On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, my mom finally got her wish, and passed away peacefully in her sleep, almost two years from the day she had her heart surgery. But her heart didn't give out on her; instead, she made an informed decision.
It was a long and difficult two years. Changing roles, where I became the one in charge of a good portion of her life, was probably the hardest thing for us both. But our personal bonds became stronger and closer than they have ever been, as we became true friends and equals as well as mother and daughter. She had to let go of so much, but she was able to do so only because she trusted me to take up the reins. I promised her once while helping her up the stairs of her house that I would never let her fall. That became a reality, not just physically but emotionally and financially as well.
When she made the decision to give up her rental home and stay at Meadowood permanently, it was because we both knew she could no longer live alone. When she made the decision to stop going to dialysis in early December, we both knew that it was a final choice. It was really hard watching her get weaker and less coherent, but it was part of the process. She always knew who I was, though, and she looked forward to my daily calls, even though I occasionally had to remind her who she was talking to.
The last two weeks she was unable to pick up the phone, and also lost the ability to speak, but I still called every day, and if a nurse or aide was with her they would answer and hold the receiver to her ear so I could talk to her. If no one answered, I mentally held her hand and told her I loved her while the phone was ringing, since they said she always turned her head toward the phone when she heard it.
I will miss her horribly! But I am SO grateful that she is at peace now and free from a body that was no longer working well and a life she was tired of living because she could no longer do any of the things she loved. I hope my great-grandparents and my "fairy godfather" were there to greet her and show her around. I hope that she and her younger brother and sister who died years ago are catching up on each others' 'lives'. I hope that she and her own parents have made peace with each other. And I hope that she and my dad have also met up and are friends again.
"In my End is my Beginning." (Mary Queen of Scots)