The Same Old Story
Stepbrother Joe

Newspaper Clipping Found in Mom’s Wallet

I was sitting with Mom when she died in the early afternoon of 27 April 1992. She was 75 years old. I washed her body and dressed her and lit a candle and sat with her and Joe and her best friend Barbara for four or five hours before telephoning the authorities.

A friend once suggested to me that dying is the last, great lesson a parent teaches a child. If that is so, I will have much to live up to when my time comes. But in my case there was an additional, greater gift.

Mom, in her last months, taught me about my own goodness. I discovered depths of caring and compassion while caring for her that I had no idea I was capable of. Oddly, I was the happiest I had ever been, those months in Sacramento. Not lighthearted, but feeling useful and needed. Mom died as she wanted and in helping her do that, I was more comfortable with myself than I had ever been.


trst2 @ 2003-11-20 said:
I’m at work, had just my lunch and now I am sitting in front of the computer drinking coffee and looking and reading fotolog: Your words go straight into my mind.

bandman @ 2003-11-20 said:
What a beautiful tribute to your mother. Not what you say about her but what she must have taught you over the years that gave rise to your compassion and caring. That doesn’t come without the groundwork being laid from early on.

Compassion is a gift that is triggered through receiving it first.

av_producer @ 2003-11-20 said:
You know I knew this was coming. And still today as I pulled this up and I started to read, I clicked away, I didn’t want to know, I didn’t want to believe it.

I came back, after some thought, to say good-bye Mom. And as we know that nothing disappears from the Web, in a small way she will be with all of us forever.

jkh_22 @ 2003-11-20 said:
I’m touched by your experience and your ability to write about it so well...death feeding the cycle of life, and the infinite exchange of care between mother and child within that cycle.

artofgold @ 2003-11-20 said:
Ronni, I’ve been captivated by your log since finding the link via AV’s log a few months ago. I’ve resisted leaving a comment as I think I’ve just been overwhelmed with the history and emotions contained within your log. I thank you for sharing all of these moments.

I am glad you had closure with your mother, it sounds like you’ve learned valuable lessons from her. This is a beautiful tribute to her as it proves she’s taught you well.

Again, thanks for sharing, Sunny

zinetv @ 2003-11-20 said:
This is truly beautiful.

storyville @ 2003-11-20 said:

hamlet @ 2003-11-20 said:
Take care, Ronni.

sckelly @ 2003-11-20 said:
Ronni, we read these same words at my Granny’s funeral. She loved this poem. I have the whole thing if you don’t...

helene @ 2003-11-26 said:
I’ve been looking through parts of your fotolog and reading the strong words accompanying the pictures of your loved ones. I can understand the feelings from taking care of your mom as she was passing away and really giving back what you once got from her as you needed her caring to survive. Strong!! Thanks for sharing!


A wonderful tribute, Ronni. I hope I can afford my children the same opportunity when I am ready to go.

I was with a dear friend of mine when she died; her daughter was in the house, but not in the same room. I always felt privileged to be the one there with her. Is that odd?

Quite a moving experience and tribute! Thanks for sharing and for re-cycling this one.

Though the circumstances were somewhat different, I too learned or discovered something within myself while standing by my comatose Dad's bedside just before he died. Though we did not have that final verbal closure, there was a touching of spirits. That was the closest I had ever felt to him. He left in peace knowing that I was OK. He taught. I learned. We had closure.

Ronni, an absolutely beautiful poem to go along with your touching post. I held my Dad in my arms when he died. I've always felt it was a mixed being with him, but not knowing if he heard everything I was saying to him. In the end, I can't imagine not being there with the man that was "everything" to me...and somehow still is. I have something I plan to post soon about my Dad. Thanks for this beautiful piece Ronni.

Ronni - Thank you for posting that lovely poem. The day of your post, was my sister's birthday. I cared for her and held her as she took her last breaths. She was 40. As I told my niece and nephew, a birthday is a day to celebrate life not to be sad. I am sure the Susan is dancing in the stars.

I was privileged to be at my father-in-law's side during his last week and his death. It was the most difficult and profound experience I'd ever known. He was only 62, and I do miss him so.

Not everyone can, but I believe we should all do everything possible to arrange to care for our loved ones in their final days ourselves. The rewards are incalculable - for our loved ones and ourselves.

What a lovely poem. I posted it on my blog today. After forwarding it to a close friend and my stepmother, whose mother died earlier this month, I was surprised by the conincidences it sparked.

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