Sunday, October 16, 2016

Friendship in a Time of Loss

My mother has been quite sick with cancer for the past year and was in home hospice at my sister's place in suburban Baltimore. My oldest son and I had a scheduled visit for the first of last week. My sister, who has been the primary caregiver, called me on the previous Thursday and told us to come as soon as we could.

My son and I moved up our visit and we walked in the door last Saturday. My wife arrived Sunday.  My mother was on ever increasing levels of morphine and while I am absolutely sure she knew we were there on Saturday (she responded to questions and drank a few sips of water) by Sunday she was mostly comatose. She died on Wednesday morning.

The other relatives started arriving the next day and my sister's house was full to overflowing. Our days were filled with the work of a family gathering and planning a funeral.

Borepatch lives less than an hour away. He opened his home to my wife and I so we could take the pressure off my sister, gave us a key, a bedroom, free run of the kitchen. He and the QOTW sat up late and talked to us, served us comfort food, gave us a place to retreat to in the evenings. They went above and beyond and offered us true friendship in a time of need. Sure, we could have gotten a motel room, probably been closer to my sister's, but it would not have been the special, memorable time this was.

Here's my mother in June of 1956.  She was so completely a person of her time. A person of grace and hard work and beauty both inside and out. The quote from Ecclesiastes at the bottom was a favorite of hers and for decades she had been telling me to read it at her funeral.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens
a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
--Ecclesiastes 3


Phil said...

My most sincere condolences.
I can't really offer any other words that wouldn't be infinitely inadequate.

MSgt B said...

There is no feeling of loneliness like losing your mother or father.

juvat said...

I'm in agreement with Phil. You and yours are in our prayers, that's the best I can do.

doubletrouble said...

Sorry for your loss.
Prayers for Mom & family forthcoming.

Bob said...

My condolences on your loss. I lost my own mother just a few years ago, and I still feel the loss.

Skip said...

From us, to yours.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Your Mother is the best friend in all of life. My condolences. It was good that she was able to stay with family at the end.

STxAR said...

Praying for you and your family.

Walter Zoomie said...

I'm sorry. I think I'll call my mom today.

Dan said...


SiGraybeard said...

Condolences and prayers to you. It's a terrible feeling that can't be eased at all by words, but the Ecclesiastes verse is perfect.

Borepatch said...

ASM826, it was out honor and pleasure to have you and the Missus stay with us.

Guffaw in AZ said...

Prayers your way, sir.


libertyman said...

That was a thoughtful and loving tribute to your Mom.

Jester said...

I am sorry for your loss. I know how it feels.

JD said...

What can I say but sorry to hear about your loss. I think the only thing harder than losing a parent would be to lose a child. Remember the happy times and know you will see them again. . . .

Spikessib said...

My condolences. Losing a parent, even when expected, is an incredible hardship and it is nice that you had the comfort of Borepatch and the QOTW in your time of loss. A true friend is worth many times their weight in gold.