Heaven’s Angel


Once a tiny seed, a speck, a fleck

Barely fluttering heart so near

Inside my chest.

Love internal soon to grow

Every second

Hour and minute.

Weeks go by

Turning months

Nearly a year

Soon you’ll be here.

Yes, I feel you deep within

Loving you more

Fluttering like before.

Bigger now, the whole of my heart

Close my eyes to dream

Of butterflies beautiful

Imagined, not yet seen.

Soon to be born

Cradle until you fly.

A gush, a splash

Astounding love envelopes me

Baby born, now you’re here

Skin to skin upon my chest

Pink and perfect

Suckle and cry

Tip-toe peeking while you sleep

Mine to keep.

Bursting heart with love to share

Holding you till the end of time

Rolling over, sitting up, grasping toys and giggling too.

First tooth, big smile and curly locks

Cuddling, kissing, wooden chair while daddy rocks.

Dreams of a lifetime snatched forever

Without warning, halting, stopping.

Half a year is not enough

I cry and shake and ask God, “Why?”

Clutching you, tiny fingers too

Nighttime crib, flannel sleeper, little life

My heart is broken, shattered glass

Pieces and shards, strewn over the blanket of life.

Devastation

No greater loss

Crying…wailing…weeping.

What to do, where to go, can’t survive without my child.

My heart has spilled, its empty now

Feeling nothing dark and dead.

Help me God, to understand

Dry my tears, give me strength

Pass the courage today and every tomorrow.

My babe is an angel that I know

Fluttering now outside my chest

She has her wings

Of a golden hue

Butterfly beautiful indeed

The tiny seed

Once a speck

Invisible fleck held so dear.

Needed in Heaven or so I’m told.

Take my hand to pray with me

Rock my baby night and day

A gift to me forever you see

Kiss her gently, love her too

Till I can join her next to You.

Light of Heaven (3)

*For T in memory of her beautiful baby daughter, and to honor all parents who have lost  their loving babies to SIDS.  My heartfelt blessings and prayers to you.

 

 

 

I Took My Dying Dog on a Bucket List Adventure – by Lauren Fern Watt


A post with words to make every dog owner hug their own a little tighter today. Creative and beautifully written, you’ll love and laugh and cry for Gizelle and her owner, Lauren.

Kindness Blog

When my 160-pound English Mastiff was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, I was crushed. Together Gizelle and I had been through college, boyfriends, our early 20s, and a move from simple Tennessee to big and scary New York City.

This dog wasn’t just my best friend — she was my roommate and confidant. What does the vet mean she only has a few months left?

My sobbing seemed unstoppable, but Gizelle was sensitive and didn’t like to see me cry. I had to be strong. So I decided we would bury our worries in the dog park and create a bucket-list adventure of everything we wanted to do before she died. It was my mission for us to indulge and explore life’s joys. We’d escape the city and search for waterfalls, cook lobster, and nap in the grass. We’d jump in the ocean without towels, just to enjoy the sun…

View original post 1,363 more words

Stuff


In thinking of the soon-to-be Thanksgiving holiday, I remember a quiet time spent with my mother a few days before she passed away.  Cuddled within one of her hand-knitted afghans, she sat to the side of her favorite burgundy velvet rocking chair.  We played a game of sorts, both of us tip-toeing around the elephant in the room.

Thanksgiving was only a few short days away, with Christmas coming soon afterward.  Only God knew for sure, but I suspected that my mother would not be sharing either holiday with the whole of our family.  Moving two steps back while taking one step forward, I pretended like everything was the same as the year before.  Except nothing was the same.  Not even close.  My mother was dying.

So what game was I playing a few days before Thanksgiving?  “Christmas Is Coming Early!”  Unwrapping a few decorations to delight my mother’s tiring eyes, I lit the fireplace mantle in sparkling miniature white lights.  Next I pulled a tiny tree from a new box, fluffing the faux branches of dark green up and down and to the right or to the left.  I wanted it to look perfect before placing it atop the red brick and stone hearth of the fireplace.  “Do you like it, Mom?”  I asked.  She nodded, “Yes.”

