Wishing You a Few Pleasant Days

Posted on Wednesday 15 September 2010

Just 5 days before my mother passed away — the very day she was told she was almost out of time — a plant arrived.  A lovely chrysanthemum that was about to bloom.

It was flat-out covered with buds… and when Adorable Child brought the plant downstairs to my mother, we all sat out on her brick patio for a couple of hours, trying to guess how many flowers there would be.

We settled on “hundreds”.


The card read, “Wishing you a few pleasant days” — a thought that turned out to be astoundingly appropriate.

Yet she did, in fact, have a few pleasant days left.  And while the day those flowers arrived was a tough one, it was also a day we three spent together with some enjoyment.

Pleasant.  Sometimes, that’s all one can ask for.

It’s taken me several days to be able to express myself in the way I wanted… but making these images with the empty wheelchair helped me enormously.


Time can sometimes be an enemy.   There’s often not nearly enough, and as it passes, so too do our days.

But time can also be a friend — a gentler of difficult emotions.  And so it has proven for me — because although I’ve desperately needed to express my grief through my camera, it wasn’t until yesterday that I was able to do so… or at least to begin.

Raw Emotions

Polimom @ 7:49 am
Filed under: Family , Photography
Peace at Last

Posted on Saturday 11 September 2010

Helen Marie McCabe — aka Goldenrod — aka my mother — passed away very early this morning.


I’ll be making arrangements for a memorial service soon.  If you haven’t heard from me directly and wish to be notified and/or attend, it’s because I don’t have access to all my mother’s online contact information.  I hope you’ll understand, and contact me directly.

And just at the moment (to borrow the words of a wise man)… that’s all I have to say about that.

Polimom @ 7:31 pm
Filed under: Family
This is the End for Me, Isn’t It

Posted on Friday 10 September 2010

One of the most beautiful things about relationships is how different people meet different areas of need for one another.

It’s not as if we deliberately pick and choose for such specificity, either;  it just comes together somehow.  And yesterday, this remarkable attribute manifested in a glaring way when my mother asked Dear Husband,  “This is the end for me, isn’t it.”

She would never have said that to me, I don’t think.  There’s just too much emotion attached to our relationship.  Amazing how that aspect would make it impossible to express something so emotionally charged.

But Dear Husband, with his astoundingly bottomless patience and caring, provides a safe, utterly non-judgmental space for my mom.  He always has.  And their relationship — entirely different from that of my own with her, or my daughter’s — fills a need that she clearly has right now.

His answer?  “It’s close.”

Clearly she now understands what’s happening to her… in part, no doubt, to the medications they’re able to provide her there at the hospice.

I’m very glad, for her sake, that the confusion and paranoia seem to have cleared — or at least, they had done so at some point last night.  (I’ll have a better handle on that when I get over there to be with her shortly.)

She hates not being clear… maybe more than she hates not being in control.  Thus, as sad as I was when DH shared this interaction with me, it’s comforting to know she felt safe enough with someone to put such a difficult thought out there.  And that her mind had cleared enough to voice it.

I think my one wish for her at this point is peace for her spirit.  She’s so very strong — a veritable force of nature — and this entire process must be incredibly hard.

The human soul is remarkable, is it not?

Polimom @ 7:18 am
Filed under: Family
Dear World (From an Angry Parent)

Posted on Thursday 9 September 2010

Waking up at 4 am because the mind is going TickTickTick sucks.


And while it would be reasonable to assume this is driven by worry about my Mom, the source of today’s baggy eyes installment is Adorable Child… or rather, the garbage the world is hurling at her just now.

It’s not enough, evidently, that her Grandmother is dying.  Oh no!

Along with that, the kids at the new school need to shun her and leave her eating lunch alone in the cafeteria.  They need to offer her drugs and get angry when she declines… and start nasty rumors about her.

And since that’s apparently still not enough, the volleyball coach needs to put this new freshman (new to everything, including this town!) on the varsity team, tell her she’s going to play her a lot at that level… and then bench her for the indefinite future.

Nice going Coach.  Not!



World, you need to listen up.  Right now.

I get it that life’s challenges make one stronger… but is it totally necessary to hit my child with a decade’s worth all at once?   No, it is not.

I am done.  My patience, already in short supply, is gone — not going, but GONE — and I’m about to lose my temper.


Just stop.  Stop now.

Polimom @ 5:02 am
Filed under: parenting
Time’s Running Out

Posted on Wednesday 8 September 2010

I have to write about what’s going on with Mom.  She wants me to, and I said I would, but…   I keep getting lost in my emotions.

Started a bunch of updates, in fact.  All of them were dumped.

It all feels too personal, to be honest — and while Mom never seemed to have much problem with that on her blog, I’ve always veered away from it.   But she wants me to write.  And I said I would try.  So here I am.

Her legs will barely hold her now (it’s pretty scary to watch, actually).  Was it really just three weeks ago that she was driving?   That amazes me.

Yesterday, the nurse came out from hospice to see her.   She was stunned at how declined Mom’s condition is.   She and Mom (and all of us) talked for a very long time about… well… everything.   Mom’s view of where she was in her illness confounded the nurse a bit as well, so at one point, the nurse asked Mom how long she thought she had.

Mom thought maybe a couple of months.

The nurse thinks a week or two.

A week or two?  My mind’s really struggling with that.  Suspecting this was the case is a world away from having it said out loud by a medical professional.

So Mom’s moving to the Community Hospice House this afternoon.

I never wanted that to happen.  I had hoped to be able to have her here, in her own little apartment, until the end.   And we almost made it.   But she’s gotten so very weak…  and there are so many demands on me emotionally just now… and I don’t have the physical or emotional strength to handle the level of care she now needs.

This is going to be a very hard day.

They tell me that if she feels up to it, I/we can take her out for little day trips or whatever.  I hope she can, because I still want to take her up Pack Monadnock to see the hawk migration.

She wanted to see that.

I still want to find some darned spare ribs so I can make her favorite meal.  Doesn’t matter whether she can eat it;  I’ll be happy if she smiles when she smells it — and I could care less whether the Hospice House staff like the aroma.

She loves spare ribs and sauerkraut (so do we!).

There are still so many things, in fact, to share with her.  But I won’t be able to.   We’re out of time.

I know that in my head, but my heart is having a terrible time with all this.

I’m so sorry Mom.

I love you Mom.

Polimom @ 7:27 am
Filed under: Family