My mother is gone. But till today, she is with me, still. During her weakest moments, Mama remained thoughtful, loving and kind. Every time I fed her, she would say, “Go, eat now.” When I made her something to eat past meal times, she’d say, “I’m sorry you had to do this.”
She always said, “thank you” for every little thing I did for her. But I can’t remember if I ever thanked her for everything she did for me.
It was my privilege to serve my mother during the last months of her life. But I still wish I could have loved her more, that I could have loved her better, that I could have done more for her, that I could have done better.
But I rest in the thought that God granted her all her requests—to pass away peacefully, to go in her sleep, to leave in the morning.
I rest in the thought that we were able to grant her what she wanted—no hospitalization, no intubation, privacy throughout her illness, the dignity of dying in her home surrounded by the people who loved her.
But we could not have done it alone. God was with us all the way.
He sent us many miracles. We had such great days that my sister began to hope. “Stop. Don’t,” I told her. “It will only hurt more if you delude yourself into thinking all is well. Let’s not be greedy. Let’s just be grateful for all the great days God is giving us with Mama.”
God sent us many angels. Our family was fortunate to have been surrounded by people who lovingly cared for my mother, who fervently prayed for her and who stood steadfast and strong with all of us when the days were long and the nights were longer.
May God reward you all for your kindness, generosity and love for Mama.
I make special mention of two people, among the countless for whom no words are enough to express our gratitude.
First, my father. From the moment I told him about my mother’s diagnosis, I had his unwavering support. He did not ever second-guess our decisions and this was crucial to the family during the most difficult moments.
Thank you, Pa, for being our rock. You showed us what love really is all about. You stayed strong for Mama and you unselfishly let her go despite how painful it must have been for you to do so.
Second, my cousin, Joy. Thank you for sacrificing precious family time to take care of Mama. Thank you for trusting me, for allowing me to work side by side with you but most especially for giving me the opportunity to co-manage with you despite my lack of a medical degree.
Because of you, I was able to live out my fantasy of being a doctor. But you made Mama giddy too because you also fulfilled her fantasy of having a doctor daughter. She was proud of me. And she called me Doc too.
Thank you, Joy. It was an honor to work with you.
My mother is gone. But I know she will forever be with me. Now.