This month would have been my sister-in-law’s mother’s birthday. She left this Earth plane 12 years ago, but is still in our hearts forever. I wrote this for her birthday a week before her transition. For me, this is a reminder to cherish every minute we have with our family and friends, and really just to cherish every minute we draw a breath, walk, eat, see, hear, feel, and experience life. Celebrate the ordinary, as well as the big occasions. I am reminded to always be grateful, present, and mindful; oh yes, and to love. Always to love.
What can we do for you?
We want to breathe for you, so your breath is not so labored. No oxygen tubes in your nose—just good fresh air.
We want to talk for you, so your communication is not so garbled and frustrating. Your eyes communicate, clear and piercing, urging us to understand what your voice can no longer say. Your heart does the talking, but your dry parched lips no longer form the heart’s words.
We want to laugh and talk with you, and eat at Libby Hill’s one more time. A good piece of fish that you can eat and swallow, wash it down with some sweet tea. We want some of your good homemade persimmon pudding to eat with you. We want to hear your laughter again and have a good belly-laugh with you.
We want another pretty card from you for our birthday, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day. You never forgot a holiday or special occasion, and always had just the right card and special, beautifully wrapped gift. You took your family and friends seriously, and always let them know how special they were to you.
We want to walk for you, to see you as you always were, not stooped and with a walker or pushed in your wheelchair to where you want to go. We want you to get up from the hospital bed, just to have a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed, get out of the bed, and have a good breakfast with Lewis. We want your arms to be strong again, strong enough to pick up your great-grandchildren and soothe and love them and tell them your stories. We want you to live long enough to hold the unborn great-grandson Teresa is carrying.
We want to sit beside you at church again, and pass old pictures up and down the row, silent gestures, laughing, then sneakily begging for gum and candy. The Parks and Bristow bench at church is changing. We will miss you in every empty space in our lives.
We want to do so much for you now. But what can we do?
What can we do? We can keep you on our lips and hearts. We can sit beside your bed to soothe and comfort you and just be with you as you transition from Earth to Heaven. We can pray; we can remember; we can give you our words, a small gift to thank you for being in our lives and hearts and memories. We give you prayers and our words from the heart. We give you back to God now, but we keep a piece of you in our hearts forever. And we will tell your great-grandchildren all we remember about Maw-Maw Jean.
Jean Bristow died October 18, 2006 from ALS.
Copyright 2018 Linda Parks. Used with Permission