My True Spiritual Teacher...My Mom.
by Gary Ockunzzi
My mother died on April 25, 2012 after about a 6-week bout with a brain tumor and cancer. She was 90 years old. She took good care of herself; I thought that she'd last forever. Right around February I began noticing a difference in the way that she talked, I observed her, knew that she had dentures and that my dad talked that we too when he was old, and at first I attributed it to either dentures/aging of the mouth, shifting, etc. In about a month though, as I continued to observe her, I really wasn't sure and became concerned,and I pleaded with my mom to make an appointment with her doctor (who mis-diagnosed it, but fortunately suggested that we go to the emergency room for tests). That was March 8th, the next day we discovered my mom's sad plight. She embraced her disease the way that she embraced life: peacefully, accepting, and loving. She was always nice to everyone...doctors, nurses, social workers...even to people who didn't deserve her kindness. That was what she really was. Nice, kind, and loving. There was no put on with my mom. Mom always had a rosary with her, when she was in the hospital it was usually around her neck (I made sure of this, or asked the nurses to), to assure that she wouldn't lose it or that the rosary may fall out of bed. After two in-and-out of the hospital ordeals and a brief stay at a nursing home (ugh) I got my mom enrolled in home hospice and brought her home on Holy Saturday. She lived for 17 more days in her home, which was what she wanted, and died peacefully in her own bed. I was there for her, 24/7, I did what I could, all that I could. God, I loved her! I was able to persuade the priest into doing her eulogy (or, at least a brief version of it...something that usually isn't the protocl at a Catholic funeral mass). I'm glad that I did. I will always miss and love my mother, there is a huge hole in my heart right now.