Saturday, August 30, 2014

She Made It To 90!

When Mom fell in January, if you'd have asked me if she would make it to her birthday, I would have confidently said no. We thought, based on the assessment of the doctors caring for her that she had less than a week to live. But those Drs. didn't know our Mom. We all call her the energizer bunny because she keeps getting back up after tough challenges and keeps on going. In July, the nurses were telling my sister that I should probably come soon if I want to see her alive because they were seeing signs that she was nearing the end of her life. I, knowing my Mom, waited to see what she would do and as usual she perked back up and was alert again. All along I've said that this birthday was my goal for her. All of her siblings died at 89 or younger and I wanted to see her make it longer than any of them and SHE DID IT.

I was in Akron for the past week and just got home last night. I went early so I could do some more work at the house and continue to sort through papers and boxes to clear out some of the clutter. My main goal for being there was to celebrate with Mom on reaching 90. My first few days there she seemed very tired and in one of her unclear phases but as the week went on, she became more alert and clearer. I always ask her when I'm there..."Do you know who I am?" and she'll look at me and smile and say. "Yes. You're Donna." and my heart does a happy dance because her forgetting me has been my dread from the beginning. Angie told her I had come into town for a birthday party and she asked her if she knew whose birthday it was. She said she didn't and Angie said..."Your birthday is on Wednesday, Mom and you will be 90 years old." She looked at her with a surprised face and said..."Oh my!". I don't think she expected to make it. Even before she got sick it seemed like 89 was the magic number for her when she expected to die. Since all her siblings died by 89, I think she figured she would do the same. She was preparing for it by making sure everything was in order before she hit 89. I always assured her I thought she would live longer than all of them but she never seemed to embrace that possibility.

We all met at Angie's for a 1:00 birthday party since Kay and Dale had to leave for work by 3:30. Angie had done her hair and had her fixed up with a little makeup. She looked beautiful. We all had our picture taken with her individually and also took quite a few group photos. I think all of us expect that this will be our last time all together with her alive. She's been known to surprise us before but we're all feeling like the end is near so the urgency was greater this time to take as many pictures as we could. We also took individual pictures of our hands with hers as well as group ones. I know I will cherish having all of these pictures. Mom seemed fairly alert and seemed to know it was her day but it was tiring for her too. We read all her cards to her and then took her to the kitchen for cake. We sang to her and then Dale helped her blow out her candles. She tried but she just didn't have the strength to blow them out herself. I know we wore her out though because after the party Angie put her in bed and she fell right to sleep and slept the rest of the day. I stayed with her that night while they went to church and she was asleep the entire time.

My prayer this year has been for her to see this day and I knew that God has had a hand in keeping her here for this one last celebration of her life. I know this will be her last birthday on this earth because her body is failing her at rapid speed but I'm thankful for this one little day of happiness before the end where we could all be together one last time to celebrate the life of a wonderful woman, our Mom. She may be tiny but she's a tough lady and I thank God that he gave me such a special lady to be my Mom. I'll end with a few more pictures of the day.


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