A tribute to my mother who mastered life very well despite challenges.
Cute little girl, hazel eyes that sparkle.
Soft brown curls, newborn angel scent.
My Mom was a gift, quite remarkable.
All of us have a flaw, an unseen torment.
An embarrassment, a lousy deal.
Physicians called it many bizarre names.
In the school office, pain made her kneel.
Her swollen tummy, hard to play kids games.
She grew up so pretty and sharp as a tack.
Hiding an inner secret, tears for silent rage.
She lived around it, except for attacks.
Trips to the hospital, embarrassment at any age.
She married, a wonderful man, that understood.
Had four babies, labor meant twice the pain.
What a trooper, for years I didn’t even know.
Fought breast cancer twice, always in winners row.
Then as she aged, it became quite a scare.
A surgery to clip a piece here, one to do a repair.
ER trips were common, medicine didn't always manage.
Lost Dad to cancer, grief was move on, a sad challenge.
We were fire and ice when I was a teenager.
Now grown women, sharing secrets on cruises and tours.
Steroids, a necessary drug, despite the danger.
Live life to the fullest, she believed with fierce fervor.
The lovely retirement home was her dream.
On a waiting list, she desired to be activities queen.
One last trip for us two, something was out of routine.
It was Alzheimer’s, the monster, coming fast and mean.
Frail and weak, admitted to a hospital with pneumonia.
I warned them about her impossible colon.
Tucking her in, I went home, trusting her team.
Surgeon's call: in ICU; perforated colon, septic, a life stolen.
Quite decisive, says he, ”Let’s keep her comfortable!”
Inclined to agree, I knew exactly what this was about.
Our family disagrees, “give her a chance”, they said.
I’m tired, depressed, know too much but voted out.
My Mom, a constant surprise, the surgery kept her alive.
No walk or appetite, a proud oak now a sad dying tree.
Not easy for anyone, her dementia was in overdrive.
She didn't know family, was violent, saw demons on TV.
The end came during her sleep,
beautiful artistic Dorothy, like a photo I keep.
She visits in dreams, I grasp to remember,
Sure of one thing, her spirit runs free.
By Kathie Stehr
December 19, 2020