Those of you who know me, know that I'm very close with my mom, and that we have maintained our connection even though she was in Minnesota and totally deaf (unable to talk on the phone), while I live across the country in the NW corner of Washington state. She turned 94 this past January.
Over the past three years, as her health declined and I made more frequent trips back to Minnesota, I've cut back on teaching. This year, I also turned the leadership of the Bead Journal Project over to other wonderful and experienced volunteers, so that I could be free to go to my Mom at a moment's notice.
The time I've been dreading finally came. Three and a half weeks ago, Mom started showing signs pneumonia, running a fever, no strength, difficulty breathing. They started her on antibiotics. For a while she seemed to be improving, as she has in the past, but then her fever spiked up again. She did not regain consciousness for two days and passed away two weeks ago today. I flew to MN and stayed for a week. We had a beautiful memorial service for Mom, a very sweet tribute to a remarkable woman.
Now, back home again, I feel that her enormous love still surrounds me somehow, just as my love surrounds her wherever she is. Yet at the same time it's a strange, empty, lost feeling to know I'll never hug her, rub her hands, kiss her, touch her cheeks, or "talk" with her using a dry-erase board again.
My April BJP piece will be about my relationship with Mom, as have been several other pieces over the years. I've shown two of them above. I love you, Mom... you, who've I've known and loved for 68 years, are always a blessing to me.