putting OM in MOM

it’s 3 years today.
she put up a fuss, and then she closed her eyes. gone.
officially gone.
i wasn’t with her when she passed.
i was home, changing my sheets when the phone rang. my nephew called to tell me that my mom had died.
you know, it’s a funny thing death – someone’s passing – it grabs you by the throat and for a good 10, 15 seconds you can’t breathe.
you can feel the stillness.
i felt her leave the world.
i did.
it was as if the world became a bit emptier.
i sat down on the edge of the bed, the sheets at my feet, and i cried.
i cried.
not for my loss, but for her finally, finally being at peace.
god, she needed peace.
she had been diagnosed with moderate dementia about 15 months earlier.
dementia, for those who don’t know, is bluer than blue. it’s indigo blue. it’s cruel and fucking nasty. it is filled with great sadness, and hot rage & anger, and messiness, and confusion, and heartbreaking words and actions and leaves many, many bodies in it’s wake. it’s a tornado and it just flattens the shit out of everything.

my mom died on may 4th.
the year i was born.
54, 1954.

ours was a complicated, love-hate, hate-love, joyous, angry, fuck you, no fuck you, i love you, i don’t love you, i love you more, i love you oh so much more than you’ll ever know relationship.
it had ups and downs.
so many.
crazy ups and downs.
so many, i lost track.
but at the end, the end, the place where you get to hear and listen and open your soul, you get to forgive, you get to hold a hand a little longer, brush the hair out of their eyes and look into their soul and heart a little deeper, you get to kiss the forehead – that place where you get to say i love you over and over and over until it blends into iloveyouyouyoyuyouiloveyousoverymuchmyhearthurts…
that place when you know it’s the last time you get to make amends, say a prayer, make a wish, get to say out loud:
why oh why did we spend so much fucking time being cruel and nasty to each other?
what was the point?
it was then, when i last saw my mom, that i said good bye.

for me, on that day, when i looked into her eyes and i said, “mom, mom, daddy’s waiting for you,” it was on that day – that day – i let her go.

for me, on that day, i let her die.

Category: Uncategorized 5 comments »

5 Responses to “putting OM in MOM”

  1. Hollye Dexter

    that’s what this is.

    Love is messy, but it’s still love.

    What a lovely way to honor your mom today.

    love you.

  2. Denise Webster

    You spoke my truth, my experience, my feelings. My mother also died from the ramifications of dementia. In the end, there was forgiveness and acceptance. Our tumultuous past did not matter as I looked into her childlike eyes and saw the once young girl who wanted to live, to love –before the struggle that was her life.
    This will be the first Mother’s Day without her and in the past months, as my life has spun in a whirlwind of good and bad, I find myself yearning to talk with her, update her, seek her thoughts. So it was comforting to read your blog. Very personal, very real, very loving…Thank you.

  3. amy ferris

    Thank you so much Denise. i know exactly how you feel and I hope with my whole heart that you find great comfort and love this mother’s day. all my love to you!

  4. Judy N

    Nice, Amy. It reminded me of my own mother’s death at 101 and of the complex feelings that attended it. But I cried mainly because I knew that things would never be put right and that now I would never have a mother.

  5. kristine

    beautiful. i swear my mother is teaching me more now then any other time of my life…maybe it’s because I’m paying attention, looking through the eyes of my own experiences and seeing our similarities. I get to look at her, truly see her and what aging at the very end looks like. From that perspective, I hope to learn a bit more about grace, unconditional love and reserving my snide comments for the parakeet.
    I love you Ms. Ferris…all of you, your whole parts and your chipped parts. They all work together to make one remarkable and generous human being. Happy Daughter of a Complicated Mother’s Day to you.

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