Thursday, April 16, 2015


She was not in any pain.  Hospice was called and the next 36 hours were filled with tears and stories and many phone calls.  Two of our daughters were away at college and two were in town. Those 36 hours really gave me time to think through the days after.

When Dad had passed, I  planned a full funeral.  He was buried at Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery.  It should have been my mother making those decisions.  She never left her bed.  When the Marine knelt before me and placed that folded flag in my lap, it should have been my mother's hands that held it.  I wept.  I shook.  It should have been my mother crying.  She never left her bed.

So now I had to decide how to plan this funeral.  My parents were Christian, but not Catholic.  And knowing that the funeral is really not for the dead , but for the living, I had very close friends and our priest guide me through this second service.  When I had planned Dad's funeral I had made notes about what worked and didn't.  I knew I would be doing this again.

On April 17th at 1:23 in the afternoon she took her last breath.  I was holding her, just as I had held my brother and stepfather when they passed.  Many times I've questioned God why he asked this of me. I've  learned recently to now ask what for.  Jerry and the two oldest girls were present and my oldest son in law.  It was their first time to be present at a death.  What happened next I remember very clearly and I will never forget. I turned to my daughters and said to them," Remember these days girls. Your father and I have spent your entire lives showing you how to live.  We have now shown you how to die."

There was no formal funeral.  We planned a visitation that went on for hours. The next morning we made the drive to the National Cemetery to lay mother with dad.  And then we joined together for a Mass to comfort us.

But one thing happened that morning.  A miracle really.  You may have noticed that each of these posts have begun with a picture of a yellow rose.  My mother loved them.  When she married dad she carried a bouquet.  Ten years later when I married, I also carried them.  In my garden is a huge white rose bush.  It has always been a white rose bush.  The morning we buried mother, I walked through the garden while waiting on the others to be ready.  That rose bush was blooming and the roses were not white.  They were yellow.  Call it what you will.  I call it my mother.

Thank you for letting me share this story.  It has been good for me to write it, but I know also it has been good for others to hear.


  1. what a blessing, those yellow roses; I can see why this story was good to share. HUGS and love to you!

  2. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.