Sunday, January 12, 2014

One year ago, today

Mom, January 3, 2013

One year ago, today, I got a phone call.

A late night phone call.

One more in a long series of late night calls that began nine years ago, when my elderly parents moved back to New York City and into my care.

But this one was to be the last.

You never know it's the last.

Until it is.

4 am, I remember this one was.

Mom had fallen. Again.

I rushed to her side in the Long Island hospital her nursing home had sent her to; a cold, bleary ride in the pre-dawn quiet.

Another broken hip. A matched set. (I wrote a post about it.)

But this time my mother was older, frailer than the last time. This time my mother had already been through the ringer, and unbeknownst to anyone yet - but soon to be quite evident - she was also becoming septic from an undiagnosed infection.

A year ago today, my mother went into the hospital, and began the final, short sojourn of her life. She began dying.

I was by her side nearly the whole time.

I was with her when she passed, five days later, at 3:15 in the afternoon of January 17th.

I have been dreading the return of these dates, these days. January 12th through 17th.

They were excruciating to go through last year, every moment both drawing out and swiftly fleeting, galloping towards that end.

And when they are done, the wheel will turn; from first year to second year without my mother. It will be a different thing. And yet also more of the same.

I know everyone's parents die, eventually; that this is the natural order of things.

I know that ninety was a good run.

I know I was lucky to have had such a loving mother.

I know I was lucky to have had her for so long.

I miss her every day.


  1. I am nearly five years out (April 29th). It does change - it softens, somehow, blurs at the edges, so it's not quite so painful and doesn't hurl you to the ground when you're least expecting it. But I'll be honest - it's not easy. Not yet, not ever. I understand, and I'm sending so much love on this unwanted anniversary.

  2. My mom's been gone for a little over three years. The anniversary of her last days (in September) are always tough. It never gets easier...we just know how to process through our grief more effectively, I think. Thinking of you and wrapping you in warm thoughts as this week begins.

  3. Varda, for me it has been almost 24 years. Life takes over- the kids, the garden, the job. The love remains, the memories enrich a moment rather than drain the joy from it. The love overtakes the loss. It is a process. Love your family, be strong in your voce and community, create good, as your mother would want you to. You are doing it "right" (there is no wrong way). One day at a time.

  4. Beautiful, Varda. I am grateful to read it --

  5. Thank you for sharing your reality. I am sorry for your loss. I cared for my other these last five weeks and held her hand as she took her last breath. I am counting days..wondering how I will get through this.


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