Next, I carried a box of decorations from my parent’s garage storage area.  There, I discovered some of Mother’s favorites, including various Christmas dolls made of porcelain dressed in ruffled red velvet or shades of green taffeta.  Atop their breakable heads were wigs made of mohair dyed in blonde, brunette or dark red, the color of wine. Looking at me, they smiled with eyes of glass blue.  Each had tiny hands with long, delicate fingers of polish that shined in the light.  Clasping their silk strings carefully, I held them to the rose-colored lamp in order for Mother to get a better view.   “Where should we display them?” I asked.

I waited for her then, but no response.  Instead, I saw slight hints of clear tears in the corner of her eyes.  My heart broke then.  I had tried to pretend…but the game was over.  I had drawn the wrong card, it seemed.  “Do Not Pass GO,” it read.

“I don’t want to see them,” my mother said, barely able to speak.  “Look around,” she motioned, waving her arms about the room.  “Everything you see is just stuff,” she whispered, with all her strength and all her might.

One of my greatest Life Lessons came during the end of my mother’s days.  Nothing is greater in all of this living world than FAMILY.  Remember this during Thanksgiving Day and each day afterward.  Everything else is just…..Stuff.

Angels-of-Heaven-who-bring-Good-Tidings-from-Heaven-jesus-23106858-640-480

The Day Before Her Last


*Originally Posted on 11/19/2013

My mother’s yellow roses are wilted now.  Edges of curled brown buds barely cling to their coffee-colored vines.  They bend ever so slightly to the left or to the right from evening temperatures turning oh-so-cold.  Within a day or two, they’ll have to be cut down in final preparation for next spring.  Yes, gentle spring when life begins anew.

Early this morning, I opened my patio door to breathe in a gust of fresh fall air.  It slammed me hard and quick.  High in the sky was a still bright moon, spectacular in sight. Then, clouds moved in to shadow it with a thin veil of grey, giving it an almost ghostly appearance.

Three years ago today was the day before my mother’s last.  It was the most painful one for her living on this earth.  The worst for her loved ones to bear.  The hospice nurse told me to gather my siblings and so I had.  After they arrived, I anticipated scenes from a movie, I guess.  The ones where sisters and brothers take turns having private time with their dying mother.  It was not to be.  In the same manner that a new parent recognizes the cry of their newborn, caretakers know the difference in their patient’s signals and signs.

It was too difficult for my mother to speak near the end, and so she did not try.  We had our own way of communicating without saying a word.  She lay on her side, trying to lessen the pain, I suspect.  There, her slender hands were open to me.  A slight inward movement meant, “Come closer, I need something.”  Perhaps it was an extra bed sheet or slight sip of water?  An outward turn meant, “No more, I’ve had enough.”  Occasionally, she moved her hands back and forth.  “Please don’t touch me,” they silently said.  “My body hurts me so.”  A hand rising abruptly meant, “NO!  Do not let anyone come near me.”

My mother’s cooling touch guided me towards granting her last wishes.  As arduous as it was for loved ones to understand, she couldn’t bear to be seen in such a deplorable condition.  She wanted peace, to be left alone.  Without time for explanation, I became the designated gate-keeper, of sorts.  It was a role I did not choose.  Rather, it was chosen for me.

I don’t remember how I became my mother’s caretaker.  My father was of course her, “Number One,” leaving my middle sister with other roles to play.  I was simply there to keep charts, dispense medicine and give the proper answers to intuitive questions.  I had done it for many years while raising chronically ill children.  I was good in a crisis and could pocket away emotions if only for a minute…..much like a doctor or a nurse must do.

The time spent with my mother as a caretaker was a privilege, allowing me to discover a lifetime through wordless gestures.  It was the very last thing I was able to do for her.

The very last thing……

Clouds Across the Moon

Attitude Through Trials


Today my best friend has tears in her eyes.  Her body shakes with grief.  She cries.  I do my best to comfort her.  I hug her, I talk quietly, I speak from my heart.  I know her so well.  She listens to me.

On Monday I woke to words I didn’t recognize.  This “best friend” of mine, the one I cherish so much had just lost her brother to a chronic condition.  One I know as well or better than most.  She was still in shock of course.  For her and her family it was “sudden.”  For me, I knew it had been coming.

