Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Love You Mom


My Mom passed away Sunday evening. While I am deeply saddened I am also relieved she is finally free of her traitorous body. The last time I saw her I read recognition in her eyes, something I had not seen in over a year. She tried desperately to communicate with me, and all she was capable of doing was raising her shaking hand and shedding some tears.

My Mom is responsible for my start in my animal filled life. We always had dogs, cats and birds in our home. She made every effort for me to be able to ride the horses that I dreamed of having in my life and tolerated the various lizards, snakes and amphibians that I insisted live in my bedroom.

I will try to only look back on all the wonderful trips we took together after I became an adult, to her place of birth and beginning life around the Boston area, as we explored Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and ventured to unknown territory in Nova Scotia. I even surprised her and showed up in the Florida Keys while she was traveling by herself and we finished her trip together. We found wonderful places off the beaten path on Vancouver Island and the small islands off that coast. We explored Oahu and Texas, when she lived there, adventures too numerous to mention.

And finally to the Southwest, where I got an awakening of what her life was to become.

It was still an enjoyable trip, the most memorable point was going on a tour of the Hopi mesas. There was a wizened old Hopi woman, wrinkled and brown by the sun and time, sitting in front of her home that had no power or the luxuries that we have become accustomed to. This woman spied my mother and held out her hand. Mom walked over and took it and they had a private, special moment. The woman did not want to let go of my Mom's hand and my Mom found it extremely difficult to pull her hand away. "She said she wanted me to stay with her and keep her company" Mom said.

Loneliness is a harsh companion, and I feel the last couple of years that Mom was trapped in her Dementia ridden body she felt it was her constant companion.

One of my favorite poems, that I send to friends that are grieving, whether over family, friends or even our animal families is "Do Not Weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye. I would like to end this post with it now......

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.
Rest in peace Mom, I love you.

36 comments:

Michelle said...

Tammy, I am so sorry for your losses, and your mother's. If I could wing on up, I'd give you a long bear hug....

Wrensong Farm said...

Thanks Michelle. I'm taking the time this morning to do what I enjoy most, one which is reading other peoples blogs (which I haven't been very good at lately!)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Tammy,

Beautiful poem. I am crying tears, too, for you. I understand. My own Mother died of dementia when I was only 8 yrs old. At the time I was too young to understand and for most of my life I was angry with her for leaving me all alone without a Mother.

Now as an adult, and especially after reading some of what your own Mother has been dealing with these past years, I understand that it wasn't that my Mother didn't love me, it was that her own mind had given up and refused to work properly.

Still it is so terrible sad. The memories only serve to remind us of what we have lost.

((((HUGS)))) for you my friend,
~Lisa

Jenny Holden said...

{{{BIG HUGS}}} to you. What a sad day for you, but what a weight must have been lifted knowing that her confusion and pain has gone. Take some time for you xxx

Shula said...

I am sorry to hear about your mom Tammy. I am glad you had so many wonderful moments that you can hold dear. What a great poem as well.

I need orange said...

I am so sorry.

I have yet to lose a parent. I can't imagine how that must feel.

My heart dog lived a very long life, and had been only physically present for a year by the time it she had to be helped to go on.

I know that grieving isn't finished even when they've been "gone" for quite a while before they leave.

Sending you a hug over the miles.

IsobelleGoLightly said...

So sorry for the loss of your beautiful mom. The book, In Lieu of Flowers by Nancy Cobb is a great book that has been very helpful for many... http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780375714481

kenleighacres said...

I am so sorry for your loss. How special to have that moment with her the last time that you saw her. Free at last must feel wonderful ot her. Take care and big hugs!

Jennifer said...

I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. My grandmother, who was actually the person that raised me, had Alzheimer's disease. It is such a long goodbye. The poem is really beautiful and it brought tears to my eyes. Your mom sounds like a very special person. She is at peace now.

Bill Stearman said...

Hugs ... and all positive thoughts and prayers to you.

Grammy said...

Oh Tammy, big hug. I feel like I am there in your words. I love that you had so much travel fun with her. She was an adventurer. And an awesome person. So are you. Like your poem she is sill here in your heartland and mind. As she is not gone only on her next great adventure.

Bigger hug.

Star said...

My thoughts are with you, Tammy. I also love that poem and give to bereaved friends, as you are doing. I hope that you can soon come to terms with life without your mum. When my father-in-law was getting old and he was a countryman, he said that when he died he would see us all again when the sun shone on both sides of the hedges at the same time. I thought that was a lovely way of putting it, giving the hope of another life where the sun was always shining and we could all be happy forevermore.
Blessings, Star

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Aw, Tammy....
My deepest condolences on the loss of your mom...I understand the feelings of great sadness mixed with relief you are experiencing - it seems like those two emotions would never meet, but they do at times.
I love this picture of the two of you. I have gone back to it a number of times now, just to look...

Take care of yourself - you're in my thoughts. -danni

Pricilla said...

