July 27th 1942 - July 7th 2016
My mother really didn’t want any fuss “when the time came”. I believe part of it was her not wanting to inconvenience anyone and the other part was her not realizing what a brilliant woman she was.
From as far back as I can remember, my mother worked so incredibly hard at every task she put her mind to. She would not stop until something was done just right…She was just under five feet tall, but you would never know that from way she boldly lived her life. She was in a country far from all of her family except for her child. What makes her even more amazing was that for all of my life, my mother battled with mental illness. We all struggle with our negative self-talk or “demons”, but a quick talking to with friends, family therapist and a prayer usually did the trick. Her demons felt very real to her and were very loud. My mother was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I went back and forth about weather I should even talk about this, but I realized how important it was to talk about the miracle her life was despite this horrible disease.
So when I say my mother raised me for most of my life as a single mother; she went to school to further her education; she landed her dream job, she made sure I was fed, loved as best she could, safe and looked after. She kept her disease at bay in front of the outside world for many years. The hospital she worked at had no clue, because she was meticulous about her work and usually worked nights where her interactions with coworkers although sincere, was very routine and practiced. She wanted to care for people and make sure they kept their dignity intact.
At home we definitely had our challenging times, but whatever demon she was battling still didn’t stop her from making me clean my room nor did it stop her from throwing me birthday parties or making sure all my needs were met. I wanted for nothing.
My mother was kind. Up until the day she passed, people always were drawn in by her kindness and loving heart. She would give of her time neighbors who needed help to coworkers or church friends just needed prayer. She was the one to make it happen.
My mother was completely head over heels in love with her grandson. She would give her last breath if it meant he would okay or better or fed. The moment he showed up in the world, her life was full. At times I felt like I was a surrogate. They have so much love for each other…they made each other better in so many ways.
My mother was my friend. The latter part of her life was so HARD! Age made it harder to keep her disease in check. Her final few years were at a nursing home. It was the first time she was able to be regulated with medication and started coming to terms with this disease. I’m so glad she was able to not recall much of what her life was off of her medication, so instead we would just talk about everything. These were the years I finally convinced her to get her first manicure and eyebrows done and King Spa. She loved them all. I felt like we got to bond over our woman-ness together. I felt like she shared her vulnerable underbelly with me like she would a girlfriend. I cherish those moments.
My mother is both my son’s & my angel. She has left this physical space and transitioned into her heavenly form. She is free of physical and mental pain. She is our watcher our guide and our protector in death as she was in life.