Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Reason...a Season...or a Lifetime

I think that friendship is one of the amenities that life offers that allow us to survive otherwise insurmountable odds. Some things we just can't go through on our own! Some friends have only lasted for a particular stage in our life...while others have been there since grade school! Some friends are just "shopping friends", or "chat on the phone friends", but then there are the friends that you know you could call in the middle of the night!

I have a favorite saying that goes, "People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime". But something that I have discovered on my journey through life is isn't always about ME! (I know that is hard to believe!) Once in a while...a person will come into our life and maybe...just maybe... it is because THEY need whatever it is that WE have to offer or teach THEM. Usually it is hard to know the difference, because when you open yourself to another person, you can't help but grow in some way yourself.

I was reminded of the importance of that kind of friend this week. You see, my mom is the kind of friend that anyone would be lucky to have. She is able to keep a confidence. She is fun to be with. She will be your shopping and going to lunch bud....and if ...heaven is time for you to pass out of this life, she will be there to hold your hand. I know this because she has done it more than once...for people that in the beginning, weren't even close friends. But in the last moments of your life....I believe that the one left holding your hand, IS your closest friend at that moment. For some, that has been my mom! Yesterday, she again was there, holding the hand of a friend who only two months and four days before had been "fine". As I recall, this 59 year old woman from mom's church called her to take her to the doctor because she couldn't think straight. She wasn't in pain...but felt something was wrong. Within a few hours, it was determined that this woman had brain cancer, breast cancer and liver cancer. Quite a lot to process.

My mom is not a nurse or a professional caregiver. She is just a wonderful friend who has survived loss in her life. Her mom died when she was only 7, while in a plane being flown to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She died of Addison's disease. Mom was also there with her grandma as she died of cancer. She has also been present when other friends of hers have passed.

My mom is determined not to let a friend die alone. She could have just checked her friend into the hospital and her obligation would have been fulfilled. But instead, for the past two months, she became taxi driver, caregiver, bottom wiper, and confidante. As a daughter, I worried about her over doing it. I know that she is a slight woman, beyond her prime...although she would dispute that fact! But she did what she felt she had to do. I know that it is important to my mom that no person be alone when they die.

Last night I got a short email that just said, "My friend Terri died tonight". I knew she must just be exhausted. I once lost a friend with cancer who I had visited daily and tried to be "up" for. Early on, she had "appointed" me as her official "sense of humor" because she knew that in time, with the chemo, the hair loss, the loss of her breast...the vomiting, fatigue....etc she would probably lose her sense of humor. I took my job very seriously! (as I wore the Groucho Marx glasses!) I insisted that in the final stages, anyone who came into the hospital room to visit my friend, had to put on the Groucho Glasses! My friend would see them and crack up! When they saw her laughing, it was harder to cry! (it is really hard to cry when you "feel funny"!) But...she did age 32...with two small children left behind. The after effect is one of adrenal depletion! (Mom...I understand!)

I called mom today and she described herself as a person who had been trying to run into the wind...a strong Eastern Montana kind of wind....for two months...and then the wind suddenly ceased...and she just fell flat on her face." That is where she was today! In need of a nap!

My mom lives her life without regret. She is my hero! I hope that one day I will be just like her! (when I grow up! ha!) I'm not sure if she was in Terri's life for a reason or a season....but I do know that for Terri, she was blessed to have met my mom! Love you, mimi!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Why did I decide to read your blog at this time?? I had just put on my make up, oh well, now I can do it again! No worries, what a beautiful thing for you to say about me. It meant more than words can really say. You are the one with the gift of words, but I know that you know me so well and I do know that you know what is in my heart! I love you Honey!!! I am so very proud of the woman you are and so happy to have you also as a friend. You are a Friend and beautiful daughter for a lifetime!!