Thursday, April 9, 2020


My Mom passed away last week after a long illness at 95 years old. No memorial, mass, service due to the extraordinary pandemic guidelines. The burial will be limited to 10 family members tomorrow. It all seems so hollow, said my brother.

I wrote this poem about her while taking care of her.

She loved when I put cream on her back and said “ahhhh”and thanked me every evening. Her back gave her a great deal of pain and was bent with age. 
She was so kind and gentle and considerate to everyone who helped her. We were taught grace and manners by her at an early age, we all knew how to set an elegant table for dinner. 
Her Virginia roots were in the garden with Camellias and Azaleas under our 150 year old CA coastal oaks. When the flowers bloomed we carried them into the house to float in bowls. 
We would have our adult beverage at 5:30pm, dinner at 6:00. Rituals were important. Binge watching was great entertainment for her last months at home. Her landline phone was her lifeline to family and friends and she loved her iPad for words with friends and email. She was very democratic and voiced her opinion when the nightly news came on. I can still hear her “oh”, huffing away at something she didn’t agree with. Waiting to hear Shields and Brooks on PBS was the highlight of the week.
Every morning a caregiver would come to get her up and dressed for the day. Soft clothes and pretty patterns were important. 
She held onto routine throughout the day, listening to classical music or to the birds singing outside. 
As her health declined she held her head high with grace and dignity, always worried that she wasn’t gracious enough, or forgot someone’s birthday. 
Her left handed writing was still in cursive, so distinctive and lovely. 
When she couldn’t walk anymore, she would say “I’m such a mess’ and I would say “ we love you for who you are’
When she was in her final hours she said ‘Tell everyone I love them’, still holding on to her giving self, one of love and courage. We all miss her so.

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