Early this morning, Mom put on her riding boots and walked out to the pasture in heaven to grab a horse and go for a ride. I hope she’s dancing with dad, riding her horse, playing with her dogs, and having tea with her parents and all the other loved ones who have been waiting for her. She’s free, she’s saved, she’s at peace.
This has been an impossibly difficult couple of years.
For those of you who knew my mom, I don’t have to explain what kind of a woman she was. She was the strongest, bravest, kindest woman I knew. She defied the odds her entire life. The surest way to make sure she would do anything was to tell her she couldn’t. You will never walk again – walks. You will never be able to go to school – goes to Stanford. You won’t be able to have kids – has kids. All our lives we were taught to not let little things like that’s impossible get in the way of anything.
Mostly she taught us what love was. She worked hard to give us the best life possible, and one of her greatest lessons was that my sister and I need to be friends, that we will be each other’s allies all of our lives.
All day long family and friends have been calling, texting, and emailing us. So many people loved mom, so many people love us. Thank God for this tribe. I had one cousin drop off a huge bag of chocolate to keep my energy up (haha), and another one invited all of us over for supper and a visit. I knew mom would be so happy to see us all coming together. Happiness, it’s found even in sad moments.
One of mom’s caregivers showed me this poem the other day. I keep thinking that as we were saying goodbye, there was a group of loved ones saying hello.
We love you mom.
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying…