What exactly does that mean?
My best friend’s mother is dying. Her illnesses have won the battles and are about to win the war. My friend and her family are there for her and keeping watch while this wonderful woman, who I too called “mom” slowly gives in to this consuming monster.
Every day, Shell and I email back and forth. She gives me the sad updates and I keep her entertained as best I can, with stories of my ‘personal trainer’. I can hear her laughter through the screen. I bring cappuccino, because what else would a good Italian do? (ok next time a cannoli) I pray it helps and gives her peace.
When I think of her mother, I see a mom, and hand crocheted wet mittens drying on the radiator. I smell freshly baked cookies. I hear her voice on the phone when she called on the day of my wedding rehearsal. I see my best friend in her wedding dress. I see her hug my 3-year-old daughter at nursery school and tell her it’s all going to be ok.
I found myself asking Shell last week if her mother was at peace. Was her body stressed from this arduous process of the soul being freed from the body that made her once that young woman, a girlfriend, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a Girl Scout leader, and a maker of potato soup? That soul will soon be freed and allowed to, in my ever so humble opinion, watch over her family from above and keep them safe and sound.
My mom is living with us and I go through the days constructing meals, doing laundry, and insuring pills are taken at the correct time. Her memory is failing. Her mobility is a challenge. I wonder if she struggles because I know I do. It is not easy being a parent to your parent, nor is it easy being the child to your child. Peace eludes us for now.
But, for you Mrs. L, I deeply and truly wish you the peace that has been evading you these past few weeks. I wish your body rests and frees your soul to the heavens above. It will soar high above us and be always present in your children, grand children and generations to come.
Everyone who knows you, loves you to the moon and back. I will always remember you, but I cannot tell a lie. I still cannot, and will not, eat potato soup.