Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Letting Go a Piece at a Time

This is one of my favorite pictures of my mother.
It was taken in Skagway, Alaska as we got ready to re-board the ship
after a day of riding the train to White Pass, which is what you do in Skagway.

It shows her sitting in her walker/wheel-chair which significantly
changed her life and ability to travel when we bought it several years ago.
Now, hopefully, it's changing someone else's life and improving their mobility.

Momma had peripheral neuropathy which is one of the complications of diabetes.
What she didn't know, because maybe even her doctors didn't know then,
is that with simple B-complex vitamins she might have diminished that
side effect of Metformin which she took for years.
The walker helped her have confidence getting around when she
could no longer feel her feet.
That walker literally allowed her to travel the world.

But, I digress...
This week I took the step of donating her walker/wheelchair.

I had previously loaned it to a friend who's co-worker had broken their leg
and was completely immobile.
It allowed my friend, and her other friends, to push this lady
out and about town; get her out of the house for a while.
And, I didn't feel bad about loaning it to them, because I knew it was coming back.
It was one of those objects that meant so much to my mother,
that I knew it would be hard to let go...
Loaning it out first made it easier.

There's a social worker at the hospital where I work at who's received
the bulk of Momma's medical supplies from her final days.
She knows the need, and she distributes things to her many clients.

I told her to make sure that someone very special got the walker.
Even though all of her clients are special, this was one of those pieces
that meant a lot to me because it meant a lot to my Momma.

I hope someone's life is changed because of it.
I hope someone's life is made better because of it.
I hope whomever receives it really appreciates it.
And, I truly hope that walker will continue to travel,
because if it could share the adventures it's had...

And, weird as it may sound,
I hope that walker has a long life helping people
because it helped and sometimes carried the most important
person in my life once upon a time.

Momma under the Alaskan Pipeline on our
second trip to Alaska...

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Ninth Monthiversary

And just like that, it's a new year
and the ninth month without my mother.

The pain has decreased somewhat, 
but I find when the memories hit
they hit hard.

I'll go for days doing ok,
but then a memory will strike...
a scene will be replayed...
and, suddenly I am back to the moment that she died...
or back to the morning before she died...
or back to the week before she died...
and, I start to question myself over and over,
and the tears come
and the pain starts up again,
and I find myself wondering for the 100th time
if there was anything else I could have, should have, would have done...

A year ago she was leaving the hospital and starting rehab...
and I go back and replay the day she fell...
what could I have done differently...?
How should we have handled her rehab differently..?
What else...?
Always, what else...?

or... what if...?
Yeah, let's go down that rabbit hole one more time...

No matter the pathway, I end up back here,
trying to reassure myself I did everything I could,
I fulfilled all her wishes,
I made her last moments peaceful,
at least I pray I did...
because that causes the most doubt of all,
that I didn't do something right at the end...
when it really mattered...

btw, the little foot is an etching I noted where the new concrete was poured
in the back yard of my mother's home...
just her name and the date,
I don't know the significance of the foot...
I wish I did...

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