- ► 2014 (19)
- KAT FLANNERY - LAKOTA HONOR!!
- BIGFOOT BOY ACCEPTED BY PUBLISHER
- Writers' Conference Wrap-up
- Words in 3 Dimensions This Weekend
- Kenna McKinnon: German News Reels
- Russia, India and China
- Space Program
- Problems Posting Blog
- India News and Pictures
- Funny commercials on youtube
- WRITING ESSENTIALS BY MORGEN BAILEY
- COMMENT OF THE DAY
- Guest Post by Roy Huff, Author of Everville
- Guest Blog on Crime Writing by Morgen Bailey
- MEAN BEE
- MEMORIES OF MOTHER
- How to Lose Weight?
- 99 cents for a great book
- ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION SALE WITH AUTHOR EXTRAORDI...
- INTERVIEW WITH EILEEN SCHUH, AUTHOR OF THE TRAZ, F...
- CHEAP YOUNG ADULT BOOK SALES
- Stop and smell the roses song
- ▼ May (23)
- ► 2012 (95)
Most Popular Posts
Cheryl Tardif from Imajin Books is publishing my first novel, SpaceHive, in the summer of 2012. It will be in both ebook and trade paperba...
The Fascinating Eileen Schuh featured today with DISPASSIONATE LIES and other great novels ON SALE FOR A LIMITED TIMEWELCOME Eileen Schuh with me today to my blog. She is both a friend and fellow author, from the boreal forests of St. Paul, Albe...
Sandra Miller Sandra Miller is a writer and lives in New York. Two times a year she watches Friends sitcom. She loves salsa. Use...
Memorable Characters Writer's Workshop I went to my first writer's workshop last Saturday, put on by the Canadian Authors'...
A Millionaire's Christmas by Brian Porter My 5 star review Christmas being less than two months away, and the unfortunate resul...
Let's follow Annie Hansen -- "I do like a strong female lead"...schizophrenic young woman private eye. On Sale for ...
Morgen Bailey biography Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, podcaste...
India figures large in my sci-fi fantasy novel, SpaceHive, appropr iate for boys and girls 10 - 14 years old and available on Amazon wo...
Naz Sohni Uppal is the Radio South Asia Friday hostess of a show called Naz at Night that runs from 10 p.m. to midnight on World FM 1...
TODAY we think about romance once again, and the healing properties of love in the face of adversity or error. I gave my review 4 stars. ...
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The Final Healer
by Kenna Mary McKinnon (nee MacDonald)
The relationship with one's mother is often complex and not fully appreciated until, sadly, too late, or never completely understood until we are in mature years.
|Mom and I in picnic grounds Creston, BC 2004|
My mother died on August 22, 2006 at the age of 91. Her birthday was March 15, 1915. She was remembered by the nurses for her smile and her good humor. She never complained although trapped in a frail body wracked by cancer and a broken hip, released only by a long sigh as she left this life, attended by her youngest daughter, my sister Judith Holmes of Ft. Steele and her husband Wes. A dear friend, Ev Thachik of Creston, was also by mom's bedside at the end. Ev held her hand as my mother slipped into that Great Mystery. My brother-in-law called us after the curtain had fallen. Even the nurses were crying.
A friend's mother died of leukemia. Before she died he was able to pop over from his workplace every day to visit for an hour or so in the lodge in which she stayed at the end of her life. He said this gave him the unprecedented opportunity to mend some bridges with his mom and to get to know her in a way he had not when he was younger. He is grateful for that opportunity. Sometimes the end of life is the sweetest and mellowest.
I believe there is a reason and we don't know the reason. We're not meant to know. Pain, both emotional and physical, may be the Refiner's Fire. Yet its purpose is sometimes shattered by unremitting agony relieved only by death. Death may be bittersweet. There may be relief in death. A retired physician died several years ago of painful cancer. At the end of his life while he lay in his hospital bed, his three daughters and wife sang him to heaven with hymns from his childhood. It was he who told me, "Death is the final healer". He struggled with his faith at the end. But at the end he was borne on wings of ancient song to his final resting place. Did he find a reason for his pain? Did his wife and daughters find a reason for his death? Yet sitting with their father and husband and easing his journey was a respite for him and for them. We as caregivers both give and receive.
My parents died physically in pain but their minds remained intact. Dementia is cruel, perhaps crueler than cancer, but how can we judge? All lead to the grave; from the moment of our birth we grow into death. How sad when our loved ones are no more in mind or body the persons we knew.
|Mom at Christmas 2004 on Santa's lap|
The old men sitting in their hats in the Legions of the nation and talking of war; the old women with gentle hands smoothing their silver hair. Not all of us are destined to reach this fair land of retirement and the fierce desires for remaining life. My husband died at 29 when his two children were babies. Many die young. Children die. Yet we and our parents lived on, part of a swell of humanity that finds meaning and often wisdom in maturity; sometimes a decline into a situation that requires caregiving and sacrifice; sometimes a long and vibrant life and spontaneous and gentle death beyond the ages of 80 and 90.
I was 68 last October 2012. I get my OAS and my CPP; I work at home; I'm learning to swim; I have good friends; I am vibrant and healthy. When my mother was 68 she looked 45. When my mother was in her mid-80s she had a stroke. She had another stroke two years later. When my mother was 90 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She fell at 91 and broke her hip, which her doctor was unable to set due to her frail condition; she would not have survived the anesthetic. My mother died at 91, leaving two sons, Byron MacDonald of Prince George, B.C. and Murray MacDonald of Surrey, B.C., and two daughters, my sister Judith Holmes of Ft. Steele, B.C. and myself in Edmonton, Alberta, as well as eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Our faded photograph of a young woman in a nursing cap before she became our mother is replete with promise and a future yet to unfold. Another photograph of our mother as a pretty young woman was sent to a soldier - a future with my father, with four children, with many more friends and a family, home, a nursing career, sadness, joy, a lifelong faith in God. Yet a future that ended in a sad bed in an extended care center (her choice), a future lit by my mother's ever present smile as my sister, the youngest child and caregiver, hovered near and a dear friend held her hand. Our mother succumbed at last to a broken hip and the ravages of cancer in a body so frail that one would not believe life could be sustained for as long as it was.
For all the hurt and misunderstandings life holds, for all the pain and unfortunate memories we may harbor, or for all the regrets we sometimes cherish in regards to this our first significant relationship, death is the final healer and the final arbiter.
Good-bye, mom. You are in our hearts.