Mom’s friend Helen lives in a nursing home in Ocala.
Mom never wanted to live in a nursing home and was upset with Helen’s daughter when she moved her friend Helen into one.
I don’t know what was wrong with Helen exactly. I escorted mom to Helen’s birthday party, her 90th at the nursing home some years ago.
It was rather gay. Lots of people were there. We had a big room to ourselves to have our party.
People were talking to me about these places even as mom was being made “comfortable.”
Some of my relatives were talking about mom quitting because she stopped eating at the Therapy Hospital when she heard she would have to leave there and go to the nursing facility.
I guess I could have insisted that they make mom “fight” as they say, but I just couldn’t deny her desire to sleep. I had read on the Net about sleep being good for stroke patients. Was that an unnecessary confusion? I don’t know, but the therapy was darn hard on mom.
Mom loved the people and all. She loved all her therapists and many of the nurses and techs. Can’t recall one she didn’t, but when I first got to see mom at Shands at AGH, the doctor told me he didn’t foresee recovery. He spoke about the condition of her heart and the bleeding in her brain, but at that time he was most concerned with her lack of responsiveness.
I don’t know if it was just that lack of responsiveness or if there were other physical conditions. I sort of feel they were just trying to take it easy on me, … and mom. She was 89. They didn’t want to do resuscitation on her because they thought they might break a rib and make things that much worse for her.
They were making her comfortable and I guess that was what I wanted. I knew mom didn’t want me changing her diaper at home, for one thing if I could have even gotten her home. That may have been a dream too. My brother told me forget it having seen his wife go through something similar with her father.
I just wish there were another woman so lovely as mom.
I found this picture of myself and my girlfriend Cathy taken in 1975.
Mom had cut this picture in half so she could have just the picture of me after Cathy and I broke up.
I always thought it was a weird picture, but now I reflect on it and I recall my father in the house, though not at the time, and our rebellion against the straight world.
I guess I was hoping to get a nude picture done.
Cathy liked mom and I am grateful for that as I am grateful that mom had not destroyed this picture of Cathy and I from 1975.
I can show you the original later. This one is just a little touched up. I added yellow mostly that made it look old sort of like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Deja Vu.”
This is a woman who worked with mom on the railroad. Her name is Corrine.
Corrine worked out in the railroad yard. Mom was a gangforeman in the 40’s during the war and Corrine worked for her.
This is a detail from a picture I found today.
She was with a couple of friends at the Women’s Club.
I gave mom a book on one of her birthdays I think.
In it I wrote a poem.
The book was “The Greatest Thing in the World” by Henry Drummond a theologist from the 19th century. It was about love and that was the important thing when I bought it. I had never read it and mom accepted it like mother’s do according to Bill Cosby. You could give your mother a stick he says and she would love it.
I knew she would accept it with love and so I wrote this poem inside it. It’s a poem my philosophy teacher dearly loved when I wrote it when I was, I think, 19.
The slender tree, graceful as ballet
has shed its clothes.
With fragile endurance
it surrenders to another winter
God knows I was wishing the tree like women I knew in college would do just that, but it wasn’t particularly so just then.
The book is a discussion about Corinthian I, XIII.
The preacher used it in his eulogy at my request.
Here it is reprinted for you to read.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
Love suffereth long, and is kind: love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Love never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Well, that’s it.
The picture above is from the 70’s. Mom had gone curly. I had a friend with black, curly hair and it flattered him.
I found this picture in a photo album. Right next to it were mom’s mother’s death notice. Next to that was her father’s.
I don’t know if that’s significant. It seemed to be when I found it.
I thought that she was recalling what fun she and her mom had when she was a child.
Mom died yesterday, January 12, 2007.
God bless her.