Sunday, January 25, 2015

Another Anniversary of My Mother's Death

My sister and I have been remembering this week 28 years ago most vividly. But it is funny which details we both remember. I remember my mother telling me to get married to that nice boy Michael :) Best advice ever. Did I listen? Heck no. I was too busy being independent. That's me, at age 19, at his parent's house, around the time when my mom first got sick and was being treated for an ulcer. If I could roll my eyes, I would. She had stomach cancer. It's completely curable if caught early. Did you know you can live without your stomach? You just have to nibble throughout the day. 

The Sunday before (18th) was the last we spoke to our mother. She was hospitalized and you cannot imagine the relief of not being the 24/7 caregivers. I'd stop by the hospital on my way home from school and spend some time combing her hair or holding her hand. She was unresponsive, in a deep sleep, possibly a coma, her breath shallow but even. I wondered if she was aware of my presence. I didn't think to pray for her. But earlier, she had told me that she had seen her father and her little son, both whom had died many years earlier, so I knew she would be escorted by her most loved people to the throne of God. I thought all this even as an atheist. Strange, no, to believe in an afterlife and a God when you don't have a personal relationship with Him? But I had no concerns, no thought of heaven or hell per se ... 

It is only now that I offer prayers for her soul should she need them, for a soul in heaven has no need of our prayers. And I am sure that not a single prayer goes wasted for she will use a prayer for those who need it the most. But deep in my heart, I feel she has reached heaven. I do wish that people wouldn't instantly make everybody a saint at funerals. I know it is probably to make the family feel better, but the best thing we can do for our beloved dead is to offer prayers for them. I remember reading the text of the Requiem Mass the first time and saw that even the Agnus Dei, we pray only for the deceased. And so, I'll be offering a prayer for all our beloved dead. Requiescat in pace, Ai. I am deeply grateful for everything you've done for me, both here on earth and in heaven. And I hope you will come to escort me when it is my time.



8 comments:

Barbara Etlin said...

Hugs, Vijaya.

My mother died three years ago last November and I still think of her daily. But she had a long and mostly happy life, so losing her wasn't traumatic as was my father's sudden, young death.

Vijaya said...

Barb, I will pray for your parents. I am in a happier place now ... but oh, how hard it is to lose a young parent. Hugs right back.

Mirka Breen said...

I remember my stepmother saying at the death of her mother, "who is going to mother me now?"
My stepmother was in her late sixties then.

I think of both my parents, gone a year apart on the same calendar day. I work at being my own mother, but it isn't quite the same.

Your mother was very beautiful, Vijaya.

Leandra Wallace said...

That last line is beautiful. Having your loved ones coming to bring you home would be amazing. I am sorry about your mom, Vijaya.

Bish Denham said...

Our mothers are so special. We will always remember them. Mine was ready to go and when the time came she slipped peacefully away in her sleep with the noisy of friends and family around her.

I have a mission for you, Vijaya. Should you choose to accept it, pick up an award on my blog. As always, should you be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

Johnell DeWitt said...

Beautifully said. What a tough thing to experience.

Marcia said...

What a lovely post. I've already said this, but the resemblance between you and her is so strong.

Vijaya said...

I love that I look like my mom, Marcia. Of course, when I was little, my brother and sister teased me that my mother took pity on me from a roadside woman who was both old and ugly ... and how I cried, because I wanted so much to be my mother's child, come from her womb. And I am :)