April and May

It's been a long time since I've written. There's not been quiet, peaceful time. Things have been so stressed. The winter is always harder and this past February and March left us with the sad loss of Bryce, Delilah and other friends at the sanctuary.
In April my mom's health declined. After 27 years of battling cancer, her body is losing strength. She has lost a lot of weight in the past several months and her breathing is labored. We thought we were going to lose her a week ago when she was in the hospital. Following a procedure to remove fluid from outside of her lungs she was in writhing pain and was sure that she was going to die.
As I stood weeping next to her hospital bed she told me that she thought that might be it. She called for a priest and for my brother.
I went to the hall looking for a nurse but could only find a cleaning lady. I asked the cleaning lady to get a priest for my mom, but no one ever showed up.
I had Pete contact my brother. With the fear that we would be losing my mom that afternoon everyone came to the hospital. I was able to get her priest from Our Lady of Lourdes to come see her.
My mom made it through Saturday. I stayed at the hospital every night. They released her to go home on Tuesday and we signed up with Hospice.
The improvement she has made in the last week has been dramatic. While she still is unable to get around much without being out of breath, she is eating, smiling, visiting with people and happy to be home. My cousin Mickie came over from Seattle and is staying with her. She is a blessing.
I am back at school this week and regaining some normalcy. The animals are doing well and I think we've found a great home for the geese.
The fear of losing my mom is gradually moving toward an acceptance. She told me that she is not afraid to die and I believe this. A few weeks ago she felt a tap on her shoulder and then a little while later another tap. She was home alone, lying in bed. A few nights later she heard a small child say 'mama'. Again, she was home alone. These experiences did not scare her, but rather gave her comfort. She had another daughter, Mary Colleen, who died when she was three years old. My mother thinks of her a lot, especially these days.
My fear is the feeling of being so far away from her. Of being completely cut off from her and not being able to talk with her. Not being able to call her. She is pragmatic and does not do drama. She gives common sense advise. Sometimes I wonder how I'll survive with my emotions if I don't have her to balance them out.
I've imagined myself without her. I'll stand in a challenging classroom, feeling the pressure and stress, and imagine not having her to call. How does that feel? When I imagined it, I'm filled with a feeling that it will be okay. That even after her body grows too tired to stay, that her essence will remain.
Mom and her cousin Janet have so many funny Moloney stories that I've heard over the years. I think I'll paint a few and maybe try to hold some of those moments where they can be frozen in time. That's not how it's suppose to be, I know, but sometimes the continual changes are just too hard to keep up with. To sit quietly with warm tea filling a pink rose covered cup connects me to the maternal side of my family. The maternal influences were so much stronger and deep rooted. Mom, her sisters, aunts and cousins. The delicate nature of a rose attached to the tenaciousness of a vine speaks to who they are in me.