Friday, February 23, 2007

My Mother

This is for my mother, Ethelyne Inez (Becky) Reynolds, April 3, 1921 – May 3, 2002.

I never realized how strong my mother was until she passed away and I took a good look at our lives. She worked hard and was the glue that held our family together for many years. My father stopped drinking when I was thirteen and by then the damage to our family was evident. She never stopped loving him and stood by him through all the trials and tribulations of their life. She continued to work and she supported him in all that he chose to do. Even if it meant moving again and we did several more times. Divorce is a word that I never heard mentioned in our home. She stayed beside him until he passed away.

As she grew older, I had expectations of her that she could no longer fulfill. I expected her to do the things she did when I was growing up. I expected her to cook meals, clean the house, bake pies and cakes and all the other things she did. I did not see her as growing older, I saw my mother as she use to be. I began to realize how my mother felt as I aged and started to slow down myself. My expectations were too high for her to meet. I thought about these things for many months and knew I had to tell her what I had come to realize and ask her to forgive me for setting those expectations for her. To tell her that I understood why she could not do the things I expected of her. Although she had her share of illnesses, her health was okay in 2001 and she moved to Tennessee to live with my sister. I delayed telling her the things I needed to say. Thursday, May 2, 2002 came around and for some reason I knew I had to talk to her and tell her how I felt. I delayed once again and intended to call her on Friday morning.

A good friend of ours dropped by for a visit that morning. We sat at the kitchen table, talking and the telephone rang. I answered and my sister said I do not know how to tell you, but mother died in her sleep last night.

What I am trying to say by writing this is do not put off talking to a loved one when you know you must. Make it a priority to talk, do not delay for any reason, no matter how important you think it may be. Nothing is as important as telling someone you love how you feel and to say you are sorry or whatever it may be you have to say. Since then I have talked to her, even though she is no longer here. My only regret is that I did not say those things to her before she died. I know that she heard me and I have found peace in that.

1 comment:

talj said...

Dear Sylvia, your post has really moved me today. I wish to share a little of my story with you.

On Sunday 5th June 2005 my partner, best friend and soul mate of 10 years was taken to hospital with what they thought to be pneumonia. He was in hospital for a week and then on Saturday 11th June 2005 I spoke to him in the morning and he was feeling much better but the doctors were still keeping an eye on him. That was the last time we spoke.

At about 7pm on Saturday 11th June he had a massive heart attack. He was rushed to Intensive Care where they advised us he had blood clots in his lungs and right leg, his liver and kidneys were failing and his heart had suffered severe damage and also had a big clot on it.We went through 5 days of being told any moment they would turn the machines off but then he would make progress so they would hold off and see how things went for a little longer. On Friday they advised that they needed to do a brain scan. The news was devastating. At some point during the week a clot had travelled to his brain and he was now severely brain damaged. They advised they would do another scan on Saturday to make sure but the machines would be turned off in the evening.

He didn’t make it that long. On the Saturday we got a call to say his heart had begun to stop and he passed away shortly after 11.30am Saturday 18th June 2005

When you wrote about talking to those we love now and not waiting I was reminded of one of my last conversations with my sweetheart. On Friday 10th June 2005 I spoke to Damian as usual in morning, he sounded a lot brighter, more like the old him. We had a lovely chat but it was cut short as his water tablets had begun to work!!! I decided this would be the perfect time to call back and leave a soppy message. I left it a minute and rang the phone by his bedside but what did he do? Picked it up!!!!!! Had no choice then so I just came right out with it. "I love you with all my heart", I'd wanted to tell him all week but just couldnt bring myself to do it. His reply was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard "Thank you, I couldnt wish for anything more, I love you too." Then we both burst into tears. Sitting with him on the other end of the phone knowing that what we just said meant so much to the both of us really blew me away.

That had to be the most important telephone conversation I will ever have.

Thank you for sharing the story of your mother.

With love,

Natalya xx