Monday, March 2, 2015

My Mother's Final Journey


My Mother's final journey began this last December when she arrived in San Francisco with just a suitcase and her precious little dog.
She had literally closed the door behind her, leaving her home forever in Oregon.  Leaving all her worldly possessions and memories to come to California to live with me in the last months of her life.
Neither of us knew how long she had, only that she was terminal.


On good days, I pushed her in a wheelchair around the Marina and showed her all the sites.
She loved to sit by the Bay and watch the boats and birds.


I knew she was terrified, but only now do I realize how afraid she really was.
She tried so hard to be brave.


She looked to me for "salvation," but in the end, I couldn't save her from the hideous disease that took her life.  All I could do was make sure she was comfortable and surrounded with love and family and dogs.

When things got bad, I called Hospice By The Bay for help.  They were wonderful and with their help, I was able to make my Mother as comfortable as possible as her disease progressed.
Day or night, they were there for us.
I'm eternally grateful.

When things got even worse, I called Compassionate Community Care for assistance.
Helen, Julia, Vinma and Victoria took care of her so I could sleep.
I'm eternally grateful.

Mom passed away peacefully last Wednesday, February 25th at 1:11 pm.
Her journey is over now.
I'm eternally grateful for the gifts she gave us all.
May she rest in peace.


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82 comments:

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

So sorry for your loss, Delores. I know some day I will have to help care for my aging mother since we are at that age. Praying for you and your family.

Rhonda said...

My sincere condolences to you, Delores. I know, from reading your blog, how wonderful and special your mother was to you; it is a hard thing to lose her. My own mother is beginning the journey your mother just completed. The pain is great, knowing what's ahead. May your sweet memories of her comfort your heart.

Tamyra Positively Southern said...

I absolutely adore my Mother and one day I know that this will be a journey that I will take. Thank you so much for sharing your love of your Mother. My most heart felt sympathy!

Sonny G said...

oh Delores,
I type through eyes full of tears. I am so very sorry for your loss and thankful to read your beautiful words.

may her heaven be all she ever dreamed it would be and one day ya'll will meet again.
my heartfelt sympathies.
Sonny

Kathy said...

Delores I am so sorry, this is the same thing that happened with my Mom last fall, she came with her little doggie too, I felt honored to take care of her up to the end, it was a marvelous experience for us, she hated having to be taken care of, not realizing how life is a circle and it was my turn. I will forever be grateful for that time.

Janet Garon said...

I am so sorry. It is such a hard thing to endure to see our parents get older and pass away. Your memories of her will be such a precious gift. You will realize that more and more as time goes on. It took me some time to 'accept' my mother's suffering but once I did I could fully appreciate all the wonderful memories.

Dee at The Carlton said...

You did the greatest thing you can do - be there for someone when they know that it is their final time.

I precious mother took the same journey 3 years ago this coming week & I made frantic trips across the continents to spend time & help.

Be blessed as you grieve for her xx

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. I'm sure she was very grateful to have you by her side. Sending you a hug.

carolyn bradford said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. I know your mother was grateful to have you by her side.

laney said...

...your precious mother had every single thing she needed...she had you...blessings...and love...laney

Lori said...

God Bless! We are caring for my 90 year old mother-in-law. We call it assisted with love. Thank goodness for home health care at the stage we are in. She too, fell and then had to leave her home to come be with us. Very sad time. Thinking of you, you are not alone.

Decor To Adore said...

Oh Delores! My heart goes out to you. May you find comfort in your cherished memories during this difficult time.

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Oh I am so sorry, Delores. You were such a blessing to your mother in her final days. I will pray for you both.
Mary Ann

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Delores - I am so sorry for your loss.

Primroses Attic said...

So Sorry Delores. Such a sad time for you. Love the picture of your mum with her little dog and the other two bigger dogs. Those days you all spent togeather will be forever treasured by you. And your mum would of loved spending it with you. sENDING hUGS.
rOSEZEETA.

Primroses Attic said...

So Sorry Delores. Such a sad time for you. Love the picture of your mum with her little dog and the other two bigger dogs. Those days you all spent togeather will be forever treasured by you. And your mum would of loved spending it with you. sENDING hUGS.
rOSEZEETA.

Andrew Monastero said...

Until a person goes through such a loss it is imoppible to explain to others. My Mon left this world 5 years ago and all I can hope is for Gods strength to you and your Fanily to get you through this time. Lastly with all you did for your Mom, I am positive that her knowing that her little dog will be well taken care of was incredibly conforming to her.
Sincerely
Andrew

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

I am so sorry for your loss Delores! I am praying for you and your family! Hugs!

