Blog, Family, illness, loss, Love, mother

A Sad Goodbye

Day 79

Twenty-two years ago I married my husband and gained a mother. Yesterday I lost her.

Just because you marry someone does not mean that you will be accepted, let alone loved, by that family. This is where I was fortunate. I had already lost my mother and my step-mother — both of which were devastating losses for me.

My mother-in-law and I became good friends and confidants. She visited often and we developed a wonderful relationship. I loved her very much. She was my mom for these last 22 years.

The last 8 days have been difficult as she faced the end of her life. She was a strong woman who fought a tremendous fight. The only gift I could give her was to be there for her as she had always been for me. For seven days we stayed with her and did all we could to make this last part of her journey as comfortable as possible. She was at peace and while that gives me comfort, I know I will miss her so much in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

Tonight we drove home. We had taken both cars so we drove home separately. I tried listening to Christmas music, but it just did not feel right. Christmas has been put on the back burner for us. I turned on the CD player and an old Simon and Garfunkle CD came into rotation. When this song came on, I broke down:

“Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Written by Paul Simon. Performed by Art Garfunkel.

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all (all)
I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you (ooo)
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

The lyrics are one thing, but hearing the song shattered my heart.

As I drove closer toward home, the sky turned a beautiful pinkish purple. It was stunning and made me think so much of mom and how much I miss her already. These last months had been so difficult for her and all of us who loved her. We always tried to lift her up and this past week was no different. We were all with her.

Now she has gone on — no longer in pain — and we are left to maneuver through this life without her. It will not be easy. She was a big presence in my life.

Godspeed, Mama. I miss you already.

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