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Losing My Mother

Not all journeys are fun, but there are many one cannot avoid. Especially at midlife. This year, in June 2013, I lost my mother. She passed peacefully from this life. The last months of her life were filled with fear and worry about her health, and making decisions – very painful decisions.

losing a mother, mother, death of a mother, emphysema, stubborn, haunting, mother and daughter, midlife, midlife women, empty nest

My mother had emphysema, and she had become very frail in the last year or so. We tried to make her wear oxygen 24 hours a day, but met with absolute resistance. The doctor suggested assisted living, and that request met with an adamant no. We brought in home health, and boy, did that piss her off! She would sit on the couch with her arms crossed, kicking the sofa…all 80 pounds of her. No, none of this journey was easy.

Not wanting to force her into assisted living, we hired home health. We popped in on her unexpectedly to see if she was wearing her oxygen. She finally did start to understand that oxygen made her feel better, but she would not wear it out of her apartment. Bingo and poker games were the highlight of her social life, and she refused to go to those events with oxygen. When we tried to reason with her, she would shout, “I’m fine! Now leave me alone.” So stubborn!

The last two weeks of her life were tough…she refused to allow the ambulance to take her to the hospital, so I had to trick her into going to see the doctor, who diagnosed pneumonia and immediately put her in the hospital. Of course, she wanted me to take her outside for a cigarette, and she told the cardiologist she did NOT want to quit smoking, thank you very much. At first we believed she might get better, but that hope soon gave out. Knowing, or sensing, that the end was near, I asked her sister to fly in, and my son as well. She was surrounded by family and those who loved her to the very end.

She was almost 86 years old, and lived a full, eventful life. It is a good feeling to know that nothing was left unsaid, that everything was in good order.

This is my mother: 30 hours before she died I had her sitting up and playing Blackjack with my aunt and me!

When one does not have enough oxygen to the brain, one becomes forgetful, and personality can change. Of course, mom was often contentious, especially with me. While trying to get her to wear her oxygen 3 weeks before she passed, I was informed by my mother that I was “not right about everything”, and when she died she would “come back and haunt me” and I would “be sorry”. I have to smile at that. She could be a feisty little thing, and you know what? I hope she does come back to see me.

Haunt away, mom! I’d love to see you again. Rest happily with Daddy and all your loved ones who have passed.

But feel free to haunt me a little.

losing a mother, mother, death of a mother, emphysema, stubborn, haunting, mother and daughter, midlife, midlife women, empty nest

Tam’s Mom – Rest in Peace

Tam Warner Minton

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? Live life on purpose and with passion and do what you can to make a difference in this world, no matter how small! Contact me at [email protected]

Diana Studer

Wednesday 18th of December 2013

My mother was delighted to celebrate one hundred Christmases. This will be the first family Christmas without her.

Travels with Tam

Wednesday 18th of December 2013

I am so sorry for your loss. 100! I hope life is as generous to me!

Anne Parris

Wednesday 18th of December 2013

Diana, I'm so sorry for your loss. The first Christmas without them is really rough.

Tam Warner

Wednesday 18th of December 2013

Smiling behind a winning hand and threatening to haunt me is definitely the epitome of my mom. :-)

Lisha Fink

Wednesday 18th of December 2013

So sorry for your loss, Tam. But remembering her in her final days smiling behind a winning hand is a perfect legacy.

Shannon Bradley-Colleary

Tuesday 17th of December 2013

Kisses to you and yours. It's the feisty ones we simply can never forget. Too many stories, the good, the bad and the ugly. But love is at the bottom of each of them. xo

Travels with Tam

Tuesday 17th of December 2013

She was a character, no doubt about that! Thank you. The holidays feel so strange without her!

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