In Witness For My Mother

Captain’s Log   4,387

On May 19, 2011, I was sitting with my family in my mother’s bedroom – holding her hand and witnessing her transition. Stubborn to the end, she waited until we left and passed away in her sleep in the wee hours of May 20th. I got the call in my motel room about 2:30 or so.  My niece was sharing the room, and since there was nothing anyone could do at the moment, we decided to let my nephew and Big Sister Mia sleep a few more hours.  We went down to the lobby – and the night attendant made us breakfast and coffee.  Only in Iowa.  There we sat eating cornflakes at 3:00 in the morning and talking about how precious our times were with Eva Lorraine Brandes – affectionately known by everyone as Sis.

For 20 years or more, we would be making arrangements to travel to Iowa to celebrate Mom’s birthday on May 23rd. Last year, we gathered together to say goodbye.  Her funeral was on her 95th birthday.  How ironic.  She was always up for a good “gotcha” like that.

So this year I will spend this time in San Diego – trying to make what had been our traditional trip into something new.  At least for today. 


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

27 responses to “In Witness For My Mother

  1. Hugs friend. And I know you had a great day.

  2. JJ

    How wonderful and how lucky you both were to have loved and cared for each other. I’m thinking of you.

  3. gbw

    No matter what you make as your new tradition your mom will always be there in your heart {{hugs}}}

  4. Edie

    You will always remember that day along with all of the happy memories of your good times with your Mom. We still laugh at all the things my Mom did and fun we had with her. I guess we were fortunate to have our Mom’s for many years. Mine lived to be 100. Be well….Edie

  5. mommerry

    Sis was the unofficial greeter at Siesta for years. She never failed to ask, “Have I told you the one about…” and she had but we listened and laughed just as hard as we did the 1st, 2nd and 3rd times she had told us that one. She brightened the days for many residents and visitors as well. I am guessing you got at least a little bit of your sense of the ridiculous from your mom. My condolences as you, as many of us do, celebrate her life without her by your side.

  6. It is our custom to light a candle on the anniversary (Yahrzeit) of someone’s death. No one else in my household knows, unless and until I light that candle.

    I suppose it doesn’t really matter; they are still with me every day. I know your mom is too.

  7. *Hugs* You and Mia will undoubtedly find some wonderful way to celebrate your mother’s first anniversary in the afterlife. I suspect she will be nearby and smiling.

  8. Jean

    Sounds like a good day for fried bologna sandwiches and root beer floats !!

  9. bholles

    We will think of something special.

  10. joaniebenson

    I hope you will be able to come up with a new tradition in celebration of your Mom’s birthday that will bring you comfort every year as you remember her on her special day. There’s something very cool, actually, that her last celebration of life (her funeral) was on her birthday. I’m glad you’re off today so you can take time to enjoy the memories of your life with her. I wish you had said something yesterday….. we could have gone for a root beer float to celebrate.

  11. I’m such a sap for family and tradition. I hate it when times change. I miss the old people. Sometimes I bake one of my grandma’s cookies (the difficult roll-outs, or even some lefse) so I can pretend they’re back for a little bit. I hope you can find a San Diego way to celebrate your mom.

    My little grandma had a vigil of people around her bedside when she was dying. When it was my turn, I told her that she could go now and that I was going to leave the room so she could head on over to her next gig and that I’d miss her dearly. I left the room and quietly sat with the other relatives who’d forgot that it was my turn to stay with her. A nurse came out less than 20 minutes later to tell us that she’d died. I guess it’s what some of us need.

  12. kJ

    (((HUGS))) Wish we could be there with you to celebrate your mum’s life. Thinking of you both!! xoxox

    • poolagirl

      You were there to help us send her off. You are such an important person in our lives, Miss Kelly. We love you!

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