Having visited her last week was good because my sister and I were able to reminesce to her about all the fun times we had. When I went to school at University of Central Florida and worked at Disney World my mom would come down frequently and after I graduated she would occasionally go to Florida for the winter including several seasons at Disney. I could also talk about all the hikes and travels we took.
I also told a few stories about my grandfather whom she and I lived with at the house she grew up for about 1 year (my Junior year of high school). My sister and my aunt had no idea how inappropriately my uncles, mom and I acted at my grandfathers funeral (there was a solemn rembrance part at the beginning but then it degenerated). In fact my uncles, mom and I ended up nearly dying of hysterics because of the ministers bizzare speech pattern. I had pointed this out several months previously after my grandfather had his original stroke. Then during the service the minister would enunciate about every 4th word. Apparently my Aunt had heard of our antics but never knew what had set us all off.
I think while we all loved my grandfather dearly, it was the kind of funeral party that he would have hoped for. I know my mom will want to be remembered as the vibrant, active, energetic, compassionate, caring, free spirited person she was. She was a great mom and I loved her. I will miss her dearly.
As a teacher (I know it's not chapter 11, but it is some chapter for at risk students) she definitely was a positive influence. She always believed in people and always saw the glass as half full. I have never met a more optimistic or positive person. She really firmly saw the good and opportunity in everyone. And she really appreciated the small things. A beautiful sunrise, a chat over a cup of coffee sharing information with campers, a hike or many other small treats others might take for granted were appreciated and shared with others.
I am finding it hard to believe within 4 weeks she degenerated so quickly. I try to emulate her spirit and take comfort that she suffered minimally and did not spend an extensive period of time in an environment she would not have been happy within, but it is still hard.
I do wish I could have said some final goodbyes when she was still alert and responsive but hopefully as an angel she knows how much I cared about her and how wonderful a parent she was to me. If I was to guess, I would say my mom lived a life without regrets. She saw so much, met so many people and just really made this world a better place.