“I wonder how you say goodbye to someone forever?”
― Ann M. Martin
Today is the thirteen-year anniversary of the day my mother passed over to the other side, March 28, 2001. That day marked the end of eight very long months of pain and suffering from the ill effects of a stroke, in and out of nearly every hospital and rehab care facility on the westside of Los Angeles. It was the one day of perhaps only as many days as I can count on one hand that I did not visit my mother, and that has always made me feel so very sad. I was on my way to see her that day, with a special little hydrangea plant in the back seat of my car to bring to her. But for some unknown reason, as I approached the freeway to drive in the direction of the care facility, where she was being cared for in the end, I just suddenly changed my mind, made a right-hand turn and decided to run a few errands and visit my sweet little rescue cat friend at the pet store, who, several months later, would become my precious adopted cat. ♥ I remember standing by this little cat's cage, stroking her, singing to her, loving her for a very long time that day — sharing the same tender love with her, as I had shared at my mother's bedside over the eight previous months. Eight months of love, tenderness, and daily "goodbyes" shared with my mom, never knowing if it would be our final goodbye, and then, when "that day" did arrive, there was no "final goodbye."
A dear friend, who had worked in hospices, comforted me in the days that followed, and told me that often our loved ones need space and alone time to cross over and make their transition and that it might have been a blessing that I hadn't visited her that day. Perhaps, my daily visits were keeping my mother here, suffering, far past her true time. Such sadness. But, today, I am able to find joy and even celebrate this day of my mom's passing. She was finally released from the pain and suffering her physical body had endured for those eight long months, and she was given the beautiful gift of being reunited with her family – her mom, her dad, a multitude of relatives who had left this planet before her, her beloved pets, and, of course, her Maker. A day to celebrate, indeed. I will love you forever, mom. Goodbye. ♥