Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two years of good-byes

My mom taught me to cry at the drop of a good-bye. For the past two years, I have been saying good-bye to my sweet Mommy. I never called her Mommy until I became her protector, her advocate, her supporter as she went down her long path of release.

My Mom, Mayleen, had been at Manor Care for almost two years, defying all estimates of lifespan. She had been under hospice care for over a year and has been amazingly resilient. But a week ago, she was put on Code Pink, which is close watch with the expectation that she will not recover.

This is not the first time she has coded Pink, and as the Miracle Mom I have always known her to be, she surprises everyone often with her ability to recover.

But she didn't make it this time. Mayleen died on Sunday, October 7th. The manner of her departure was mystical. I originally thought that my only wish was that she did not suffer. But I actually had two wishes: that she did not suffer; and that I would be with her chanting as she passed.

I realized on Sunday afternoon that I would be chanting my last Gongyo with her and I also somehow realized that as I finished, she would choose that time to leave. So I chanted a nice, strong, slow Gongyo, making it last as long as I could. When I got to the fourth prayer and asked that her family be there to greet her with laughter and joy as I gave her over to them, she took her last breath and I chanted the final prayer knowing she had made the transition.

It was perfect. I will miss her in my life, protecting me as the Mama Wolverine she always was. I will miss being #1 in someone's life. But most of all, I will miss her beautiful smile, her gentle nature that could be hard as steel when needed, her immeasurable courage and touching her whenever I wanted.

I will see her again, so I don't feel the tragedy of her death; I feel the emptiness of her leaving me behind.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts of my mother.


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