Thursday, November 11, 2010

Life and Death

One of my expressions at work for not getting something done is that life got in the way. In the case of blogging and the past 6 weeks, life and death got in the way. Six weeks ago, life was pretty grand, I got to go out to California to visit with my oldest son who got a "real" job and the opportunity to stay out west while also staying with an old friend who lives in Venice beach. It was a great visit as my old friend was one of the best techs that I have ever worked with and even if we don't politically agree, we enjoy talking about everything else. Plus, she's pretty mellow, along with intelligent, my kind of friend. She has been a wonderful support person for my son who works right across the street from her. I got to enjoy the beach, the sun, the sights and a tour of Sony studios, an excellent vacation.
While away, my husband told me that his Mom wasn't feeling well and that his Dad wasn't too much better. She was seeing a doctor for blood in her urine, while Poppa had stomach pains. Well, I thought, they're both seeing doctors and should be okay. It wasn't until I got home, that I realized that this could be serious. Meme had a cat scan done on Wednesday and no one called with results, she was in the ER by that Sunday night where we got the first bad news. I don't want to get into details, as the news got worse as time moved on. Two weeks later, Meme was in the hospital, with metastatic cancer and we were scrambling to get her into hospice as my father in law was diagnosed with gastritis and was unable to care for her at home. The four grandchildren who lived away were called and flew home from all around the country to visit with Meme while she was still able to enjoy their company. The day after the last grandchild went home, Meme's health took a turn for the worse at hospice and she peacefully passed away last Friday morning. We term the time from the initial ER visit as the quickest/longest time. The illness was so quickly overtaking her as we waited for results.
Meme was 85 years old, she lived life to the fullest and was the homemaker who ruled the nest. Her family was the most important thing in her life. We are happy that we were able to honor her life by following her last wishes, no treatment and a simple funeral. During her time at the hospital and hospice, we had the chance to learn even more about her life. Fortunately, the hospice is located on the hospital campus where I work, close to family and accessible to us 24/7. The end result was not surprising, it was just that 6 weeks ago, it was unimaginable that it would be so quick.
So yes, life and death got in the way, but I was off doing what I felt needed to be done at the time. Coordinating my sons' quick weekend trip home, cooking for the family and visiting with my Mother in law. This was the important life work that goes along with being part of a family. The housework didn't get done, the leaves didn't get raked, bulbs weren't planted and I did what needed to get done in the short time that we had left. It all got done after Friday.
I guess some writers would have a lot to write about given the emotional roller coaster I was on. It's just not my style to write in such emotional detail. But this is what I can say, I am proud of my sons for coming home to visit their Grandmother and to make her smile. She loved them all equally and I gave her permission to haunt them everyone once in awhile. To which she replied, "No, I will haunt you instead."


  1. I am sorry for your loss. I am so glad all your sons got to visit her one more time. . . Take care and don't worry about the things that will be there in the spring when the snow melts! Please give your husband my condolences.

  2. Your writing is a lovely tribute to your Mother in Law. I like what she told you! She sounds like a woman who had a good sense of humor (and possibly a lot of common sense, too).

  3. Anonymous7:34 AM

    Has she come to haunt you yet? I honestly DO believe in such things --

    Found you via "One Gal's Musings...."


  4. Sometimes what you don't say is as eloquent as what you include. Your post was lovely and heartfelt. I am so sorry to hear of this loss, and hope you are coping with these things as well as you can. And be sure to let us know if being haunted turns out to be fun. I mean, you never know ...


Any thoughts or musings of your own to add?