My mother, Charlotte was born and raised in Camden County, NJ. As a young adult she excelled in art and poetry with hopes of becoming an illustrator for children's books and also a child psychologist. She married at a young age and had her first child, Joyce Emma. Joyce passed on at the age of three months old. Then to have three more children. Her life took a downward spiral as she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She was a strong and resilient woman with a warm heart and tender soul. She was a woman who loved the Lord and allowed him to carry her at her times of pain. If you asked her how she was doing she would always respond by saying,"I'm great! Thank you very much!" I,her daughter, Rene', visited her two years ago in Denver.
At this point the doctors gave her six months to live.She was silent, very still and unable to put her arms around me due to the damage caused by her disease. Although she made the effort to put her hand in mine. No words spoken but a lot was said. We sat in the mid-western sun outside in the court yard, sharing headphones to a cd player. We listened to Air Supply and soaked up the 70 degree weather in the midst of February. It was like having a conversation without words. On the last evening I spent the night by her bed side in the special reclining chair that was used to transport her to the dining room in the home,etc.
Tired from my journey I began to fall asleep facing her as she lay in her bed facing me. I would occasionally open my eyes to see if she was dreaming like me. I opened my eyes after realizing I had fell asleep. I looked at her. She was staring at my face and smiling. I was comforted when she said,"It's okay Rene', I am fine, you can sleep". I felt like a child again at that moment and realized she knew my worries. She was watching me the whole time.
I left the following day to return home. I revisited in August of 2003. This time with my children. We spent two weeks sitting by her side. At this point she was not able to grasp my hand again. A frail 90 lbs. and 5' 11". She lie there in fetal position. Her body was as still as a stone by a flowing stream. She could communicate by a confusing stare. Seemed as though she was thinking. I managed to get her to laugh a time or two which brought a bright light into the overheated room. She didn't speak at all for two weeks until the last day we were there. Only two hours before our flight home. I sat with her knowing it was the last time I would see her again. My eyes flowed like a mighty river. I said, "I love you mommy". She replied, "I love you too! I love you too! I love you too!" Not once but three times. Those words covered a life of conversation.
This I learned from her since her passing just almost two weeks ago. "Love", is the nourishment of life. Without it we are not truly living. Learn to resist holding resentment towards another. Pray for those who disregard love and hope they find it in thier hearts. Cherish your moments in life.
Forgive the mistakes your loved ones have made, we all have made them. Forgive yourself for any you have made. There is someone who loves you right now, if you know who they are and you have resisted, call them...they will smile inside.:)
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