As each day goes by, my mother approaches her impending death from Stage IV cancer…with acceptance. We talk about death and what both of us envision after life will be like. Although she has rarely gone to Church, she believes in God and Jesus and hopes that she will be with relatives that have already departed. Her life has been difficult, having grown up very poor, one of eleven children, and having gone through most of life’s greatest stresses…divorce, the chronic illness and death of her second husband and most of her siblings and parents, and many more of life’s disappointments.
I think about what it will be like once she’s gone, when I forget and want to call her on the telephone and realize…she won’t answer. Grinning, she says, “Once I’m gone, if you feel fingertips brushing your arm, it will be me”. You see, she’s been the type of mother that would do anything in her power to protect her children, blurring the line between motherly nurturing and co dependence.
She tells me the same story every week of when I was little and looked up from my stroller and said, “Me push Mommy, let me push”, and of how independent I was, even then.
I am proud of the grace that she is showing during this process and realize I am my mother’s daughter.