Wednesday, September 20, 2006

For Gina

Gina, my friend and co-worker, is facing one of my biggest fears in life right now- the death of her mother. She's been sick lately, at the decision to place her in an assisted living center was difficult. She was hospitalized a couple of times, and then yesterday, Gina told me she was going into renal failure.

I knew, as Gina did, that this was probably the end of this road for her Mom. She even told me so- "I think she's given up. Hell, she even went to Confessional last Thursday for the first time in 40 YEARS." We were not wrong. She passed during the night.

I'm very close to my Mom. She's one of my very best friends. People often confuse us for sisters because she looks so young. I've been watching my Mom suffer from scleroderma for many years now, and every day is a blessing. She amazes me with her strength, determination, and positive attitude. I hope that should I fall ill that I would show the same characteristics. I don't ever want to lose my Mom, but I know that day will come.

When her Mom died several years ago, I was right there with her, helping her pick out flowers and get ready for the funeral. I was right there with her, helping her clean out Grandma's house. I remember how upset she was about the nonchalant way her brother said that he didn't want hardly anything from her house. She jokingly said, "When I die, I want you and Bill to FIGHT over things to remember me by! I know it's just 'stuff', but it's MY stuff, and it means a lot to me." I promised her I would fight, LOL.

When my Mom does pass, I hope that I am comforted by her memory. I'll remember the funny things she has said and done, and I'll laugh. Like I did after her Mom died, I'll pick up the phone and dial her number to tell her something... but she won't be there. We relied heavily upon each other for support when Grandma died. I wonder who I will rely upon when she goes? I'm not very close to my Dad. I love him, but I don't have the bond with him that I do with my Mom.

Gina, this is for you.
I hope that you can also find comfort in the good memories of your Mom, and you can laugh at the funny things she's said and done over the years. I hope the bad stuff melts away, letting you remember the good times you've had with her. I hope you can look through old picture albums, and touch her precious belongings, and remember her fondly. I know you'll lean on your brothers and sisters and others close to you for support... but when you're all alone with your thoughts, remember this:

Your mother is always with you...

She's the whisper of the leaves
as you walk down the street.

She's the smell of bleach
in your freshly laundered socks.

She's the cool hand on your brow
when you're not well.

Your mother lives inside your laughter.
She's crystallized in every tear drop.

She's the place you came from,
your first home...
She's the map you follow
with every step that you take.

She's your first love
and your first heart break...
and nothing on earth can separate you.

Not time, Not space...
Not even death...
will ever separate you
from your mother...

You carry her inside of you...

Godspeed, Mrs. Boeing. I hope you're catching up with the Angels who have gone on before you.


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