August 2 What it Means to Me!
August 2, 2016, I received a call from my brother Joel. Just shortly before he called me, he learned that our mother had suffered a stroke. That morning still stands out in my mind, as Rich left for work, I went out on our back patio and decided to dig up and transplant a spider plant. The plant was barely growing between two well-thriving hostas. As I freed this struggling plant and replaced it in front of my patio doors, I felt as if I had just completed a decisive action. With a feeling of satisfaction, I smiled, knowing that it was going to be a good day until I received the phone call. That plant today is growing and sprouting new baby shoots each year.
I remember feeling a sense of disbelief; my mom was a strong woman who was 96 ½ years young. My brother had to have his information wrong. However, after promising him, I would get myself together and drive to Michigan to be with mom, I followed up with the hospital to learn her condition was concerning. (Now what does that mean?)
After getting my family situated, Rich, Alex, and I set out for Detroit. All we knew at that time was she had suffered what appeared to be a stroke, was blind, and had no idea what happened, or if anything happened. She had no concept of being blind; she saw what she wanted *in her mind.
Arriving hours later as I approached her hospital room, I feared the worst and hoped for the best. Mom was sleeping, as I slowly approached her and woke her up. She sounded like mom, although a bit confused as she began asking questions about why she was in the hospital. She said she felt fine and wanted to go home. I reassured she would be staying at the hospital for at least the night we had to identify what may have happened. Again, she still had no idea she was blind.
August 2, 2016, took us all on a journey we never expected or planned.
From August 2, through October 11, 2019, I was blessed to spend my mother’s last weeks with her. It was during this time I was able to talk to my mama in a manner I never thought I could. We went from what I depicted as a love/hate mother-daughter relationship to a loving, trusting, mother-daughter experience. I grew up during those weeks, even though I didn’t feel ready for the challenges I faced.
I have not felt the same since the transition from Summer to Fall in 2016. I have held on to the good memories from those weeks, the stories my mama told, some over and over again, while others were in fragments that I may never know the full meaning. During this period, I felt like I was in limbo just as much as my mom. Although there was no hope for her recovery, we also had no time table of her fate. Each day was a blessing and a miracle until she died.
I have been told by the rabbis and the scholarly Jewish community that my mother’s death on the Eve of Yom Kippur, October 11, 2016, was a mitzvah. My mother was absolved of all her sins in 2076, written into the book of life, and with 2077 on the horizon, she would leave this earthly world in the presence and acceptance of G-D. However, ever year, Yom Kippur rolls around as I pray for life,I now remember my mother’s life and the love she shared.
August the 2nd will always remind me of the opportunity I had to care for my mother and create a heartful of loving memories!