Mom and me on a jet ski. One of my favorite photos. In the game.
We live a lot of life in between before and after, in the middle.
Then there are the afters, the lines we cross and there’s no going back.
No do-overs or second chances.
Today, is an after day.
Last night, my Mom died.
No turning back.
Going through is the only path.
No turning back.
My Dad died in 2016 and Mom lived with me, my sister and brother, going between three houses each week for almost 7 years.
Almost two years ago, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, no treatment offered.
The fact that she survived for two years is only one indication of how tough she was and is.
Never admitting to pain, powering through.
The past 10 days she had been struggling, sleepless nights.
She loved the dogs, probably more than humans at times.
I get it.
Dogs just love without measure, memory or complication.
She loved us, the grandkids, and her great grandkids.
Always wanting to be busy, included and involved.
Stayed in the game to the very end.
I am grateful for the quick way she went considering the alternatives of the end of lung cancer.
Caregiving is a long hard journey filled with frustration, joy, exhaustion, all rooted in love.
So much more to say about Mom in the days to come.
Needed to mark this day, this time, as fumbling as this is.
For those who are caregivers, you are not alone and keep fighting the good fight.
We can do hard things, imperfectly, but love is big, expansive, undefinable.
And in the caregiving, we can be like Martha when Jesus comes.
Busy taking care of things, focused on our to-do lists, commitments, murmuring and responsibilities.
As I and we walk through these next days, I am going to be more like Mary and choose the better way.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus quietly listening, present as we walk Mom home for ourselves.
She’s already in Heaven in no pain, reunited with Dad, her Mom and Dad, brothers, friends and relatives she spoke of often and best friend, my Aunt Marion.
There’s a particular solace in her seeing her Mom again who she lost when she was 10 years old.
What a long embrace and reunion.
Martha, Martha, sit.
Choose the better way.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me! “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42