The Empty Chair at the Table…..

The past few days have been just overwhelming for various reasons, but the reality of the quickly approaching one year anniversary date of my Mother’s death has made my feet so heavy.  Each day has been full of flashbacks to that exact moment a year ago….taking my breath away at times.  Yesterday was unbelievably difficult as we celebrated our Ella’s first birthday.  It was as if I was back at the Circle of Life hospice house sitting on the couch as the texts began to come in from my daughter that it was almost time.  Leaving to go meet Ella and then coming back to show pictures to her great-grandparents and seeing, for a moment, that pure joy on my Mother’s face.  Seeing the sadness as reality crept back in and reminded her she would never know this precious little girl….or see her other greats….her days were numbered.  She knew….for some crazy reason looking back, it just didn’t click-not like you think it would anyways.

She had been sick for longer than we knew, with a pass off to this doctor/that doctor and when it became too hard for her to carry, finally an admittance and tests.  July 4, 2013.  Sitting in the ER with her as we waited to see what the plan was to figure out why the pain was so great, why she would fall ill when she ate, why she was losing so much weight……laughing, joking, making fun of my Dad as he was his usual self-looking for coffee or sweets….not for a moment thinking she would not leave well, but leave under the care of hospice almost two months later.

The days spent traveling back and forth to the hospital. A trip to Little Rock and back via ambulance.  Tests, NPO, TPN, on and on…..to finally learn there was nothing that could be done.  I still struggle with that word “nothing” even to this day.  My head gets the health condition of a patient can sometimes prevent curative/treatment measures, but to actually see that take place…that word “nothing” is more than our human brains can process.

So, these days are spent remembering.  Remembering that yesterday as a life entered this world a year ago, another one was wondering how many more she had.  Going to lunch at her favorite lunch spot and remembering just how fun those times were….only wish I had truly grasped that joy while she was here so that I could have told her.  Walking by her favorite store at the mall and going in…just to see what she might have purchased if she was here today.  The biggest thing is that empty chair whenever we eat and it’s a time she would have been there.  The silence she would always fill with countless tales or commentary.  (The thing that drove me crazy is the very thing I miss the most!)

She has her garden now....

She has her garden now….

I know she is having the greatest time in Heaven right now and would never want to come back…and I would not want that for her either.  I saw the pain on her face far too many times to ever want that for her again……I do wish I had made notes, something to remember more of those last days.  This blog, in an odd way, will be my “notebook” as I remember her and tell the story over the next few days….

One thing I do know is this: in my moment by moment flood of memories….no matter the relationship you have with your Mother, when she is gone, there is a hole that doesn’t close-that piece is always missing.  You move forward, one foot in front of the other…but the hole remains.

She loved Psalm 23 and I am confident God gave her the most beautiful garden to tend….something she loved and her health would not allow her to do for her last several years….when I see a yellow rose I wonder if it was the one she tended.

Walking towards October 10th…….

K

3 thoughts on “The Empty Chair at the Table…..

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