For this, I am truly grateful…

My mother died yesterday.  These are the things that I am grateful for today.
#1 – that I was overwhelmed with support from the dear friends in my life.  Sitting beside me in the hospital, dropping off homemade soup, helping me clean out all of her personal belongings. Flowers, cards, phone calls, texts and emails – dozens and dozens of them. My heart is so very grateful.  That most knew and loved my mom just made it the more bittersweet.
#2 –  that I live in Canada where dramatic medical events are not financially life-altering events.  The last thing anyone in a crisis wants to think about is how much that bandage/nurse/procedure is going to cost.
#3 – that my children step up –  that they are not so far away that they can’t be here with me at a time when their very presence is such a balm to my spirit.  While they each grieve their own loss of a beloved grandma, they are here for me.  And each will participate in her funeral service to show their respect for someone who was such a great part of their lives.
#4 – I am incredibly grateful for the nurses who dealt with us over the last two weeks.  From the emergency department, through medical tests, and finally to palliative care, their professional support, kindness and patience, even with their heavy workload, was consistently generous and thoughtful.
# 5 – I am, as always, so blessed with a husband who stands by my side to offer whatever I need.  Who can laugh with me, and cry with me, or just walk the fields in silence to let me feel what I need to feel.  He is grieving too – for the mother in law who defied all the stereotypes – but is rock solid is in his support for me.
#6 – How lovely to mix the past with the future around her deathbed – from the son of my mother’s best friend – who has been a true friend since the first grade,  to my son’s fiancee who is a new person in my life and has become a brave and loving member of our family.
# 7 –  Finally, I am above all grateful that for a few moments over the last weeks, the mother that I know and love was able to swim up through the horrific fog of her increasing dementia to fully be the person that she has always been.  It was a gift to be able to actually speak with her again, if only to let us say goodbye.
She joins my father now, and their love story is complete. I am crying now not for the loss of her, but for the gift of her, throughout every day of my life.

28 thoughts on “For this, I am truly grateful…

  1. A wonderful tribute to your mom. You were loved by her so much and it shows in how you love people around you. Hugs to you and your family during this time. Venise

  2. A beautiful testimonial of a good life well lived. We only leave the memories and imprints of our love and care for others in our lifetime. She has done what many of us would love to do. Leaving behind a soul sadness so profound that it will eventually be filled with inspiration and promise
    for the future. Her light has moved to another room but continues to shine brightly in you and your family.

  3. She was indeed so very special and uncomplicated. ….and so loved!
    Her legacy will live on in you and her grandchildren,who all carry the “gifts” that was her.
    Remember… I know you will.

  4. Leslie
    I am so sorry to hear about your Mom, she is in a better place now. You have beautiful memories that will never leave you.
    My thoughts & Prayers are with you.

  5. Dear Leslie,
    Words can’t express how sorry I am to hear about the loss of your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  6. Dearest Leslie and Family,
    Our heartfelt prayers go out to you and your family, Your mom was such an amazing woman! Your tribute to her brought tears to my eyes and a profound peace in my heart.
    She touched so many with her loving acts of kindness and will always be remembered as her gifts were passed on to her children and grandchildren.
    Your mom will always have a special place in my heart! (Amazing Grace)
    May you and your family feel comforted during this time of mourning the loss of of your Beautiful Mom.
    God’s Blessings are send to you all,
    Norma, Peter and Family

  7. A loving tribute to a remarkable woman who taught all who have been blessed to know her kindess, patience, tolerance, class……love; a gift that you have embraced and continue on. I see the light in her eyes and joy of her smile in your children.
    I know the pain of losing your Mother and my heart aches for you all yet I know that she has moved on to another chapter with joy and peace. Our thoughts are with you all and as always you have our love and support to help shoulder the burden of grief. Ann

  8. I love you so much Leslie. I know just as you do how difficult and confusing every grieving process can be. I have never lost my mother, but I know, by reading your post in some way everything is as it should be. You are a strong woman, you are a brave woman, you are a daily inspiration for me in my life. Today is no different as I read your words of gratitude you fill my heart up with courage and sturdiness I never knew existed. You have a gift in you through your example to awaken the greatness in people. I have no doubt your mother had the same. I am here for you in whatever form you need me, whenever you need me. Even is you just want a ridiculous Bobbie Gentry youtube video of her in a bright red onesie to put a smile on that beautiful face of yours. I love you.

  9. You are the woman you are today because of her and her constant love and support of you. I didn’t know your mom but I know you and she has left a truly wonderful woman that I am proud to call a friend.
    Our support goes out to you and your family and heaven has another wonderful angel.

    Monique, Mark, Victoria & Stephanie

  10. Leslie and family Shawn and I are sorry for your lose, but the beautiful memories you have will always be with you, we always heard Michelle and Elton talk about Grandma Kay with love in there hearts and smiles in there eyes, she was a very special Lady. God Bless your family through this time

  11. Leslie
    Thank you for sharing that beautiful and ever lasting tribute to your mom
    Your mom will be forever with you and your family, every day
    I have tears in my eyes right now as I can feel your pain,BUT I
    also feel the love you have for her,and that will continue Leslie,
    it does not go away
    tom and pauline

  12. Leslie, I’m out of the country right now but my thoughts are right with you. You know how much I loved you mom. I miss her and send my sincerest regrets for her loss.
    xoxo Michael

  13. As KAY`s communication skills disappeared we were able to share her love for all the “Golden Oldies”. She never forgot the tunes nor the words of all the songs even when her memory was failing. It is our shared musical moments that is my dearest memory of KAY – – – a loving, loyal, dear sister. Maybe some day we`ll add our voices to the angel choir.

  14. Dear Leslie,
    Your tribute to your Mom was beautiful. Katie was an amazing woman, warm, loving, funny and very loyal. She didn’t have a mean bone in her body. Everyone who knew her loved her. We all have wonderful memories of Katie and they will always be with us. She’s in our hearts forever.
    Our thoughts and love are with all of you.

    Randi & Roly

  15. A beautiful loving tribute to a life well-lived and well loved. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as your bonds to each other grow even stronger through this passage

  16. I am at a loss for words, and so many others here have expressed my feelings better than I can. Know that we loved Kay, and Tom, and will miss them always. And know that we love you and our thoughts and prayers are with you now.

    Bryan & Graceann

  17. Dear Leslie and Family

    Your Mom was one of a kind, very special and will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
    Thankfully, she is in a greater place and we will all remember her warm and sincere words of wisdom forever.

    So sorry I was out of town and just returned.
    My deepest sympathy Lyn Roszell Wright

  18. What a beautiful post and tribute, very poignant. I’m so sorry to hear your mother died and am glad you found some lucid moments to connect with her before her passing. I’ve just discovered your post, some five weeks since she died. I hope you are navigating the fog of grief and allowing yourself to just be. Sending love and strength your way.

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