Here Again, Watching and Waiting

Like all others I watched and waited.
Mother-in-law Betty was walking the path
Which all of us must walk in our last days.

The veil between life and death became opaque.
Mom was visiting with sisters and brothers waiting for her.
She was in their presence and conversing with them.

My heart hurt.  Yet, I rejoiced Mom’s journey was ending.
Her destination was a far, far better place.
Betty is now re-united with family and friends.

The utopia offers relief from her aches and pains
Of the accumulated earthly injuries.
Heaven is a panacea of realized hopes and beliefs.

It is difficult to see and participate in this transition.
Dying is a process that awaits you and me.
I am helpless to shorten the hours or days.

Sometimes it seems there is a penalty to be paid,
A specific amount of agony or patience exhausted,
Before the gates open and a crossing is granted. 

I am sad I will no longer have Mom close by.
I have stood by her bedside and shared memories,
Memories of days gone by filled with joy and family.

I am glad we had those joyous times.
I cherish memories of events with family and friends
I cling to the warmth of the love shared.

I ask those friends, relatives, and saints,
Who have gone before for assistance and guidance.
Please open you hands and hearts to help Mom’s transition.

Provide Betty the light and guidance
As she takes the final steps across the threshold
To join her loved ones.

Thank you Mom for all you have given to us.

I cherish the lessons you taught.

I cherish your memory.

Originally written:   July 13, 2010

Yes, this happened to our family on July 13th.  I am feeling the pangs of impending
separation from a loved one.  I first met Betty when I walked her daughter
home from choir practice on Bunker Hill Air Force Base Chapel in 1962. 
Betty provided me and several of my Air Force buddies dinner.  I remember
the hamburgers with the toasted buns.  These were the first hamburgers I had
tasted with a toasted bun.  They quickly became a favorite.  Her husband, Leo
who has been gone for many years became a second father to me. He
and his brother, Patrick, or Patty taught me how to maintain cars and
do many of the chores around the home.  Leo taught me piety and reverence
for Our Lord.   Betty and Leo taught me lessons in family life and love.

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7 responses to “Here Again, Watching and Waiting

  1. Beautifully written with such deep compassion and understanding of the nature of this kind of loss. The sadness and helplessness one feels in the face of the steady and inevitable decline of a loved one. And all the love and gratitude one feels for having had, for all those precious years, their presence in one’s life. Frank, my best wishes go out to you and your family as you accompany Betty on her final journey..

  2. I can’t imagine what you are going through so my heart goes out to you and your family Frank, there is great beauty in the sadness of your words that struck me deeply as I considered what it would be like to be in your position. I know deep down that her next destination is somewhere where pain does not exist and past love blossoms so I hope you all can find some solace in that.

  3. Melody J Haislip

    Oh, my dear, my heart aches for you. We lost out Mother 4 years ago the end of this month. It was very hard to watch her last days, but we were with her, talking to her and touching and kissing her and letting her know she was not alone. Only my youngest sister was in the room when she left us, but I think that was the way she wanted it. I’m so happy for her, but still miss her SO much. You and your family are in my prayers.

  4. Donna T. - Still

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mother-in-Law! There is joy in knowing that she is now in a better place where she suffers no more. Keep this knowledge in your heart and the sadness of her passing will be easier to bear. I am keeping you and the girls in my prayers. Love you!

  5. I am sorry for your loss Frank. You have written this with a real reverence and in such a positive manner, seeing the celebration of her life along with the sadness of your loss.
    Prayers and blessings

  6. Just passed four years without my Sweet Mother and I also had lovely in-laws, who are gone. I do miss them so and treasure the memories we made together. My hear goes out to you and yours.

  7. Pingback: 2010 in review | Frank's Musings & Prose

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