Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Last Flower of Her Life

Happy Mother's Day

Mom loved Zinnias, Mexican Roses, and pink roses.

She was rushed to the CCU in mid-April last year because of a viral infection that took her strength away and aggravated her advanced lung disease.

My Dad needed her to be his caregiver for ten years. Mom did a commendable job on her own for the first seven years or so then needed to rely on outside help as her own health declined. My brother and his wife assisted her, along with day nurses because it was an overwhelmingly difficult job for one little lady. Dad was, and still is, wheelchair bound. He had a major stroke and subsequent mini ones. It’s not his fault.

After Mom’s few weeks in the CCU, she became strong enough to enter rehab. I didn’t like that place. It was dreary – a temporary holding tank, so to speak. During that week she progressed slowly. We all had high hopes because she worked hard and was wanting to go home. She missed her cat, Ditty, and the family. I had traveled north and south on the interstates to visit her and to help take care of Dad, but I wasn’t there on a very important day.

I sent her flowers with pink roses on Mother’s Day. I asked the florist to include Zinnias but I don’t know if they did. I called her room to see if she had received them. There was no answer. I called the staff and they told me she was attending an activity. It made my heart warm to hear that news!

Later that evening, I received a call from my brother and it wasn’t good news. She was not attending an activity that afternoon. Mom was rushed into emergency surgery, instead. Her belly had swelled due to a ruptured bowel. How horrible to happen on her last Mother’s Day.

Mom never regained full consciousness after that surgery. She slipped into a coma before she left us two weeks later.

She saw my flowers before she was rushed into surgery. My brother confirmed it! Oh, how I wish I could have laid them upon her lap.

I regret that I wasn’t with her on her last Mother’s Day but I feel kind of warm knowing that the last flower she gazed upon came from me.


Cuppa said...

Oh Mary. How beautiful! Flowers do speak a language all their own don't they?
You were there with you mom in spirit and your mom's spirit would have felt that.

Heart hugs are being sent to you right now.

Happy Mother's Day.

Susie said...

I know that Mother's Day must be as tough for you as it is for me. I hope you'll hold close the memory of all the good times and know that your Mom is enjoying all the flowers Heaven has to offer.

Cathy said...

Mary - sweet lady. So now Mother's Day will always carry this mixed bouquet of memory. I love that your mom loved Zinnias - they are absolutely one of my favorite flowers. If I could grow only one annual - yes, it would be the bright, rhinestone-budded Zinnia.

Happy Mother's Day with a hug :0)

sonia a. mascaro said...

Oh Mary, your words brought tears to my eyes. Love the flowers's photo! It's vey sad don't have our mother near us in Mother's Day! My Mom passed away in 1997, she had a heart attack. She was 83 years old. I miss her so much! But that is the life, we must carry on...

I wish you have a lovely Mother's Day! (((Many hugs)))

Ruth said...

What a bittersweet, beautiful story, Mary. Circumstances can change so quickly and your account should remind all of us how important it is to maintain loving relationships every day.

Unknown said...

Oh Mary! I'm so sorry that your Mother's Days will always be bittersweett now. But I love that you know enough to find the good in it -- flowers always make a difference. Happy Mother's Day!

NatureWoman said...

Oh dear Mary I so feel for you, you know I do. Your Mom loved some beautiful flowers, and I know it makes you feel good to know that she saw your flowers and knew they were from you.
{{{Hugs}}} to you Mary.

Anonymous said...

I need to hug you also {{{HUG}}}, Happy Mothers Day to you!

KGMom said...

Mary--we have a similar experience. I am posting a remembrance today on my mother, who died on Mother's Day.
It is wonderful that you brought brightness to your mother's last Mother's Day.

Mary C said...

Mary - my mom also took care of my dad for several years while he had been sick. And then less than two years later she was rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. We then found out she had ovarian cancer of which the tumor had burst and spread throughout her body. The Lord took her quickly, and I still miss her six years later. What precious gifts mothers are to us. My wishes to all mothers on this Mothers' Day.

Susan Gets Native said...

I think you have enough hugs here to last you until 2020. And here's one more:

{{{{{{{{{{{ }}}}}}}}}}

dmmgmfm said...

Oh Mary, you are such a dear, sweet woman. I cry for you, dear. And I'm sending you many hugs.


Alyssa said...

Mary, I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mom. You wrote a lovely tribute to her and I can feel your pain and sadness. My Mother is gone also, and this day lots of things rise to the surface of our minds. As others have said, all we can really do is remember the happy times and plant some zinnias. Take special care of yourself - Alyssa

Jayne said...

Oh Mary... how hard that must have been, but I am sure she smiled big as she soaked in the beauty of the flowers you sent and is still smiling down on you each and every day. Blessings to you dear friend.

Mary said...

Thanks everyone, for your wishes and hugs. Mother's Day will never be the same for me as I'll always remember 2006. But I can still smile - I'm OK!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
It is because we love so deeply!
How appropriate your Mother loved zinnias, they are the flower of the Butterfly!
As we grow older all the experiences of seed to seed come to us. You are surrounded by loving, caring, nurturing people.
Your life is full of gratitude and you are gracious.
Thank you for being in my life and offering your kindness.
Anniversaries are often sad as we remember and give honor to those that have gone on. We miss them. They are planting the gardens we will someday relax and become refreshed in.
Today and everyday I send blessings,

Chrissie said...

I'm sending you a hug and a smile :-)

Larry said...

-Beautiful flowers-
Mary-your post really hits home with me.
I left a note for my sister because she was having tests done when I went to visit her in the hospital-I never had a chance to say goodbye to her.
I'm sorry for the sadness you carry with you-

LauraHinNJ said...

I'm sure this was hard for you to write Mary, but hope that putting it down *on paper* helps you to realize your feelings more fully and get some comfort in the good memories.

Mother's Day is a tough one around here too, but I'm happy for the occasion to spoil my mother-in-law a little more than usual.

Dorothy said...

Biggest hugs to you Mary, for the loss of your mom and for having to celebrate this first Mother's Day without her.
I still miss my mom after 10 years ...the last day I saw her alive was that Mother's Day in 1997.
The flowers your mom loved are beautiful! I'm thinking of you with love..