistant, Nurse Peanut, greeted her with open paws, we had time to discuss, laugh, and cry about that grand entrance. We were both imagining more of a Scarlet O’Hara strolling down the staircase kind of moment. If nothing else, it was memorable.

Ok, that was Wednesday evening; by the time a REAL nurse arrived on Sunday, I looked like the 94-year-old patient! The bags under my eyes highlighted the dark circles nicely.

Meanwhile, my mom looked like a movie star! She was showered and dressed with her hair, nails, brows looking fab, and any unruly chin hairs removed. Just my two cents, if you’re in the position of caring for an elderly parent, the better they look, the less help you’ll get. Disheveled is the way to go.

If I heard it once, I heard it a million times, “your mom looks great; she’s not sick enough for more help.” Were you ever so tired that you wanted to knock someone out, tie them to a chair, and force them to step into your shoes for a night? Asking for a friend.

We entered week two, a/k/a hell on earth, with a whole new bag of crazy. I gained another patient in the house. Officially declaring myself an RN working 24/7 shifts with no pay.

While mom was downstairs having everything that went in her mouth come out the other end and insisting on eating because she was hungry, my husband was locked in our bedroom coughing up a lung with, you guessed it, COVID! Oh, you can say it, I’ll even join you. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Just when you think things could not possibly get worse, at mom’s request, I made a homemade apple cake because she was craving something sweet. The aroma of this cake makes the house smell delicious, and lord knows with all of the other odors going on, it would be more than welcome. Just one of the many, OH SHIT, no pun intended, moments that followed.

I’m not gonna lie; losing my sense of smell was welcomed for what transpired over the following few days. Can you say a blessing in disguise?

The husband started feeling better, my symptoms stopped at no taste or smell, but mom’s condition was getting worse. FINALLY, she was “sick enough” to get hospice services. They arrived on Tuesday dressed like they were stepping onto the moon due to the COVID colony known as my home.

Wednesday was the last day that I was able to talk to mom. Her last sentiment was, “be kind to everyone, no matter what, this world needs kindness.” Truth!

Mom passed on Friday, December 4, 2020, with me and my husband by her side. Hopefully, at some point, after COVID, we will be able to celebrate the Queen of our family and her life well lived.

16 responses

  1. My condolences on the loss of your mother. It seems you may have inherited the ability to find humor in the most unlikely places from her.

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    1. Thank you! I come from a funny family which has been the saving grace through this entire experience.

      Like

  2. You made me laugh and cry all in one post. I’m so sorry you lost your mom but it was nice that you had some last days with her. I love code brown (just the word, not the actual event) and intend to use it. I hope you recovered or are recovering. Sending hugs and I hope that helps. It’s the best I can do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Kate. There were many times I thought of you during this experience, because I know we both shared a close relationship with our mothers. I finally be going back to work next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa, I am really sorry to read about your Mom. I do hope you find peace in your grief & blessings in her memory. Thank you for sharing what has happened and please remember to take care of yourself and your husband as there may be some rough patches ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thnk you Silk. We are recovering. My daughter and sister also tested positive. What a wild ride this has been. I’m starting to gain some peace, one day at a time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa, I am sorry for your loss. Your mother’s words are ones that we all should subscribe to. She seems liked someone many of us would have loved to have met. Best wishes and condolences to your family in the time ahead. Thank you for sharing her legacy. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Keith, she followed politics most of her life and was very happy to see the first woman VP elected.

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      1. Lisa, I am so glad she got to see that. My mother was the final parent of my wife and me to pass leaving us on Christmas morning, 2016. She would have echoed your mother’s saying. Maybe they would have been friends. When my mother died, the minister told me usually it was my mother who pulled the church together to bring food to the memorial service gathering. Take care and remember more your mother’s life than its passing. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

  5. How lovely is this, and what a beautiful photo of her. That smile could change the world, even now. God bless her, and you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. She always was so happy. Her legacy, and a lesson to us all.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My condolences on the loss of your mother and contracting COVID. I’m lucky to have caregivers for my 90-year-old mom but will take care of her over the holidays. I know I’m going to be tired. At least I don’t have to cook Xmas dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I happy to hear you’ll be together, that’s the true spirit of Christmas. No cooking on a holiday is a gift too!

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