(more…)

Stairway to Heaven


It was a beautiful day.  The sun was bright in the sky of blue and breezes blew softly by the patio.  Whenever I passed the screen door, wind-chimes that dangled from the outside roof twinkled with melodies so dear.  Family gathered by my mother’s side.  Not many.  My father together with my sisters and brothers.  Mother sat upright in her favorite rocking chair, determined not to die in the same bed she had spooned my father in for over 56 years.  It was her last unspoken gift to him.  To this day, I’m not sure he ever got the connection, that final bit of will in her…but, I knew.

Mother’s chair of soft burgundy velvet, a gift from my sister years before was small and shaped to fit her itty-bitty body perfectly.  For as long a I remember, it sat under a rose-colored lamp.  The same one that shined above her petite head of wavy, graying hair where she knitted ruffled christening gowns for grandchildren, read her Bible daily, and hand-stitched needlepoint quilts for all five of her children grown.

The day was long as my mother struggled between this world and the next.  Her breathing became more labored while rays of sun stung the milk-blue of her eyes.  I remember finding dark glasses to fit her tiny face.  Finally, her body seemed to rest in preparation for her journey to Heaven.  Between comforting her and dispensing medication, my sister and I wandered out to the back of the yard where we prayed for God to take her while tears fell to our toes.

That evening, our family sat around the family dining table of walnut colored wood.  My father’s seat was the ladder-back chair directly in front of my mother’s resting spot.  So close, he could feel the warmth of her body while smelling the scent of her breath.  Softly we spoke, reminiscing about the years gone by.  We laughed about little things while listening to Mother’s favorite music from dark speakers connected to an older CD player in the foyer, nearby.

It seemed to be the first time in a week that we had time to sit down together.  Minutes to share love and respite from the emotional toil of a soon-to-be, finality.  Fluted paper plates in a Thanksgiving theme held our dinner of take-out tacos made of  golden corn. Shredded green lettuce, yellow cheddar cheese and red salsa on the side.  Between bites, my father’s hand reached behind his chair to gently touch the nape of my mother’s neck.  A silent gift of love and loyalty from him to her. What message was in that simple touch? Their many years together would be ending soon.  How my heart ached for this humble father of mine who wanted nothing more than to love my mother forever and always!

Joining hands in prayer, we asked God to ease my mother’s suffering.  Peaceful lyrics continued to give us a sense of strength in the background while wind-chimes of brass and glass danced to music a few feet away.  So close were the sounds of our voices together with the melodies, that I wondered if my mother could hear all that was comforting and familiar to her?   If so, perhaps it would help her transition into God’s afterlife?

A few minutes later the phone rang.  Wiping his hands free of taco crumbs, my father answered it.  On the other end was my youngest brother, who lived about an hour away. He was of course, calling to check on Mom.  In that very second we learned that she was gone.  “Oh, my God,” my father said, in anguish.  Through tears, my ‘baby’ brother responded, then. “Dad, I had a feeling.  I just knew…..My other brother, who was with us let out a the most terrible wail.  Deep and guttural like the cry of an animal.  I shall never forget it.  His heart shattered into a million pieces, scattering them to the wooden floor below.

By then, my mother’s soul was surely being carried by Angels to the Stairway of Heaven.  Instinctively and without thinking, I removed the clear, stiff oxygen tube from her soft, delicate nose.  It was no longer needed and she hated it so.   At last, my mother could breathe freely on her own.

She Breathes Freely with God in Heaven Above.  I love you, Mom.

Led-Zeppelin-Stairway-To-Heaven

 

The Day Before Her Last


*Originally Posted on 11/19/2013

My mother’s yellow roses are wilted now.  Edges of curled brown buds barely cling to their coffee-colored vines.  They bend ever so slightly to the left or to the right from evening temperatures turning oh-so-cold.  Within a day or two, they’ll have to be cut down in final preparation for next spring.  Yes, gentle spring when life begins anew.

Early this morning, I opened my patio door to breathe in a gust of fresh fall air.  It slammed me hard and quick.  High in the sky was a still bright moon, spectacular in sight. Then, clouds moved in to shadow it with a thin veil of grey, giving it an almost ghostly appearance.

