Tag Archives: death

Mom’s Obsession with Tim McGraw

How many of you are lucky enough to still have your Mothers with you?  Will you be spending Sunday with her, taking her to lunch or dinner and showing her how much you love her?  If your answer to both of these questions is yes, get down on your knees and thank God – or whomever it is you pray to.

Mother’s Day is especially difficult for me; mom passed away last year and although the first year without her was hard, this year is probably worse because of all the changes and drama going on in my life right now.  I really need her smile and her unending belief and faith in me that everything would be just fine. As a special tribute to my mom, I had to share my favorite memory of her.  No matter how I’m feeling, this story always puts a smile on my face.  But first…a little background.

I moved in with my folks – into the house I grew up in – about 11 years ago, mainly because their health was not good and they needed some financial help.  Dad had emphysema and COPD and was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.  I lived upstairs but I always took care of them, making sure the bills were paid,  the grocery shopping was done, and ensuring they ate and took their meds.  We had a routine and it was good – it was comfortable.

Dad passed away in 2012 and after that Mom and I became inseparable.  I knew her health was not good either, but she was a stubborn lady.  Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and congestive heart failure did not stop her at all.  She still drove, did things around the house while I was at work, and would go up to the local sub shop to get us subs for dinner.  (To this day, I can’t go in there).  She loved Facebook and playing the slots on the computer – she said the “F Word” alot when she lost – but she would spend hours in the office just playing away.

It wasn’t until late 2014 that she took a turn for the worse – she was in and out of the hospital  during that time and into early 2015 and although she was still as stubborn as always, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I lost her.  After her third trip to the hospital in as many weeks, I finally decided to bring her home.  She was terrified of dying in a hospital like daddy did and she had begged me not to let that happen to her.  I honored her wishes and I don’t regret it for one minute.

The last few weeks were difficult – but I knew she was still in there somewhere.  One story in particular I would like to share with you because it shows her sense of humor and her incredible spunk.  Those of you who know me personally have heard this story before, but it’s my favorite and worth sharing again.  (I must insert a disclaimer here – if vulgarity bothers you, it’s probably best if you stop reading now.)

Each night I helped mom get ready for bed.  She was able to walk with my help – even though she constantly apologized for bothering me – but that was her style.  She had been wearing pull-up diapers by this time and when she was ready to go to bed, I would walk her to the bathroom help her get her pull-up off and sit her on the toilet.  One particular night as she was on the toilet, she told me to leave her in there for for awhile and she would call me when she was ready.  I did as she asked and went to the kitchen to finish the dishes.

When she called, I went back into the bathroom to finish our nightly routine.  Now…this is the spunky part…keep reading and wait for it.  That night I was wearing my favorite gray sweats and a Tim McGraw concert shirt.  As I got back to the bathroom, I held out my arms to help mom get up.  She just looked at me and kept staring at my shirt. “Mom,” I asked, “are you okay?”  Without missing a beat, she looked up at me, pointed at my shirt and said, “I bet he has a big dick.”  My mouth dropped and I busted out laughing, “I don’t know, Mom…maybe.”

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From that night on, her “wonder” about Tim McGraw is how I knew the mom I loved was still in there.  The last few days of her life she slept a lot and whenever she would wake up she would be disoriented and not know where she was.  I got in the habit of asking her a series of questions like “what year is it;” “who am I;” “who’s the president;” “when is your birthday.”  She would answer sleepily, but correctly, and the last question I would always ask her during these episodes would be, “And what does Tim McGraw have?”  Her eyes would open wide as she said, “A big dick!”

Mom passed in March of last year and I still see the look in her eyes as she said that.  She was so funny, and I miss that so much.  I still wear that shirt and think of her spunk every time I put it on.  To this day, when a Tim McGraw song comes on the radio, I know it is a message from her saying, “I love you, honey. Everything will be okay.”

 

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Back for a Chat

So it’s been awhile since I’ve written. I haven’t really been in the mood. After mom passed away in March, I was so lost and felt so alone. I didn’t know what to do or how I was going to live without her. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those days now and then, and probably will for the rest of my life. My mom was my rock, and other than my best friend, she was the only other person in the world who knew me inside and out. She loved me no matter what. We had been through a lot in the three years since my father’s passing and it brought us closer together.