Marielle said...

I am so sorry. May you find comfort in your memories of her and in the love and support of your family and friends. As hard as this was, you must be assured you helped her in a great way on this journey we all must travel. Blessings and sincere prayers.

La Table De Nana said...

I nevr had the privilege of looking after an elderly..mom..I never had the privilege of knowing my mom after the age of 19 and she 55.
I hope I would have done like you..and I know my husband would have been wonderful with her..
I see your hubby there..♥
We lucked out ..as I know my husband would have been there for her also.
My sympathies to you..and your whole family.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh Delores, I am so sorry. Losing your Mother is always such a profound loss. God Bless you for taking such good care of her. I will keep you all in prayer.

Leslie Harris said...

these pictures really got to me. I feel so sad. And I'm so so sorry for the loss of your precious mother Delores I can only imagine what life's been like for you lately. I pray she didn't suffer much pain in the end. You were such a good daughter I know she is at peace now, smiling down at you and your family. I hope her little dog is doing ok.
xo
Leslie

Sarah said...

Delores, may you find comfort and peace in the fact that you were there for her in the last months of her life. Your mom surely felt the love and devotion from her precious daughter. As difficult as it must have been for her to leave her home, San Francisco is a beautiful spot in which to spend one's last days. I send you my love, concern, and sincerest sympathy. It's difficult to say a final goodbye to one's mother.
"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure." I know your treasure chest is full!
Love and caring hugs sent your way, sweet friend. ~ Sarah

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Delores I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. xo

for the love of a house said...

A beautiful post Delores. I am so sorry for your great loss. May you find peace in the love that surrounds you. xxojoan

The Polka Dot Closet said...

What a wonderful thing you did for your Mom and your family!!! I am sure she was so comforted by being with your family! I am so sorry for your loss...It seems we are never old enough to lose a parent

Carol

liparifam said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. My Mother passed away several years ago - she was only 69. It's very hard. I'm so glad you were able to spend that time with her...

AntiqueChase said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mom was so lucky to have you take care of her!
Marcy

Kathy said...

Delores-Your words were so meaningful and heartfelt. It is amazing to read all the comments from others and makes one realize that your followers have so much in common with you I am sure if we aren't going through this now, we have or will at some point. My parents are still alive but in their 80's, the changes each day are sometimes hard to bear. I keep thinking (not wanting to accept) this is just temporary.:( Love and prayers to you and so happy your Mom was with you. Kathy

Sonia said...

So sorry for your loss. How wonderful that you were able to spend her last days together with her. You gave her the gift of comfort when she was afraid and I'm sure made her days easier knowing you were there with her. So many people miss that opportunity and those moments can be so precious. Will keep you in my prayers that you will find comfort and peace.

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

I am so sorry for your loss. How blessed your mother was to have you care for her until the very end. Praying for comfort and strength in the days ahead.

Karen said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. You are a good daughter and I'm sure your mom rested easier in her final days because she was with you and your family.
xo,
Karen

Burlap Luxe said...

Oh Delores, such a sad visit here...I too will be taking care of my Mother soon enough, she is declining and her issues with her heart, and mental state is taking its toll on her. You did a wonderful thing taking in your mother showing her the beauty all around you.
You made your mothers journey that much easier to surrender to while fighting this disease (Cancer)

What a beautiful daughter you are.

Prayers to you and yours.

Xx
Dore

Mary said...

Your Mom must have been a gem to have to raised such a kind daughter that made sure she was cared for. There is nothing greater than family and Hospice Care. Their services, well I can't think of words to describe how good they are. I am glad you were able to spend time with your Mom. I am sure you and your family were more comforting to her than you will ever know.

I will keep you in my prayers. It is so hard to lose a Mother.

Mary
from Virginia

Cheryl said...

Dear Delores, my deepest condolences to you and your family. How wonderful that you were able to share in her last few months and give her all the comfort and care she needed. I know you will forever carry with you beautiful memories.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home said...

I am so sorry to hear of your mothers passing. I know you will find comfort in the wonderful memories you have of her.
Hugs,
Penny

Marilyn said...

To surround your mother with love and dignity says so much about your strength and character. Strength and character learned as a child from an obviously very loving mother.

Wishing your peace during this very difficult time.

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Laurie Ritchey said...

