“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.”
Another Mother’s Day has come and gone and more than a handful of mothers I’ve met in the last year have left this earth. These mothers had daughters – daughters that became acquaintances and friends of mine. Women with similar stories and a common bond with the love for our mothers. I think about these daughters and wonder how they spent their Mother’s Day this year.
The past few weeks my mom seems to have really started fading right before my eyes. She is more disconnected from what is going on around her now and has a far off, faded look in her eyes. She doesn’t speak much and is constantly looking for someone – anyone – to hold her hand. Caregivers and other staff are on the run, but often find a few precious moments to quietly reassure her.
And then there are the random acts of kindness, by residents and family members. I am witness to amazing gifts of love and compassion passed from one person to another. These are gifts truly given unconditionally, with no expectations from the recipient. I have many examples I would enjoy sharing, but understand I must protect the confidentiality of those who are unable to give consent. So I’m including a few of the pictures here that I have amateurishly cropped to remove faces.
I find myself really struggling today – seeing the painfully slow and steady decline of my mother’s physical being. I try to remind myself that she is still here with us – for now. And my time at Conifer House actually sustains me and keeps me going. While there is often sadness and loss, there is also great joy in seeing people respond to each other without pretense. I am so blessed and grateful for the bonds I’ve formed with the other daughters on this long journey.