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If it hadn’t been for my BFF these last couple of months, I know I would have lost it and I would have wound up either self-medicating or dead. I’m not as strong as people think I am, and losing my mom was the ultimate test. I’m still trying to figure out if I passed or not. In any event, I came up with some thoughts over the last couple of months about grief and love and doing what YOU need to do to get through your own process. Some will help, others you may say, “she doesn’t know what the F*** she’s talking about.” But to each his own….

1. Cry until you can’t cry anymore….and then cry some more.

2. You don’t have to be strong…be a basket case if you want to be.

3. Make a DVD of your loved one’s life – I did this for the viewing of my mom and I can’t tell you how therapeutic it was to do this. I watched it a dozen times and knew she was there with me. Also, it’s a great help if you find you have problems with suggestion #1.

4. Don’t be in such a hurry to move on and get on with life. If anyone tells you to do that, tell ‘em to bugger off.

5. Don’t feel as if you have to forget. When grieving, memories are our bridge to the other side. Think about the good times – and the bad. Remembering both keeps your grief in check and helps you remember that nobody is perfect.

6. Don’t worry if there are times you can’t remember something about your loved one; this is your mind’s way of helping you cope.

7. Don’t feel guilty for having a life and hanging out with friends. This one is very difficult for me and I must say I still have issue with it from time to time. I took care of mom until the day she died but now when I’m out with my friends or at work, there are times I still pick up the phone to call and check on her. And then it hits me. Mom always told me I needed to be with my friends, and not worry about her… some days it’s hard to follow her advice.

8. Let your friends and extended family be there for you – see suggestion # 2.

9. Talk to your loved one every day – in the car, in your room, wherever you want. A friend told me that because most cars today use Bluetooth to connect to cell phones, I can talk to my mom and people will think I’m talking on the phone…LOL. What’s funny is that I do this every morning on my way to work…I talk to mom and dad as I’m driving or stopped at a light. It brings me a sense of peace.

10. To Hell with what people think. This is YOUR grief, YOUR process and YOUR loss. If you need to lock yourself in your room or take a drive to nowhere – do it. Take the time to mourn your loss – you are not one anyone’s timetable but your own.

Grief

Grief is scary as hell…I’ve been through it twice with my folks in the last three years, and I’m here to tell you it does NOT get easier. In fact, it gets harder as we get older. When we lose a parent, we may as well be five years old; we become that emotional child thinking that our parents will live forever. And then reality sets in and we must learn how to live without them. I know they taught me well, and I hope mom and dad are sitting on a cloud in Heaven saying, “Yep, we did good.”

-SB

other side of grief

For the Love of Angels

Today’s topic may be a bit off the mark, but I told you from the get go that I would write about whatever is on my mind at the time, so consider yourself warned 🙂

I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad these last few weeks. He passed away two and a half years ago and I still miss him every day. I know he is with me and as hard as this may be to understand or believe – I have felt him nearby.

When he first passed away, I felt so guilty. We were never an “I love you” kind of family and although I knew he would do anything in the world for us, sometimes he really annoyed the hell out of me. Sounds terrible I know, but I suppose that falls under the infamous father/daughter relationship that all of us go through. When I finally grew up and realized who he was, I felt so blessed and I think he knew how much I loved him when he died.

A couple of months after he passed, I was in our downstairs hallway. There is a table on the left wall and on that table is a lamp that I call “the duck lamp” because the base is a ceramic mallard. The light was mainly for decoration and was hardly ever used, but this particular night as I was carrying a box for storage down the hall, the light came on just as I walked passed it. I didn’t think anything of it, but as I put the box in the backroom, shut the door and walked past the light again, it went off. I checked to see if perhaps the light was on a timer that was screwed up, but when I looked behind the table, I saw no timer. What was even scarier was the light wasn’t even plugged in! I knew right then that my Poppy was an angel, watching over us and letting us know that he was okay.

Since then there have been other subtle signs – the squeak of a car or closet door, a light flicker and one morning my computer even flicked on. But that’s okay…every sign is a gift and tells me that he is happy and “keeping the light on until we get there.”

SB/2014

Death