Many of you have asked where in the world I've been.

All I know is that after 7 plus years of blogging and a different lappy, which I don’t like, I seem to have lost my blogging fervor.

Someday, when you least expect it, I will post again.

For those of you still waiting I say thank you.

Meanwhile, I am rather prolific on twitter. Find me: @KeethaB
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The Eclectic Company - Waitin' on a New Adventure!!
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Story Tellers #2 - Spunky to the End


Today I'm joining the Story Tellers over at "A Southern Belle With Northern Roots." A big shout-out and thank you to Shannon for hosting this story hour.

Since I don't have a brand new story to tell, at least not today, I'm reposting one which I first told on my blog back in August of 2008. It's about the last days my mom spent on this Earth. She went home to heaven just seventeen days later, on August 22.

Spunky to the End
(first posted on 8/5/08)

My mother, Beulah, has been known all her life for her sharp wit and spunkiness. These have both served her well since she has, for over fifty years now, also suffered with the painful, debilitating disease known as rheumatoid arthritis. Over all these years dad, has been at her side, her constant faithful caregiver and companion. (We all think of him as Saint John.)

Now mom is in her last days. She is at home and dad is still giving her amazing care. I had planned to save this post to do as a sort of tribute after she goes home to heaven, but due to the events of the past forty-eight hours, I want to post it now.

Sunday morning dad called and mom had not awakened. This is how we expect the end to come, so we thought we were at the beginning of the end. As I stood in the shower trying to decide how to reorder my day, the phone rang again and mom had awakened and was wanting to get up for breakfast.

I headed to church and my responsibilities there while hubby went to sit with my parents. At some point in the morning, having not heard from any of them, I phoned Greg and he told me that she was up and asking for a T-bone steak!!!!! Now, this is a woman who has dwindled down to less than 70 pounds and has only been taking tiny bites of food for weeks on end. She wanted a T-bone steak, so my brother-in-law ran out and got one and they prepared it for her. She mulled one bite of it around in her mouth.

When I arrived after church, she was sleeping a lot and unaware of most of what was going on around her, but she was obviously not headed to heaven that day.

Monday morning at 10:15 my phone rang again. This time dad said she was still in bed, hadn't had anything to drink nor had she been to the bathroom since 9 PM on Sunday. I got over to their house by 12:30 and my sister, who lives an hour away, arrived by about 3:30.

All day we waited with dad. We talked, made plans, and took turns checking on mom. Dad "turned the corner" in his mind and began putting away the cushions he has so faithfully used to keep her comfortable when she is up
. All day she lay, mostly unmoving, on her back, her paper-thin skin drawn over her skeleton, her breathing erratic: shallow fluttering breaths followed by a gasp followed by long moments of no breathing at all.

Her pastors came, prayed over her, blessed her, said good-bye.

My sister had planned to stay the night, so after 7 PM I headed home, fully expecting to hear this morning that the battle was over.

At 8:15 this morning I talked with my sister, Pam, on the phone. She said,

"You're not going to believe this."

Incredulous I said, "Mom didn't die."

She said, "Not only didn't she die, but listen to this, you aren't going to believe it. At some point in the night, between 1 and 2 AM she SAT UP IN BED (mom hasn't been able to sit up on her own for over 20 years) and asked for a drink. Dad fixed her some orange juice. She drank it and revived enough to begin a conversation with him. I heard her laughing. At some point she looked at dad and said, 'I'm pretty alive for a dead woman, aren't I?'"

At some later time she pointed out to dad that he could get in trouble for pronouncing her dead without a doctor - - - so evidently she was much more aware yesterday than any of us knew.

This morning she got up, ate some breakfast, and at last word was back sitting in her recliner waiting for the hospice nurse to come.

Do not ask me HOW she has done this. I am beyond being able to explain the resilience of my mother. Like the title of this post says, she is spunky to the end!!!



Erin said...

Great story! We should all live life so fully.

Kristin - The Goat said...

We spent about 10 weeks like that with my Grandfather. We'd get the call that the fight was over and he'd revive and the next day ride his stationary bike for 5 miles. It was amazing and heartbreaking all at the same time.

You really do want them to stay one more day or even a moment longer, but being on edge, waiting for that inevitable call is gut wrenching.

Kristin - The Goat

Tonja said...

Keetha, I love this story! I bet your Mom was a real card! You know, it is such a mystery to me why God allows some to go quickly like my Mom, and some have to suffer for months and months, and then some get so low and then revive a little only to do it over again. I know there is a reason. And, I think alot of it has to do with those who are going to be left. But, I don't know exactly what that criteria would be. So much to find out once we are home with them again in Heaven.
I loved reading this little glimpse into your Mom and Dad's life. They sound like remarkable people.

shannon i olson said...

OH what a lovely story. I think I would have like your mom! I see where your spunk came from. Thanks for reposting and sharing with the link up!! You have wonderful stories and I look forward to more!

Unknown said...


Brownie said...

Wonderful story and memories :)

My dad died 8/13/2008 - Just a week before your mom.

Think they said "howdy?" :)

Ann in the UP said...

Sometimes I think the Lord provides us with some comic relief during these stressful events.

When I was working with the hospice I sat with a man who was supposed to be in a coma. During the night he sat straight up and he wanted a peach. He was pretty sure about it too.

His wife asked me, "Well, is he dying or not?" Good question.

Theresa said...

What a wonderful story! I love it that she went when SHE was ready to leave! Sounds like your Dad took really good care of her! I admire that!

Thanks for sharing this story about your spunky Mama!


Jewel said...

What precious memories, even of her last days. I remember you posting this in it's original form.

Anonymous said...

Love this story...also love how your dad took such great care of her!

Cortney said...

That was a wonderful story and I am so thankful that you joined Story Tellers. My grandmother passed away recently, and her last few days were similiar. I like to think that the strength in the last few days is God giving the dying "the strength to move on" and the ones they leave behind a last positive memory. Your story was very touching, thank you.

podso said...

Wonderful story! We don't go until we get the call, do we? No matter what others around us may think is happening.

I can't find my blog said...

I remember this from the first time. Such a great story. xoxo

From the Kitchen said...

Thanks for sharing the story of your mother. I loved seeing the photos. They seem to be of the same era as my parents. My mother, who never wanted to see a doctor and didn't, just didn't wake up one morning. She was in a coma for three days in the hospital (she would have hated being there had she known) and died without regaining consciousness. The doctors could find nothing wrong with her 87 year old body that would have caused her death! By the way, my grandmother's name was Beulah. She, and the name, were/are very dear to me.