In a previous post (“Defining Moments”), I mentioned that my mother had fallen and broken her hip. While it was certainly serious – requiring surgery – none of us thought that it was anything but a brief setback. There would be physical therapy, as she learned how to navigate with her “new” hip, and some changes in lifestyle, of course, but she would, as always, get on with things.
It wasn’t to be. First came the urinary tract infection. Then the pneumonia and the discovery of two blood clots in one of her lungs. At 91, it was all just too much for her suddenly frail body to deal with. On Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, she passed away quietly in her sleep.
Afterward, we all joked about how prophetic she’d been before any of this happened. She never trusted doctors or hospitals (I think the last time she’d been in a hospital as a patient was when my sister was born). She was rarely ill and claimed that her good health was the result of diet and avoiding doctors. She always said that if they ever got hold of her, she probably “wouldn’t come out alive”. The doctors and nurses at the hospital (and rehab center), of course, were wonderful. They did everything they possibly could. Still, she was right.
Anthropologist Ashley Montagu once said, “The idea is to die young as late as possible”.
I think my mother would have liked that. In her own way, she managed to stay “young” for all those years. Although she hated technology (I don’t think she ever touched a computer and she absolutely hated cell phones), she was always closest to the youngest members of the family. One of her greatest joys was to literally sit and play with her great – grandchildren. I think her most prized possession was a small stuffed bear that one of her great – granddaughters had given her so that she “wouldn’t be alone”.
I will miss her.