Becky Says...

April 21, 2001

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In case you've wondered why I'm writing all this out now, five years after it happened, it's because I never took the time to write it out before. I wanted to write it for my sake, and for the sake of any who wondered what it was like but didn't want to intrude to ask.

There has been some wonderfully supportive response to the series, mainly from people who have been through similar events. And I appreciate that.

In sidebar parts of the eight days between my learning of Mother's condition and her death, I did take a little time purely for myself. One thing I did, after making sure everyone knew where I would be, and that Mother's condition was stable, was go to a nightclub to hear a rock band. Yes, I admit that sounds bizarre. But the band's trumpet player was the son of a close friend, and I had wanted to hear the group for a while. This was their only local appearance, and the plans were in the making before Mother's condition worsened. So another friend and I went, and enjoyed the music.

Of course, the gravity of what was going on did not take a break, even at the club. No, about three songs into the set, the singer announced that the next one he had written in memory of a friend of his who had died. It was a lovely tribute to his friend, of whom he said she had loved, laughed, lived, danced, and died. As I listened to it, I thought of how the lyric could apply to Mother. It made me a bit tearful, but it was good. Oh---the trumpeter was stunning, and it made Mother smile to hear about his performance. I left out the part about the song.

Something that was running through my mind all that time was that Mother would soon have a chance to see Daddy again. I was glad for her about that, but at the same time, it made me miss Daddy terribly. I spent some quiet time thinking of memories of the two of them from my early days, and being glad that I had been so blessed.

Of course, there were some unnecessarily unpleasant moments, too. There were a few people whose actions during that time made things infinitely more difficult. I realize that when confronted by such hard knews it is sometimes difficult to know what to do. But then there are people who should know better...

The pastor from our home church jumped into action upon hearing the news of Mother's third stroke. After months of virtually ignoring us both, he started making frequent trips in this direction to see Mother and speak with me. The fastest way to get here by highway still takes close to three hours. He would arrive, stay under half an hour, then drive back. I have no idea why he thought that was helping anyone. Trust me: it was more intrusive in my life than helpful. (Yes, that did play a role in my request for the prior pastor to conduct Mother's funeral.)

His last such visit was a couple of days after I learned Mother's prognosis. I had been in touch, regarding the funeral plans, and I told him that a cousin was coming to visit the following day. But the pastor decided to come anyway, even knowing that I might not be available at the time he arrived. And come he did, according to the nurses. He stayed a grand total of ten minutes with Mother, and left before my cousin and I got to the hospital.

I'm sure that impressed everyone else almost as much as it did me.

Text copyright 2000-2001 Becky