Four years ago


It was a beautiful sunny day, just like today, that I sat in my mothers hospital room sharing the couch with my father. I watched him say his goodbye to her,  knowing it was the final farewell.  50 years of marriage that would end during the early hours of the 6th.  When he left the room I felt horrible panic, not knowing if I should stay or go or what I should do. She was no longer able to communicate and I felt lost. I had already told her about my journey down, seeing eagles and hawks. That was my way of connecting to her, through wildlife, plants, and nature in general. But I was left alone with her death coming closer as the clock ticked on.  I think I lasted another hour or so before saying my goodbye. The rest of my siblings & her grandchildren came for their visits not long after I left. I’m grateful we all had that opportunity. I cried the whole way home.

As each year passes it gets easier knowing she isn’t there. I  don’t relive the final 2 weeks leading up to her death anymore. She would have  hated my current dog Moby and probably would have rolled her eyes at us taking on Reggie and Zeek for 18 months. She would have been happy to see all the artwork I’ve generated.  When my father was diagnosed with cancer 2 months after her death, she probably would have felt justified for having noticed his health change over the past year+ before the doctors clued in.  I suspect she would have been very proud of her grandchildren for where they are today.

Her daffodils continue to come up each year like clockwork. I will always miss her deeply at the beginning of February when she left us.

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

12 thoughts on “Four years ago

    1. 40 years? You must have been a little tyke! 😉
      Actually, my mother hated the fact that I wrote about her, but it was the only way friends and family could keep in touch when she was ill. She was a challenging person but we all loved her dearly.

  1. I’m so sorry, Gale. This is an eloquent elegy. I love that you know what her reactions (positive and eye-rolling) would be to what has happened since she died.

    (I understand what you wrote in response to a comment above about her not wanting you to write about her; my father was the same way. There was no way I would have put anything about his illness on FB, and it’s only on this birthday—2-1/2 years later—that I felt safe enough to mention him.)

    1. Oh my, 2.5 years later? He must have been quite a serious fellow!
      And we continue on living life to the best of our ability and enjoying the beauty around us.
      The dogs are loving the snow…. 😉
      Thanks Melissa! 🙂

  2. What a beautifully expressed tribute. I wish I could have been there when my father died, but I was on the other side of the world. My mother is still alive but deep in Alzheimers – she knows me when I phone, but doesn’t recognise me when I visit, so she is lost already in some ways. But losing parents is something we all have to experience, but each experience is different and so personal.

    1. Anna,
      Alzheimers is so challenging for the surrounding family. I wish you all the best with your mother. It’s nice to know she still connects with you on the phone.
      Thank you for your wonderful comments. I always love to hear from you. 🙂

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