What a beautiful memorial post, Delores. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I know you are glad she didn't have to suffer longer than she did. I brought my mother home to die, surrounded by her family and her two dogs. I am so glad she had those last days with all of us around her, instead of being in a hospital bed surrounded by nurses. It is wonderful that you were able to care for your mother in her last days. I know she felt loved. Saying a prayer for you now. Hugs.

Teresa L Gloyd said...

I am so sorry for the loss of you Mom. I hope that you gain comfort from being with her in her last phase of life. I am sure that there was a joy she she had because you were there and able to share. I hope that the memories of her will help you through this difficult time.

Teresa

Donnamae said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you did your very best to make your mom's final days very comfortable for her. May you treasure your memories! ;)

Carolee said...

Delores ~ I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. I wish peace and comfort for you and your family during this very difficult time. Praying for all of you.

Donna D said...

I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet mother. I've moved my mother in with us and take care of her and am grateful for every moment I have with her. Sending you much love.

Ellen Thompson said...

My deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear mother. You have been a good daughter to care for her so lovingly.

Vanessa LaFerriere said...

Your story is painful but also so beautiful. You did a wonderful job for your mother in her last days. Love and peace to you and your family (including your canine family members!).

Sandra Linville said...

Dear Delores, so sorry for your loss. It is so difficult to watch our love ones slip away day by day. God bless you for being there with her in this journey.
Sandy

Vicky R said...

Thank you for sharing this. Your mother was lucky to have such a special daughter to care for her and her baby (doggy).

Prayers to your family.

Tracey Holly said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I hope you will find peace in knowing you were there and she was surrounded with love.

Cyndy said...

Dear Delores, I hope you can take comfort in knowing that you did everything possible to make your Mother's last days happy. I lost my Father in August and it takes a while to adjust to the loss. Don't feel the need to rush the grieving process and 'get back to normal' for everyone else. One day you will wake up and realize that you've gotten to the point where it's not the last thing you think about at night and the first thing you think about in the morning. No one else will miss your Mother the way that you do and as loving as everyone is, they will not understand how you feel.

Mary said...

I am sorry for the loss of your Mother. I know how sad it must be. Luckily your Mom had here precious dog with her. Quite a few years ago my husband's Mother moved in with us but could not bring her dog, would not get along with our dogs or cats. But she had a great companion, my big yellow cat Oliver. Oliver was not a people cat, never sat with you. But the moment Claudia moved in Ollie spent his time in bed with her, she spent her time just petting him. I think she was comforted. We take what comfort we can from small acts. I am sure your Mother was comforted with all you did.

Kathy Steinlicht said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. How blessed she was to maintain her independence until close to her passing. How brave of you, your husband and your Mom to be able to come to live with you for her last days.I hope Memories will be sweeter as time goes by.

CarolynM said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute! May all daughters be as caring and loving as you were in her finally time on earth.

Patricia said...

Dear Delores, I am so sorry for your great loss. One of the most difficult things we do in life - your dear Mother was so blessed to spend her last days with her loving devoted daughter....God Bless you both.....

Bonnie Schulte said...

Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your Mother. I don't know you of course, but I certainly feel the pain that you both have suffered, as I have also traveled this journey with my own Mother 17 years ago. How lovely that you were able to be together at the end, and I am very sure how comforting it had to be for your Mom. You were daughter that made your Mother very proud. Be very happy that you shared such a close bond.....so special for both of you.

The French Hutch said...

Although I don't usually comment I love to follow and read your blog posts. I have to comment today. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful mom. Having her with you and caring for her in her final days I know was heart breaking but now you will have memories of how you were there for her at the end. You were able to say your goodbyes and that has to be a comfort.
May you find comfort in knowing you did everything possible.
Sending you hugs............

Alison Perkins said...

Delores, I am so sorry to hear you lost your mother. My deepest sympathy to you and yours.

I too took care of my mother in her final months along with the help of Hospice. Hospice was a God send to myself and my mother and I have never met such a wonderful group of caring individuals in my life. They have my utmost respect for all that they do.

Your mother will always be with you...she lives in your heart forever more.

Teresa said...

Such a beautiful memorial post to honor your mother. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers to comfort you and your family. God Bless.

Pat Howe said...

I'm so sorry for your loss of your mother....sending prayers and hugs.

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

Oh Delores, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard this is. I took care of my Mom for the last 5 years of her life, she was sick when she came to live with us but got worse and worse. Visiting nurses helped me tremendously as I was still working at the time, but just part time and my boss was phenomenal. It will take you awhile to remember she is not there anymore. I am praying for you and your family. XO, Pinky

Suzanne said...

