My Mother died May 8. She passed away peacefully in her sleep, at age 86. She was an important part of my life. I'll miss her. But I know she was ready to go, and is now in a better place, where pain no longer exists.
Above is the last picture taken of Mom and me. It was snapped at Larry's birthday luncheon, a little over a week before Mom died. My mother is the one wearing the bright red sweater.
For the last couple years of her life, Mom suffered constant pain and discomfort. Worse, because of her amputation, she had lost her independence, and she hated that. But she was a courageous woman who rarely complained. To the last day of her life she strove to be cheerful, and to express her love for her family.
One way she expressed her love for me was by showing interest in my art. She really did NOT have an artistic eye, nor did she have much love or understanding of fine art. But she did know I like art, and that was what mattered to her. She always wanted to see every piece of artwork I created. Toward the end, her macular degeneration made it difficult for her to decipher the art I showed her, but she still wanted to see. And that motivated me to create as much art as I could - I needed to have something to show my mother when I visited, or she would worry about me.
She was a big worrier. When my daughter Margo flew across country to visit a pen-pal friend, Margo made a joke of that, sending an "arrived safely" letter that said something like,
Dear Grandma Margo,
I was not kidnapped. My plane did not crash. I did not get lost. I have arrived safely.
Please send cash.
We all laughed about that note, but Mom still worried, all the time, about the people she loved. I will miss having her prayers and caring at my back.