The Life and Death of a Mother

 Here is something I wrote a couple of years ago when my birth Mother passed away…

Well, the word “Mom” …It was something I never called her. My birth mother, that is. Most of you already know the details I have shared here before. Long story short is, she gave birth to me and didn’t or wasn’t allowed to raise me. So we never spoke while We grew up except for the occasional phone call she would make or drop by drunk and calling me “chucky jr’ ..So I don’t have any good memories growing up of her all. I lived in fear of being kidnapped by her. She would have never done it but my Mom (Gm) had told my brother and me to always watch out for her because she was going to. It’s pretty sad to lie to children like that and instill fear into them like that. But that is what happened.
But let’s fast forward to around 1992 when I felt led to go see my birth mother. Well, my brother and I did. Finally we got the meet the lady that gave us life; Still, I could never bring myself to call her Mom. I called her by her name “Ida Mae”. Oh she would correct me and tell me she was my mother but I wouldn’t bend. My brother caved in early on and called her “Mom”. Still I couldn’t. I held off…”The years rolled slowly past”, to borrow from Bob Seger, there were Christmas’s, birthday parties and Thanksgivings’ we shared together…She always told us she loved us….and she was our “Mom”..I still didn’t give in…I wasn’t mean to her by any means. I was respectful, sometimes we always didn’t see eye to eye but she would just tell me that I got my hard headiness from her and she understood…
I remember when she almost died back in around 1994, she called my wife Denise and I to her hospital room…she said she wanted to get “saved”.I asked her if she wanted us to pray for her and she said “No” I can do it myself and she grabbed Denise and my hands, squeezed hard and started asking the Lord to forgive her and to come into her heart and save her.She was serious about her conversion and never looked back, she had her bouts with depression and sickness but she was a rubber ball and would bounce back up…
Even as she got older and a little off base sometimes and when I would call her it was highly annoying to hear her go over and over again about how much she loved us…She would get depressed when she thought about how things happened that led up to her losing us, her babies as a young mother and her husband….I would roll my eyes and then try to change the subject, but she kept going back to the I love you part..And she asked why come I couldn’t call her mom, which I explained over and over, she didn’t understand me on it and I didn’t understand her on it so we both agreed to disagree..
She always bragged on us and her grandkids (our kids) , she loved them all, despite her living in extreme poverty most of the time while they were little she would send a birthday card and a little money in it for them..We would go see her, watch the roaches climb all over the place but as a grandmother she was proud.She never had material things but she had those kids…I believe she spent her entire new life trying to make up for lost time and wrongs that are buried somewhere in the past…
She worried about her animals, she had a couple of dogs and a lot of cats.just recently she came got down and was sick a lot, every time I called her something was wrong with her…she didn’t want help, she didn’t want assistance she wanted to be in charge and on her own, and I can stand here right now and say I will want the same thing when I am older. I am as head strong as she was.
She had been going to Louisville these past few months for cancer checkups, she had a bout with it about 20 years ago and they thought maybe it had come back, she wouldn’t tell me much cause I asked her to leave out the gory details about the surgery she had…..I would call her after she got back from Louisville and she would tell me about the bus ride ( she would take the city bus to Louisville) sometimes she would be so sick she couldn’t talk and other times she was somewhat chipper….
Back to the animals.They were her friends; she kept them in the house. Her favorite dog and cat that she had had for many years died within a week of each other about a month ago…I talked to her about it and she thought it was a sign from God. She said God knew she would worry about those animals if anything happened to her…She said…”Oh Jesus, I wonder if that’s a sign that Joe Joe and Baby died” I told her it wasn’t. She was worried about her affairs too after she died. She would tell me over and over where the important papers where…I reassured her I would make her final wishes come true and would honor what she wanted when she died in the next 30 or 40 years…and I will ….
She passed away sometime during the night or early morning this past Monday…MY wife’s Dad has a scanner (nosy neighbor is what I call people with scanners lol) but he had heard them call out the code for “deceased” at her address..My son Josh drove me over there…and it was true…she died in her sleep.I just spoke with her Friday and she appeared fine, a little under the weather but nothing unusual …I went into her bedroom where she lay and I felt a peace about the place.I wasn’t shocked, or uneasy.I saw a new saint where an old sick body used to lay…just a shell….
She was terrified of dying but longing for Heaven.And God was gracious enough to let her go in her sleep. She went to sleep and woke up in the arms of Jesus…She is healthy, whole and in Heaven.
I’m ok with it…I never called her Mom, but she knew that she was, in our own hardheadedness we understood each other….and she will be missed but more importantly, there is a reunion..
I never cry ,well unless it involves one of my kids or grandkids, somehow they can run around all the shields I have in place…..it’s not fair but they can with no problems, I have no back up defenses for those..
As I went thru her lock box of her important papers to see her last wishes I found a note…….and it read…
Chuck
I want you and David to know I have always loved you
Mom

My shields took a hard beating at the moment.They stood……but leaked a little…

She was my Mom, not the one that got to raise me but the one that gave me life…In reality, that’s all I can ask for isn’t it?…

In closing, For some reason it seems that the Lord lets me know things are alright in dreams.I couldn’t sleep Monday night, not because I was upset but because I wanted to do everything right for her…when I finally dosed off around 4am I had a dream..I saw her, on a boat, in a river and she had on a black skirt that went down past her knees and she was dancing to Calypso music, enjoying Heaven… she looked young and healthy and full of life…it was her celebration dance…
I’ll miss her, my family will miss her…And I will treat her wishes with respect and one day……hopefully not for a long long time though…see her again….
until then
bye MOM
chuck

Update…..

Well, it’s been right at a month since my birth mother died….Sorry, I still separate her by “Birth mother” I mean no offense, just the facts. Anyway, for those of you that have followed my journey through this already know that my mother’s brother was the one that murdered my dad back in 1967…..So no need to go back over those roads….Long story short is, I have no feelings for this man and had always told my mother (when she brought him up in conversation) how I felt about him..She always said she loved him because he was her brother and she hated him for killing her husband/my dad…I on the other hand felt like he should have gotten the death penalty. So back to my story, I’ll make it short….He called me yesterday….He was wanting some of things that she had that belonged to him…I felt uncomfortable meeting him at the house, Let’s face it ..I don’t trust him. Now he has never been angry toward me but you never know…So I went to the house by myself, gathered up what he asked for and called him on the phone and asked him to meet me outside of his apartment….I pulled up in the parking lot and he was waiting for me…I gave him his stuff….He talked for a few minutes ….It was a polite conversation but something I didn’t really want to be involved with…anyway…when it was winding down and I was getting back into the truck… , he put all the stuff in one arm that he was holding and reached out with his right hand…… … he reached out his hand…….his “right hand”……the hand that he used to pull the trigger that killed my dad…….. I felt like it was his way of apologizing…for what he did………..….I know a hand shake doesn’t make it up and it will not never ever bring my dad back…..but he reached out his hand…………I reached back……and shook his hand…..
I then told him I would talk to him later if I found some other things that belonged to him at the house and I closed the truck door and drove away….
I still don’t know what to think of it……….but I move on…..

Like I said earlier, I wrote this right after she died.

Moving on…

 

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