As many of you know, my mother passed away on April 16th, 2008, at the age of 76, following a long battle with advanced Parkinson's Disease. She was a fighter, but a decade or more of Parkinson's, combined with years of constant pain from severe osteoporosis, had worn down her resolve. At the end, I think she wanted to die.
I know that everyone's own mother is special to them, partly because she's their mother, and partly because every mother is unique in different ways, but I think my Mom was one of a kind. Her name was Kathy, she loved the smell of honeysuckle, and her favorite flowers were yellow roses. She liked spicy foods, especially foods seasoned with a lot of black pepper and horseradish. She never drank or smoked, but she loved her coffee. She liked sad songs and sad movies, and she struggled with depression all of her life.
She and my Dad adopted me when I was a small baby, and at the age of eight I was absolutely stunned when they told me that I was adopted. She had never done anything to suggest that I was not her natural child. My Dad once told me, "Never doubt that your Mother loves you," and I never did.
My Mom thought she was dumb, but I knew she wasn't. She may not have had much "book knowledge," but she was very smart with people. She could win folks over with a smile and a few words. I watched her talk salesmen into selling her merchandise at half price when the items weren't on sale and the salesmen had no obligation to cut her a deal. She claimed that she was shy, but if she was she had everyone fooled.
In many ways she had a hard life. For instance, when she was nine years old, she had to have a tonsillectomy, and her doctor opted to do the surgery in his office. He blindfolded her before he gave her the anesthetic. For the rest of her life she was afraid of the dark, afraid of going blind, and afraid of doctors. I know this was 67 years ago, but doctors back then must have known better than to do things like that. She would refuse to see a doctor no matter how sick she was, and it was only in the last year of her life that she agreed to see a neurologist and was diagnosed with being in the late stages of Parkinson's Disease.
This entry is necessarily an incomplete description of my Mom's life. I could write books about her experiences. I just wanted to give you a snapshot of a part of her life. In my Mom's memory, Krissy and I planted a yellow rose bush in a giant flower pot on our patio. The rose bush will remind us that my Mom is still with us, and that we'll all be together again someday.
Goodbye for now, Mom.