Please accept my sympathies. Having lost my mother 8 months before she died I empathize.

It is somehow tricky to be thankful that someone has died, but sometimes we just are. Recognition when there was none is a lovely last gift.

Gail V said...

What a beautiful picture of you and your mom, and a beautiful post.
I am sorry for your loss, but I understand the gratitude for her release.
What nice times you gave your mom, traveling.

shadow mountain jacobs farm said...

So very sorry to hear about your Moms passing. It's so hard to let go of your loved ones and I'm glad you have some lovely times spent with her to look back on. She raised you right, you are a wonderful strong woman and I'm sure you mirror her. The poem is also lovely but hard to read with out tearing up. My thoughts and hugs are sent your way.

patchworkfibers said...

Tammy, my heart goes out to you. I lost my mother when her body went and lost my father when his mind went.

Patricia said...

How extremely fortunate you were to have such a woman as a mother and a role model, and also, have her in your life for such a long time. Thank you for sharing this with us.

I know that when my father died as a result of Alzheimer's, I mourned him long before his death. When he finally passed away it was more natural. My own mother passed away quite suddenly and unexpectedly. This was the worst.

DeltaBluez Tess said...

we are so sorry to hear of your Mother's passing

HUGS......

Ruth said...

It's been so long since I've stopped by and left a comment, and today it is surrounded by the loss of your mom. I lost my mom to Alzheimer's, and what you wrote struck a chord - even your photo of you and your mom did. In a way you have been losing your mom for a long time. Mine was in a home for 18 months before she died, and her dementia had begun before that. She really was going going gone in the long good-bye. But there were glimmers in her eyes, as you expressed here. In some way I connected with her deeply after her disease.

God rest her, and you. I do what you do and remember who she was. I'm sorry for what you've had to go through, and I know what a relief and release it is to know it is over. Dementia is far harder, I believe, on loved ones than on the inflicted person, although I often wondered about that.

The Dream... said...

I am sorry to hear of your loss, but I am glad that you have some wonderful memories of your mum that will remain with you always. Like the poem says people do not die as long as there are people to remember them and hold them in their hearts.

Kim said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My owm mom lost her lucidity to a brain tumor, and although the final loss was a relief in some ways, it filled me with regrets anyway. God give you peace.

country girl said...

I have not been by your blog in a while so I'm glad I stopped by today. I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother. Dementia is so horrible. It takes your loved one away in soul and spirit long before the body gives up. Take care of yourself. I love Key West.

goatgirl said...

I understand and I am so sorry. What a wonderful mom.

Kay Lodahl said...

Hugs to you, dear friend. Your mother was a wonderful person and you were such a great daughter. I share your pain..

Linda Benson said...

Tammy - Hugs to you. I know how much your mother meant to you. I remember reading one of your earlier posts, about your mother as a dancer when she was young, that moved me very much. Take care, dear, and I'll be thinking of you, and that beautiful poem you shared.

HisTek said...

Just read your blog. I too lost my mom, on Jan.7, not from dementia but heart problems. She too supported my animal interests. Your post was comforting. I also wrote about her on my blog, sheepmom.com. I'm sorry for your loss, I know it's great.
Jackie
Forest mountain sheep
Chelan, WA

HOA Mgr Lady said...

So sorry to hear of your loss... especially her dementia. This is indeed a cruel disease.
Ruth

ellen said...

Tammy, what a great poem. I am so glad I got to meet your mom and have a few good laughs with her. I liked her stories about you. You were blessed to have such an adventuresome & lively mother. You both have a playful & free spirit. She will always be part of you.

Kara said...

Tammy,
I am so sorry for you loss. The poem is beautiful, as is your special tribute. Hugs.

Donna said...

Tammy....so sorry for your loss. Losing your Mom is hard, but knowing that she is at peace is a gift to your heart. Bless you and thank you for the poem. We read that same poem at my Mom's funeral service. It is a lovely ending to a special post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Claire said...

So sorry that I missed this until today. I am wishing peace and stillness for you in your life right now. The release from the clutches of dementia must have indeed been a relief for her, even as it was such a loss for you. Blessed be.

Tammy said...

Very sorry to hear about your Mom's passing. My heart goes out to you. I understand how it is though to see them trapped in dementia as their physical bodies carry on. My Grandmother, a vibrant, talented, busy lady endured several years this way and it was heartbreaking. It sounds like you had a beautiful relationship with your Mom and that you enjoyed each other greatly.
Take care,
Tammy

Eve said...

This is a wonderful poem for the loss of you mom Tammy. I'm saddend to hear this but the memories you have will surely bring warmth to your heart and a smile on your face.

Susan said...

Tammy, I'm sorry I'm so late in offering my condolences. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your wonderful memories will console your heart.

((hugs))
Susan

Candie said...

Thank you for the beautiful poem. I am sorry for what you and your mother went through those last years of her life. I send you hope for the future, take good care...