The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Meal

Being a Friday during Lent, those who practice the Catholic faith are supposed to abstain from meat. To me, this is no hardship what-so-ever... I probably average 3-4 days a week where I do not have meat with any of my meals (I am not overly fond of meat... and most of the meat I do eat is turkey or chicken). My wife and her side of the family, however, are of a heritage where *any* meal without meat is incomplete at best. My wife, having lived with me for so long, no longer feels so compelled to eat meat every meal, but being a Friday during Lent, she will often crave eating a fish dinner.

The favorite within her family is from a fish fry that is produced every Friday by a local Gun Club (a Field & Stream sort of group). Normally, I would encourage my wife to go and I and my mother would eat something together.

With my mother no longer here to eat with, I decided to go with my wife to her parents home and eat the "fish fry". Unfortunately, fish is really not a food I particularly enjoy, and also I am not fond of fried foods either. However, I did desire company and companionship and so I went with her.

It was a nice time. The Gun Club (surprisingly) had baked fish as well (I can tolerate that far better). The meals were all take-out, but when we picked them up I asked for a special request for mine... my meal contained all the normal fixings... baked potato, cole slaw, macaroni & cheese... but in my case, I ASKED for ONLY TWO small pieces of BAKED fish (each piece roughly 2 inches x 2 inches). This differed from the others that would average a pound or more of batter fried fish in each normal take-out order. If I had purchased a normal meal and received it with so much fried fish, I would not have been able to coax myself to eat anything. Therefore, the box I had may have been not as good a deal for the money, but I was able to eat what I was given in my order (after layering a thick layer of tarter sauce over the fish). It was enjoyable.

So, it was a nice evening.

When we arrived home, my wife commented that we forgot to leave any lights on in the house. This statement caused in me a wave of guilt and sadness.... I immediately felt ashamed I had not left the lights on appropriately through the house for Mom, and I was saddened thinking that Mom might be feeling afraid in the darkened house.

Then, of course, I remembered the reality that my Mother was actually NOT in the house. So, I got a sort of one-two punch to the gut.... 1) I felt horrible because I had not made the house comfortable and safe for my Mother by having the lights on appropriately and that might lead her to be scared, and 2) the remembrance of her passing after having had it go out of my mind for a few moments while at my wife's parent's home.

It is interesting how things like this seem to occur. I still feel a bit weak in the knees from it. I am heading off to bed now to try to sleep myself into a better mood for in the morning.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Visit

Today after completing my endocrinology laboratory section, I drove across town to the cemetary where my beloved mother's body has been buried. It is the first time I went back there since the day of the funeral. I had hoped that by waiting three weeks, I would have been able to visit the gravesite without it looking raw, harsh, and disturbed. Unfortunately, because of the cold, I suppose, little had changed. The hole containing the vault and casket that contains the body of my mother has been covered with dirt... the dirt is currently in a dry mound above the surface of the nearby ground.

I stood before my mother's grave for roughly 20 minutes, talking out loud about her, and about me, and about my fears, anxieties, and my need to hear from her. The salty tears streamed from my eyes and rolled gently into my beard. I had purchased a single white rose earlier in the day and as I spoke I clenched this flower in my hands. When I finished speaking, I gently placed this rose upon the mounded soil and left.

I think I will once again try to begin writing about memories I can recall about time I spent with my beloved mother. Perhaps I am better prepared to write them. Tommorrow is the start of the fourth week following her passing.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tired & Beat Down

Today was exhausting on several levels. The classes were pleasant enough. Today I taught two different sections of Anatomy & Physiology. The topics discussed the tail end of the chapter on the special senses.... specifically hearing & balance and then I started the chapter on chemical messages. But the day also is exhausting because it seems so long, for I keep thinking about how my mother is no longer at home. I do this inadvertently at least a dozen times a day. I do something at work, and then my mind slips into its routine pattern... perhaps I should call Mom to check in on her and see how she is feeling... and even before that thought fully gels in my mind, the reality of her death kicks me again in the stomach like a newly shod horse hoof.

Please know that I understand mentally the finality of this change in my life. But emotionally, I am still feeling the emotion as a raw, open wound of saddness. A part of me thought while driving home, that I should attempt to throw myself into volunteer work (soup kitchen, homeless shelters, etc) to pay homage to my mother's memory. Additionally, I am thinking of trying to set up a scholarship fund at my U in my mother and father's name. Yet, while these measures in theory seem to be a positive way to cope with my loss, I know deep in my soul that I DO NOT have the energy to really get up to snuff with my day-to-day work at the moment, let alone try to add more responsibilities to my day.

I feel I am getting more used to this horrid change. But the change has left me a hollow shell of my former self.

Again, God, please, please grant me the blessing of receiving a definitive sign from my beloved Mother from heaven. To receive this gift would help me to cope... and I believe it would go a great way towards invigorating my spirit and my energy. Please let Her speak to me.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Tuesdays at the University are both lighter and more hectic than most other days. They are lighter because I have only one class, but more hectic because the class I have is an intensive upper division course in endocrinology. I use significant "prep" time to make sure I am giving my students the most up-to-date material in this very rapidly changing field.

