Created by Joey on 15/03/2012
Last April 13th, I said goodbye to my mother for what I was afraid would be the last time. It wasn’t. I was blessed to have another 10 months of her presence in my life. And, while I hoped it would be longer, I am very grateful for the conversation and closeness we were able to share during her recovery from septic shock, the setbacks she suffered, and, what was ultimately her final journey on this Earth.
My mother was the epitome of unconditional love and generosity.
When I was 32 weeks pregnant with my first child, Gabriel, I was put on bed rest. Mom came down the mountain from Shaver at least three days a week to take care of me and the house.
When my husband Michael was finishing up his degree at Fresno State in 2003, she offered to watch Gabriel and his little sister Laura full-time. She knew how challenging it would be for a one-income family to pay for childcare.
She just took care of us.
Actually, she took care of every body and every thing. Even in the last few days of her life, she was a caregiver. One of the last “tasks” she had to cross of her list was a reminder to my father: thirty, thirty, thirty. She’d already bought the birthday cards, and she wanted to make sure each of the under-18 grandchildren got his or her proper gift - $30. That’s the kind of person she was – always thinking of others first.
I know lots of sons and daughters say that their mommy is the best, but she really was. It’s not possible to do her justice in 3 minutes, so I’m not even going to try.
Instead, I’m going to share something that I wrote on April 30th, after I began to believe that she might make it out of the ICU:
Today was the first day that I really felt like I was communicating with the person I know as my mom. She might not remember my visit, but I definitely got the impression that her "essence" was present. When I arrived, dad was at her bedside. When he saw me, he said "JoAnne, it's your baby!" She clearly mouthed "my baby..." Of course I started to cry, and I stood by her bedside for a good 10 minutes telling her how much I loved her, how happy I was that she was "back," and how worried we all were. Then I promised that I would do everything I could to help her get stronger, and that I was sorry I hadn't realized how sick she was. She really is the best mom ever, but when I told her I didn't think I was nearly as good as she was, she mouthed "you are a good mom..."
I certainly learned from the best.
My mother is the kindest, most tolerant, forgiving, compassionate, empathetic, selfless, and nurturing person I know. I am going to spend the rest of my life doing everything in my power to convey my gratitude.
And to strive to earn the honor of being named for her.