First, let's back up. I had decided in late summer/ early fall that it was time to leave my place of employment. I was thrilled when I was hired fairly quickly for a rather new company - pay was great, people all seemed nice, it was meaningful work. All was well.
Then I got fired after four days.
Honestly, I didn't take being fired all that badly, since I never really thought it was my fault. It's not like I poured sour milk in everyone's coffee for the weekly meeting, or took the boss' sports car for a spin around the block without permission. It was just a weird, "We don't think you're a good fit here." Eh, ok. They gave me a generous severance, so I figured I'd have a nice "cushion" while looking for another job.
Then my mom fell. My elderly mom. Three times. And broke a vertebrae.
While getting fired was not fun, I was the one of the four siblings with the most amount of free time. My two sisters were able to help out for a week, but then one had to get back to work and the other had family obligations. My brother is semi-retired, but that means he's also semi-working.
Mom spent about a week in the hospital, where we finally decided to have a "minor" procedure done to help alleviate her pretty excruciating pain in her back. That helped, but it was becoming clear to all of us that Mom was getting ready to die.
She was talking more and more about death, about caring for her grandmother when she died. She insisted that my brother call the priest for Last Rites (which she ended up receiving twice.)
Then, we moved her to the nursing home, and called in hospice. By this time, she had stopped eating and drinking, so we knew our time with her was fairly limited.
And I suppose, in the scheme of things, it was. However, it isn't not unusual - we learned - that Depression-era kids tend to be quite tough, and they have strong hearts. And my mom's nearly-91 year old heart was not ready to stop beating too soon.
We prayed. We listen to music. I sang. We talked and reminisced. And when she finally decided she had fought long and hard enough, she slipped away - very peacefully.
Her funeral was December 7. I'm trying to get used to the idea of a world without my mom in it. We pray that she will be enjoying this Christmas in Heaven, and that we can all enjoy ours here, remembering what an incredible woman of faith she was.
I'll share more in the week ahead.