Tuesday, March 31, 2009
My mother, Ruth, passed away 5 years ago last week, just shy of her 85th birthday. The days right before she died she griped in her hilarious, self-deprecating way about how she just COULD NOT accept that she would actually live to be 85 - to her, this landmark age went beyond being an "ancient old relic". There's no doubt in my mind that she might have smiled as she moved into the next world, knowing that she needn't face that frightful age officially. For Ruthy was ready to go; in fact beyond ready. Her heart was slowing down to the point that moving from one room to another was a workout, and her world had narrowed down to a pinpoint. This robust, unstoppable force of a woman, with a big heart and bigger laugh morphed to a tiny, fragile old lady - the too-big heart being her undoing in the end. Through it all - the hospitals, rehab centers, progressing from her proud independence to a cane and then to a walker and wheelchair, she never lost her remarkable sense of humor.
After five years I still miss our daily talks and her ability to make me laugh out loud, and often. There are moments when I will pick up the phone, the urge still so great to call her that I forget she's gone. I miss how she always 'had my back', even from afar. But I have a sense she still does, that she has all of our backs and that comforts me.
And last Thursday, on the day she would've turned 90, I believe she was somewhere laughing at the notion that she didn't have to endure the 'torture' of reaching THAT ripe old milestone.