Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Memories

My mother brought these Omphalodes cappadocica 'Starry eyes' from her garden to plant in mine at least ten years ago. Every spring, now, I think of her as they bloom near her birthday (she turned 82 yesterday) -- she was a magnificent gardener.

It seems fitting that this shy little plant whose first name translates to "Navel" (in honour of its white centre, highlighted against its blue petals) should remind me of my mother. My own navel holds a corporal memory, a profound one, of her bringing me into this world.

And we're very close to seeing her out. I'm in Vancouver now, having charged my students with enough independent work that I can be spared for a few days. The care-troops need bolstering here as Mom fights being bedridden but increasingly needs help with toilet and personal care. Family discussions are smoothing the way for a transfer to hospice care as we try to choose the right moment, knowing how much our mother fears being institutionalized. Her fading cognition but fiercely independent spirit make it tough to explain that the care will be consistent and loving and gentle until the end. But we will make sure that it is.
I'm expecting I may not write for a few days. . . I had thought it might be helpful to write about this journey, and I suspect it would be, but there's only so much energy to go round, isn't there? I so very much appreciate your support, even though I haven't been as good as I'd like about responding to comments.

24 comments:

  1. How lovely to associate those cheery blooms in your garden with your mom. Gardener's do love to share plants and knowledge and she obviously planted the seed of growing things and tending the soil long ago as your garden is an oasis of loveliness.
    Sending positive thoughts your way and I hope that you can find the strength needed to be present in those difficult moments to come.
    Hugs
    Leslie

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  2. I awoke in the night and thought of you and your dear mother, and said a prayer for peace, for comfort and for a gentle journey. Hugs,

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  3. Oh Mater, I wish you and your whole family much strength as you tend to your Mum these next days.

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  4. Sending loving and supportive thoughts your way. The flowers are beautiful, like your lovely mother. I'm so grateful to have the heirloom jasmine plant from my father's childhood home, and think of him and my grandmother each time I pass by it.

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  5. What sweet flowers and what a Lovely reminder of times past. All strength and grace to you and yours xox

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  6. Those flowers are a living link with your mother. I wish you strength to deal with this passage.

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  7. Your lovely plants and their provenance remind me of a line in a song 'Child of the Universe' by the English folk band 'Seize the Day' - "we are just a flower but within us there's a power that goes on and on". It's a song about how something within us is eternal, and never dies, Soul if you wish, or simply the biological fact that our DNA recombines in our descendants, or even at another level, those quirks and habits that we pass on by osmosis to those with whom we are intimate. A quintessential part of us never leaves the ones we love, always accompanies them and bides with them, no matter if our physical self is no longer present.
    I am not phrasing this well so will shut up forthwith, but be assured that my thoughts are with you and your family.
    Hester

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  9. Thinking of you Mater. Take your time with everything, including writing.

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  10. Beautiful flowers - they're a lovely reminder of your mum. Thinking of you.

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  11. The plant-memory is precious. You and your siblings are joined in a sacred task. Thinking of you.

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  13. Thanks for sharing the flowers and their story with us. Kindly thoughts for you and your family...

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  15. Thinking of you. Sending positive thoughts for energy and strength. Take care and will be waiting to read your next words when you are ready to write them.

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  16. Beautiful flowers and a lovely link to your mother. To be cherished. I do feel for you and what you are going through now. It helps, eventually, to know that you did the best you could for her at this very difficult time and you are.

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  17. I can only hope for such sensitive, compassionate consideration, such steadfast love, and wish that for each of us.

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  18. It is so difficult to lose anyone, but especially your mother. Sending good thoughts your way.

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  19. Oh, to be known as a magnificent gardener - what a wonderful thing! I'm giving you many, many positive thoughts, Frances. I cannot imagine what you are going through, but I am happy for you that you have such a wonderful community and family to give you strength at this time.

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  20. I hope the transition is as peaceful and painless as it can be, for all of you. My thoughts are with you.

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  21. Is your Mum available for visiting hospice? Your whole family may benefit from having hospice come to her in familiar surroundings. Thinking of you, the family and inherited flowers.

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  23. I love you mom. B and I were talking tonight about how we are glad to be part of this family. We both agreed we feel comforted knowing Granny has such rock solid care at this time. I'm so grateful mom.

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  24. Just to let you know that you are held in thought today.....

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