A Sad Day
at the Old Stone House
  I am at my friends' mothers' house, watching her while my friend Kathy works. Her mother is in the process of dying. Kathy has had a really bad year and has lost so many days of work already. I am sitting here watching Mrs. S. sleep. I can hear the 02 concentrator giving her oxygen. It seems to be breathing for her. She blows out little puffs of air so I can look over and see that for now, she is doing OK. She seems to be pain free and very comfortable.

I walk over to the bed and hold her hand. I tell her what a good job she has done here. I let her know that her daughter and her family will be fine. I reassure her that her work here is done and it is OK to leave.--------- She passes away at 4AM the next day.

The funeral is two days later. My friend and I will be at the house waiting for the caterer to come and help set things up. While trying to help in the kitchen, I find myself short of breath. I look for a quiet spot where people won't notice me. I am annoyed at myself for forgetting what I can and what I can't do. It takes about 15mins. to get my breathing back to a normal rhythm. As I see people that I know, they ask me how I am doing. I smile, "Fine, I am doing just fine," I say.

I take a breath and find myself choking. That is always scary when that happens and I talk myself through it. I try to remember if I took my advair and spirivia this morning. I never forget, but this morning I had much on my mind.

 I walk around talking to Mrs. S' sisters and brothers all in their 80s. There were eight of them, now there are four. I encourage people to talk about her and I hope she has heard some of these nice things about herself while she was alive. (or maybe she is here listening to them today.) She was such a gentle soul. I have never heard her utter a bad word about anyone. How could anyone not love and admire anyone as gentle and kind as this.

My family is worried about me because I have not been feeling well and thought maybe I shouldn't be here today. I tell them I am fine, I don't tell them how physically tired I am.

I sit with my friend after everyone leaves. We both have lost mothers. I now feel as though I have lost two. I take some flowers to dry, to remember her. She just loved flowers. I look at the house before we leave, and the little apartment over the garage where I spent some of the happiest years of my life.--------I say good bye, knowing that we will meet again.    

Tish