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.

Comments for A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray

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May 20, 2013
Glued to the hip
by: Jane Claire Howard

I lost my Mother to lung cancer 2-21-2013 she died 33 days after the Drs finally found out what was wrong, my feeling she gave up hope after the Dr gave her a death sentence. She went 1 yrs with test and mri couldnt find out what was wrong. And she had 3/4 gallon fluid in her right lung then put a port in and drained it daily. I spent the last 33 days with my mother even slept with her we would pray talk cuddle I cried she never cried..I did everything I could to make her happy the last few days.My last day with her she said softly her voice was gone, she whisper do you remember the treble clef on a sheet of piano music, she said the treble clef is a new beginning to a new song..Your my little treble clef as you will be starting your new beginning with out me, so your my little treble clef. I cried and cried she fell asleep her hospic was with her I went and got a tattoo on my hand rigt next to the beautiful diamond ring she left for me..Thats my story but in the mean time Im so sad and cry all the time..I love you mom to the moon and back..
P.s oh after the tattoo I was told to take the night off and go home, my mom died the next day in my brothers arms, I wasnt over there yet so I never had a good bye..I love you to the moon and back forever and always I be your baby I be..Love you moma

May 19, 2013
by: Linda Keown, Harare, Zimbabwe

So sorry Karen for your loss. I too have recently lost my mother who was 78 years old. She passed away on 5.4.13. In the doctor's report it said that they suspected Ischaemic Bowel with a possible early perforation. I know just how you are feeling Karen - I have never experienced a loss like this (I am 55 years old)and I know I will never get over it. I blame myself for her death which is a long story and there are so many things I wish I had done or done differently. My life is so different for me now - I know I have to be strong for the sake of my wonderful 17 year old daughter - if I never had her I don't know what I would have done. My mother lived with us for six years and took care of her. She died in Johannesburg. The three of us went to visit my sister and her daughter and she was so ill when we landed. We took her to the doctor on Thursday morning and she was admitted to hospital straight away. She sadly passed on Friday evening 5.4.13 around 6pm. I left with my mother for a holiday and returned with her ashes.
I loved my mother so much and can't bear to be without her. Hang in there Karen and try to be strong - May God Bless you and your family at this very said time.

My mother lost her husband in 1990 from emphasema, my youngest sister who was 43 years old in 2007 from complications from a broken leg and then two years later my brother who was nearly 50 years old died from brain cancer in 2009. My mother also was with me through my Divorce in 1990 from a man I loved so dearly - this really hurt my mother to see me so upset.

Please feel free to correspond with me at any time and we can discuss our situations. Linda Keown, Harare, Zimbabwe

May 17, 2013
A tree taht looks at God all day, and lift her leafy arms to pray
by: Doreen U.K.

Karen I am sorry for your loss of your mom. It is expected that you will need some days off work to cope with grief. I think most workplaces are sensitive to this. It is important to take time out for yourself occasionally or whenever you need this. It is your body telling you that you need to rest and slow down. Grief assaults our body and makes us feel weak and unwell a lot of the time.
I am glad you have a good spiritual belief. This will get you through life. We have many trials and tribulations in life to cope with but when you know that God is walking with you in your tragedies you will look back and see his footprints. May you be comforted in your grief and sorrow.

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