My Mother, My Angel
(The Best Years in Life) I remember when I was a little girl hearing stories of my grandmother. I never knew her but felt as though I did. I remember the first time that I saw her picture. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever set my eyes on. She was so beautiful, so feminine, so elegant, so poised.
My mother was so proud of her and loved her so much. She always called her mother her angel. She would tell me wonderful stories of when she was a little girl. How her mother took care of her, took her to church, to school, how she taught her how to do so many things. She told me of all the wonderful times they had together. She also told me of how her mother comforted her when she was sad. It seemed as though her mother was the most perfect lady that ever lived! I grew to love my grandmother so, although I had never had the opportunity to meet her. I grew to almost idolize this most perfect person that ever lived. She often recounted these lovely memories, which were the happiest days of my own mother's life. Then, when she was twelve years old, tragedy struck and my mother's life would never be quite as happy again.
When she was twelve years old, her mother took suddenly ill and died in a matter of days. Even at that young age she perceived that she died because of a doctor's negligence, although she never could tell me exactly what the illness was. My mother never got over her death. Not until the day that she, herself died. She would tell me in such detail as to how she watched as the sudden illness struck my grandmother and then how she watched her angel leave her side never to return again. Even as a little girl, I saw her grief and pain. I believe that is when I was introduced to compassion. Through her eyes, I felt the loss of her one true love. I felt as if I, myself, was there as she had lost her best friend, her comforter, her protector.
From that moment on, she lost the joy and hope that every child should have. Her life became full of sorrow. They say time heals all wounds. With my mom, a big scar grew over her wound. I don't think it really ever healed. Sometimes you would almost see the scar open a bit, as if to bleed a little, as I watched the sorrow in her eyes as she would recount the story every now and then.
She grew up, from the age of 12 through her college years without her best friend and role model, making the best of everything. She told me of her loneliness, how she couldn't make friends, she just didn't fit in. So she immersed herself in her school work and that became her life. My mother excelled in school. She graduated from the University of New Mexico, majoring in Math, Suma Cum Laude, an incredible feat for a woman in that day and time.
As a little girl and while growing up, my mother was my heroine, as she excelled in everything she did. Yes, to me my mother was the most wonderful perfect lady in the world, and the most beautiful too. My mother became my best friend and I idolized her as she had once idolized her mother. Every Saturday would be a mother and daughter day. We always made it a point to do something together. We would go ice skating, we would go to the movies, she would take me to shows, in the spring and summer we would have wonderful picnics in the park, trips to the beach. Every Saturday was our own special day.
One day I grew up. I fell in love, married, and had my own little girl. My mother and I were no longer a pair. Our lives had separated and we both began a new chapter, a new relationship. I had my little girl now to take care of and to love, to start wonderful new traditions with. My parents grew older and retired to Florida, and the distance between my mother and me became so much the greater, but we had the telephone. On our special day, Saturday, I would always call her and we would talk. If anything wonderful happened, or anything sad happened, I would pick up the phone and call my mom. "Guess what happened?" This would be our relationship for the next thirty years. There were visits here and there, but there would always be a goodbye.
I loved my own little girl and whenever I had a difficult decision, I always thought, "What would mom have done?" And my decision was made. My little girl and I traveled life's paths, had our own wonderful times, our sad times, made our own traditions. And then something happened. My little girl grew up. She fell in love and got married. And now she has a little girl of her own. We now have the relationship of talking on the phone every week. If something good or something bad happens, we call each other, "Guess what happened?" and now my little girl builds memories with her little girl.
On October 20, 2001, my mother's and my paths joined again. It was the day that the love of her life, her partner, would leave her never to return again. I went to Florida to tie loose ends up and bring my mother home to live with me. We had fun again, my mother and me, my role model, my comforter, my protector, and my confidant. We went shopping, cooked together and talked. Oh how we talked! We talked about old times, when I was a little girl, her retirement years, and she told me the stories of her wonderful mother all over again. I got to know my mother all over again. My mother was my best friend again, to have around to do things with. These were four precious years. And one day she paid me the best compliment I have ever received from anyone in my entire life. One day she told me, "I haven't been this happy since my mother was alive." With that one statement I felt that I had succeeded in life. It gave me such great joy, and we went through the rest of our days, hand in hand. My love for her grew by leaps and bounds.