So very sorry for your loss. I can only hope that when my end comes I will have the love and care that your mother did. Thank you for sharing this post. It is inspiring in so very many ways. Love and prayers to you during this difficult time.

Heidi said...

Dear Delores,
I am so sad for you and for the loss of your mother. I remember how lonely and sad I was after I lost my own mother, the thing that helped me the most was knowing that I did everything I could to be there with her, to help her through her last days. Those days you had together while you cared for her were a blessing to you, and I hope that you have many happy memories that wil help sustain you and lift your spirits during the times ahead.
With love,
Heidi

Cindy Hattersley said...

Delores

I am so sorry for your loss. I have a father who is 92 and a mother 87. May you have peace in knowing you did everything you could for her. I know you have many happy memories that will get you through the days ahead.

Fondly, Cindy

Segreto Secrets said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Delores. Your tribute to your mother was beautiful and I wish you and your family my condolences during this difficult time.
xo. Leslie
Segreto Finishes

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Delores, My heart goes out to you and I am so sorry for your loss.
xx,
Sherry

The Tablescaper said...

What a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss.

- Alma, The Tablescaper

virginia costa said...

I am very sorry for your loss. I am sure you have done the best for your mother in this difficult period. I am from Brazil and wish I could express myself better. She seems very happy in her last days!

frankie said...

What a blessing you were to your mom! Take comfort in knowing you were with her till the end! Prayers to you and your family!

frankie said...

What a blessing you were to your mom! Take comfort in knowing you were with her till the end! Prayers to you and your family!

sheilaa131 said...

So sorry for the loss of your dear mother. But how beautiful that you were there for her like she was there for you. Prayers to you and your family.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I am so sorry for your lose. I am sure you made your mom's last days full of love and compassion. This was a beautiful story and the photos made me cry. Sending you a hug.

Joni Webb said...

Delores - This really hit home. You are such a good daughter and I'm sure your mother knew this. So sorry to hear of your loss.

Joni

Elizabeth Day said...

Delores, what a privilege and an honor to be able to care for your mother in her last days. It must have been such a comfort for her.

Maria C said...

Oh, Delores! I am so, so sorry for your loss. You have my deepest sympathy during this sad time!

SALLY said...

Bless you for having your mother with you
to help her through her final days. What a comfort for both of you.

Linda Floyd said...

My condolences for the loss of your Mother. For those of us who have experienced this loss…may I share with you that you will not recognize the stress of what you've experienced for several months to come, so be vigilant and take care of yourself and your family.
How blessed she was to have you as her advocate, friend and daughter, especially on her final journey. Memories are the blessings given to us to help us survive such terrible losses.

Wishing you strength and healing…

Linda Floyd

Shaz Green said...

Sitting here at my desk in Melbourne just after 9am trying to hide my tears from my staff. Deepest condolences to you and your family. There's no words that will ease your pain at this time but I hope the thought that others are holding you in their thoughts and prayers is some small comfort.

Kathysue said...

D, I am so very sorry to hear this. I know that you gave your Mom so much joy and made her last days full of love and compassion. This is one of the very hardest parts of life. God bless you and your family and I hope it helps just a little to know you are in my thoughts and prayers, Love you,
Kathysue

Jaybird said...

I am so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. We went down that exact road a couple of years ago, and it is pretty rough. You did your best to make things a bit easier for her, and I know that she went on with love in her heart for you!
Blessings to you,
J

Bonnie said...

Such a loving tribute, Deloris. I am sorry for your loss but am glad you had special time with her. You were a great comfort to her I am sure and you provided great care for her needs.
May God strengthen you in the coming days as you grieve.

La Dolfina said...

Dear Dolores,

I am so sorry for your loss... I lost my best friend at age 56 on Jan. 6th.
I feel so blessed to still have my mom with me. She is still so vibrant and healthy. I must remember to cherish her each and every moment.
My prayers are with you and your family.

Best,

Terri

My Cozy Casita said...

So Sorry Doles on your loss ,I loss my
Mom on February 11, I feel so sad
after 13 day 24/7 with her in the Hospital
I miss her so much now they are in God hand
with all the angel.
M
God bless you
XO
Isora

Jill Cooper said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. Bless you for taking such good care of her at the end. Hugs!

cathy said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mother. We went through a somewhat similar situation with my mother 12 years ago. She, too, kept up a very brave front until the end. I know her faith helped her. My sincere sympathy.

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