A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray
by Karen Jeanne Baris
(Little Rock, AR)
I lost my Mom April 10,2013 after long battle with vascular dementia. It happened very quickly, Friday she was propeling herself with her feeties down the hall at the nursing home with half smile on her face and then she was in the ER earily Sunday morning with fever of 105, dehydration, UTI, Pneumonia, Monday her Kidneys failed, Tuesday palative care, Wednesday morning when I walked throught the door of her room she took her last breathe. My sister said she was waiting on me. The day before Mother's Brother and Sister spend the afternoon with her telling stories about when they grew up and my Uncle told his Bunky to get better he needed her. It was a sacred time.
We had her funeral on Friday: My sisters and my two neices wore hats to celebrate our love for Mother. It was Cara's idea when we went to Dillard to pick out a suit for Mother. She found these hats and started trying them all on. She got us to try them on and said we should wear them and so we did. It was wonderful funeral, all my friends came and relatives and we laid Mother to rest by Daddy and my twin sister Susan Kay. My Dad's aunts all four came from Kansas. Father Eric gave beautiful speech and it was just what I needed. My Aunt got up said she had a dream the night before and Bud my Dad had come to her and they visited. Then he said he could not stay he had something to do. My Aunt said it was to get Naomi, She died soon after that.
My Mother taught me many things during my time with her. The most important was Love. She loved her daughters with all she had and we knew it. She was ill most of her adult years with severe bipolar disease. She developed this after lossing my Dad when his plane crashed in Vietnam in 1966. She never lost her love for him and never even dated after that. After she had several small stroke and discovered seroquel she got her personality back like she had when Daddy was alive. She loved to be around people and do things again.
God gave that gift of the last 13 years. We started out with wonderful conversations and great times and slowly it got down to five word sentence and facial recognition but no names, and finally just smiles and frowns. My husband told the funniest story that Mom was in the dining room and all patients were there to eat supper and the workers. My husband said Momma I brought your laundry and she looked at him and said "Will you left me here to Rot!" That was first whole sentence she had said in days. Everyone laughed in the dining room and he said no we did not and you have good care here. He came home told me that I laughed till I cried. With dementia you have to live in the moment and those moments are holy!!!
I found this website today I felt so bad this morning I did not have the energy to get up get dressed and go to work pretending everything is OK. I called in sick and I never do that. I have rested some and read a beautiful book my friend gave me after the funeral entitled " Jesus Calling". Today's writing: I am your Lord! Seek me as Friend and Lover of your soul, but remember that I am the King of kings---sovereing over all. You can make some plans as you gaze into the daythat stretches out before you. But you need to hold those plans tentatively, anticipating that I may hav other ideas. The most important thing to determine is what to do right now. Instead of scanning the horizon of your life, looking for things that need to be done, concentrate on the task before you and the One who never leaves your side. Let everything else fade into the background. This will unclutter your mind, allowing Me to occupy more and more of your consciousness. Trust Me to show you what to do when you have finished what you are doing now. I will guide you step by step as you bend your will to Mine. There you stay close to Me on the path of peace.