But little by little, the days got a little harder, a little sadder. First she needed me to hold her hand while walking, then she needed a cane, then a walker, and then we got a wheelchair. Her lungs and heart deteriorated slowly and she became dependent on oxygen for her very life. I became her caregiver. I cared for her, took her to the doctor, gave her the medicine she needed, watched old Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire movies with her and when she was afraid at night I would sit by her side until she fell asleep. I watched in love and sorrow, as I saw the mother-daughter roles change to me being the mother and my mother being my baby.
In March of this year my mother became very ill. I called an ambulance to take her to the hospital. She had pneumonia. After being in the hospital a couple of days, she started bleeding internally. She was too weak for surgery. The doctor said he would try to replace the blood in the hopes that she would stop bleeding. This was a long shot, just a mere hope. Each day went by, one by one, interminable days. The doctor said that he would give it one more day and would have to stop giving her blood. I was ready for the end. Then the most unbelievable thing happened! She stopped bleeding! I coaxed her to eat with hopes of coming home soon and she fell for the bait. She ate, after a month she got strong enough to be transferred to a nursing home facility. I thought that would be her home forever. I went to see her everyday and we made friends with the people there. I met Mr. Clyde who was in the room across the way. And I would tease them both, trying to hook them up together. When I would wheel mom to lunch I would call, "Mr. Clyde! Come on, there's an empty seat at our table!" I would embarrass her so and we had such fun with everyone. Then after 22 days, my dream came true, an unbelievable dream. My mom could come home. What a happy day! As we drove to the house and she sat at the table. I got the camera and said, "Mom let me take your picture." She looked up with her pale face so seriously and I said, "No Mom! You've got to smile!" And I posed her. I put her elbow on the table with her chin resting in her hand and I told her how to smile. And she did. It is such a beautiful picture. You can see the happiness in her eyes. You see the twinkle. My mom was put on hospice and nurses came in to take care of her. I cared for her in those last days, still spending time with her, still having fun. Now I was building sweet memories, because I knew my time was not long with her.
On July 29, 2005, our paths were to change again. That would be the day that, again, my mother would go to live a new life, and I would start a new path. We, once again, would no longer be a pair. My precious mother passed away. It was 10:15 in the morning. A massive heart attack took her. As I watched those final moments knowing that my mother was leaving me so quickly. I held her and told her how much I loved her. And then she was gone. I had watched my angel leave my side never to return again. My mother was a very beautiful woman and even in death she retained her beauty. I closed her eyes, kissed her, and covered her up to her neck and just sat next to her caressing her face. I caressed her face as the coroner arrived, and I caressed her face until the memorial home came to get her. As the SUV went down the road, I watched until it went out of sight. You see, because my mother was leaving for a very long trip and I would not see her in a long, long time.
Now, I tell my daughter about my mother, those cherished times, about when I was a little girl and how I cherished my mother, and I now call her my angel. Now I tell everybody about my mother, my angel, the most beautiful, feminine, elegant, poised lady in the entire world that ever lived. However, something very strange happens now and then. Something good or something bad happens, and I want to pick up the phone and call her and say, "Mom, guess what?" But I can't this time. Because I don't know the phone number.
So I treasure the time we had and our sweet memories knowing that once again we are separated. She is living her life and I am living mine until our paths cross again.
'Written With Love in My Heart'
About the author:
Luella May is a
natural health advocate and author
helping people to heal naturally. Her
articles appear in several online
venues, including Natural News,
AlignLife and CureZone. Luella is in
the midst of editing her eBook, "The 8
Invisible Stains of Our Souls" which
will be available in the next few
months. She partners with Tony Isaacs,
who authors books and articles about
natural health including "Cancer's
Natural Enemy". Luella
is a partner and contributor of
Years in Life website
for baby boomers and others wishing to
avoid prescription drugs and mainstream
managed illness and live longer,
healthier and happier lives naturally.
Luella co-moderates the CureZone "Ask
Tony Isaacs featuring Luella May" forum
as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander
hosts her own yahoo group focusing on
the natural wellbeing of pets.
Your website hosts Tony Isaacs and
to visit our CureZone Health Forum:
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