Three years ago today was the day before my mother’s last.  It was the most painful one for her living on this earth.  The worst for her loved ones to bear.  The hospice nurse told me to gather my siblings and so I had.  After they arrived, I anticipated scenes from a movie, I guess.  The ones where sisters and brothers take turns having private time with their dying mother.  It was not to be.  In the same manner that a new parent recognizes the cry of their newborn, caretakers know the difference in their patient’s signals and signs.

It was too difficult for my mother to speak near the end, and so she did not try.  We had our own way of communicating without saying a word.  She lay on her side, trying to lessen the pain, I suspect.  There, her slender hands were open to me.  A slight inward movement meant, “Come closer, I need something.”  Perhaps it was an extra bed sheet or slight sip of water?  An outward turn meant, “No more, I’ve had enough.”  Occasionally, she moved her hands back and forth.  “Please don’t touch me,” they silently said.  “My body hurts me so.”  A hand rising abruptly meant, “NO!  Do not let anyone come near me.”

My mother’s cooling touch guided me towards granting her last wishes.  As arduous as it was for loved ones to understand, she couldn’t bear to be seen in such a deplorable condition.  She wanted peace, to be left alone.  Without time for explanation, I became the designated gate-keeper, of sorts.  It was a role I did not choose.  Rather, it was chosen for me.

I don’t remember how I became my mother’s caretaker.  My father was of course her, “Number One,” leaving my middle sister with other roles to play.  I was simply there to keep charts, dispense medicine and give the proper answers to intuitive questions.  I had done it for many years while raising chronically ill children.  I was good in a crisis and could pocket away emotions if only for a minute…..much like a doctor or a nurse must do.

The time spent with my mother as a caretaker was a privilege I will forever cherish.  Through wordless gestures a lifetime was discovered that I’d never known before.  It was the very last thing I was able to do for her.

The very last thing……

Clouds Across the Moon

My Mother’s Yellow Roses


There they were.  Three yellow roses blooming high on top of a frosted bush.  The morning sunlight had just come over the horizon to take its own picture of them before I grabbed my camera phone to do the same.

They are “My Mother’s Yellow Roses,” of course.  All her life, the yellow rose was her favorite flower.  Five years ago when I moved into this house I planted the yellow rose-bush as a way to keep me close to her.  We lived far from each other, able to visit only once or twice a year.  Yet, whenever I sat on my patio I felt close to her.  The scent of yellow roses, their edges dipped in painted pink, brought us together.

My glance at the rose petals always remind me of Mother.  Particularly this morning.  Perhaps it is the contrast of the glistening white frost that blankets the hill in the background.  How it sparkles in the sun like fairy dust, covering the grasses and all of the green around it.  The flowers I so prize in all colors and have withered.  They hang, crumpled over rainbow pots.  Their lives have ended for the year.   It’s a sign of cooling weather.  The changing seasons are upon us.  Winter will be here soon.

My mother is on my mind this month.  She passed away three years ago in November of 2010.  I was packing to board a flight to see her in Arizona.   Packing  three years ago on this day.  It was not her time yet, but I knew….she  would be lost to me, soon.  She lived with several Chronic Conditions.  The worst of which was, COPD which eventually triggered her lung cancer.  Both conditions took their  toll on her petite frame, making it hard for her to breathe.  Nearly impossible at times.  Indeed, in the end, it was.

The yellow roses keep me close to my mother.  Their blooms are hanging on as if to send a message to me this morning.  In spite of the frost that snuffed life from all around them, they are still here to say, “Hello.”  They have not withered or left their source of life.  Today, they send me love from my mother above, and me right back to her.  I predict the blooms of pale yellow may prevail for a few days longer.

Like life for all of us on earth, no one but God knows when our steps may stop or end.  Until the day of my own day shall come to pass, blue eyes of two peek out a window frame to view yellow roses.   Lips below my nose begin to quiver, whispering a silent message to her above so full of yellow love.

“I miss you, Mom.”

My Mother's Yellow Roses Growing Amongst The Frost Surrounding Them

My Mother’s Yellow Roses Growing Within the Frost Surrounding Them