Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 23, 2015--Ladies of Forest Trace: Mom and Dianne

It's been three weeks since my mother died and I called Dianne yesterday to see how she was doing.

As my Mom's senior caregiver, she had spent more time with her during her last years than anyone and they had formed an uncommon closeness. A friendship. So Dianne's loss was much more than professional.

"I learned so much from her. She was always teaching me things. I didn't always like the lessons but I always knew she had my best of intentions in mind and now, after she is gone, I realize that even the things that disturbed me at the time were more true and important than not."

"She was like that for so many of us."

"Your Mom may be gone," Dianne said with her familiar laugh, "but she will be here for a long, long, long time."

"I know what you mean. The lessons, the love that she shared with so many of us."

"Isn't that the truth."

"I am hearing the same thing from distant cousins of Rona's who live in California, who didn't really know her, who never met her but only heard about her, they have been sending us notes and cards telling us how important to them was the meaning of her life. How she lived and . . ."

"How she died."

"That's true too."

"You know, I would say to her toward the end when she spent most of her time in bed, when she told me how frustrated she was because she needed to spend all that time resting, I would say to her, 'Ray, you're doing what you have to do. You're still teaching, you're still working.'"

"'I'm still working?' she would say. 'Lying here like this I'm still working?'"

"'Yes,' I would say. 'You're teaching me how to grow old and how, yes, to die with grace.'"

"That's what I meant," Dianne said, "That's what I meant and it would make her smile. You know that smile."

She trailed off.

"I do," I managed to say.

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