Every year I dread so much the week of the anniversary of my Mom’s death in combination with Mother’s Day. The two events will never be separated by more than a few days and have fallen on the same date in the past. Its a bit of forced grieving time and while I do appreciate it and often good progress is made- the lack of ability to escape it sometimes suffocates me in its sadness.
One thing I’m hoping to remember more often is the good way in which these two dates are intertwined. As my Mom was slowly dying, coming home from school each day was hard. To see the daily decline, the worsening of her condition, and her further inability to interact meaningfully with us was heartbreaking. There came a time where it was easy to see the short length of time we had left- something we’d known for months- but to be able to see it in the decline was really hard.
While all of this was happening my oldest sister was very pregnant with her 3rd child. With the stress of hearing of our Mother’s declining health, the pregnancy had been incredibly hard. Beth was on bed-rest and combating some intense feelings while trying to keep her body a safe place for baby Joe. She couldn’t fly in her third trimester. And she couldn’t fly with a day old baby- or so said the flight requirements.
But my mom held on. She waited. And on Mother’s day of 2003 Beth, Scott and their now 3 kiddos flew to Montana. I picked them up in Billings and my whole family spent two days together before my Mom took her last breath surrounded by my Dad, Beth, Bonnie, Doug and me.
Those dates are intrinsically linked because my Mom got her final Mother’s day gift, to see her brand new grand baby. And then she got to be done waiting, done being in pain, done fighting. And she really deserved that.