Immediately after the class concluded, I went home to be with my wife. I needed her comfort and her encouragement greatly. I am so thankful for the way in which she helped to nurture me today and am so thankful she is part of my life. I do not think I would survive without her.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Hard Weekend, Hard Monday

Where do I begin? What do I do? I do not know. I feel lost. I feel without hope. I am much more fragile than I thought... I used to think I was strong and capable and able to help others.

I remember when many other deaths occurred. March is a particularly bad month for death in my family. My mother of course, my father, two very close uncles, my great grandmother, my grandparents, and a beloved cousin who lived with my parents while we were growing up. All of these people died in March.

1994 was a particularly harsh year for death in my family. During that calender year, I and my family experienced the deaths of:

My Father

My Uncle Kasper

My Mentor/Major Advisor from Graduate School

My beloved 17-year old Niece

A very close, Family Friend

My Mother's death on March 2nd this year of 2007, has me feeling that all hope is gone in life. For all of the deaths above, I think I expressed my grief through TRYING to help a relative or friend who felt the loss of that loved one even more deeply than I. Obviously, many of these times involved helping my mother through the grief and sadness of the passing of the various loved members of the family.

Immediately after my father passed away (his death was 13 years ago this past Friday, March 23rd... part of the reason I chose not to write on Friday), I took over all the household responsibilities for my mother that my father had previously taken care of. My parents home was on a large, two acre lot with many trees. My father took great pride in the land and therefore I tried to also keep the lawn up to his standards, to trim bushes and hedges (including those aligning one edge of the property between the ditch and railroad tracks). I shoveled snow, planted flowers, planted the garden, painted the house and the house trim outside, painted rooms inside, and simply tried to make life as uncomplicated and low stress as possible for my mother. When my elderly aunt moved in with my mother roughly a few weeks after my father's passing, I took on many of her care responsibilities as well (she unfortunately passed away in November 2002... my wife and I had been planning and hoping that she would move into our home when my mother did in the Summer of 2002, but her health had deteriorated and she was hospitalized for a significant period of time).

What point and I trying to make? I am not sure. I believe what I am trying to get down into words is the idea that for the deaths I have experienced prior to my beloved Mom passing away, there was always someone who felt and experienced that loss more intensely than I did. By having that person or persons to focus on, I believe I was able to find ways to help them with their grief... and at the same time I without realizing it found a way to help myself with my own grief. Now, however, is very different. In the passing of my Mom, I find that it is ME who is at the pinnacle of the grief scale. I have no one whom I can focus on to try to help. I am the one who feels the loss the most painfully. I am the one who cries several times each day.

I miss her. I am so sorry for all the things I have ever done that were not done with only love. I hope She can hear me. Please, Mom, hear me and know I love you and please know that I miss you greatly. Please, please Mom, please try to convince God to allow you to give me a definitive sign you are there, a sign that I will know means you are safe and happy in Heaven and that all is not lost. Please, please try to send me that sign.

I miss you so very much.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mustard Seed & A - Z

My wife purchased for me a small tie tack that is in the shape of a golden heart and embedded deep within its resin is a single mustard seed. She knows how unhappy I am and how I miss my beloved mother. My beautiful wife also knows I have been having significant levels of anger and resentment towards God because of my mother's passing, and that much of the time I am no longer sure of my own beliefs or faith any longer. I have decided to begin wearing this tie tack with the mustard seed as a way to try to heal in my faith. I am hoping that this tie tack will help me to remember and recall my prior thoughts about faith and will help me to learn again to have faith. I am thankful my wife thought of this for me.

I *want* to have that feeling of faith and feeling of belief, but I do not at this time know if I have it or not. I keep asking God, asking my Mother to please speak to me in some definitive manner so that I can know She is in heaven and is happy. Yet I have not discerned anything. Proxima is perhaps very correct in that I may need to be "ready" to receive a sign and may be missing signs that are being given. Yet, I do not really know how to better make myself open to them. I fear the alternative... namely that there is nothing beyond death.

* * * * *

Abbagirl and Karin both presented their own rendition of this list. Because I have been feeling especially emotional and sad this day, I still do not feel up to writing about the cookie making I have wanted to recall here. Perhaps on Friday.

I found the following list compelling for two reasons... one, the questions posed are interesting to think about, but two, also because the dates that Karin and Abbagirl wrote their versions of the essay bracket the wretched change that has befallen my family. Karin's post occurred on the last full day of my beautiful mother's life, and Abbagirl's post occurred after her passing. By my participating in this list, I feel a bit connected to that time (that was only 21 days ago... although it seems far, far longer) when she was still living with us:

The A-Z List

1. A is for age: old and tired and grey

2. B is for beer of choice: LaBatts Brown

3. C is for career right now: Professor

4. D is for your dog's name? Coco, she has passed away

5. E is for essential item you use everyday: Toothbrush

6. F is for favorite TV show at the moment: Amazing Race

7. G is for favorite game: Monopoly

8. H is for Hometown: Bridgeport

9. I is for instruments you play: Bass Clarinet, Clarinet, Tenor Saxaphone

10: J is for favorite juice: Grapefruit

11. K is for whose butt you'd like to kick: Currently I am not excessively angry at any human. In many ways I still feel angry at God, but I trying to not feel this way.

12. L is for last place you ate: The restaurant my mother and I would visit every Thursday. I took one of my sisters there this evening.

13. M is for marriage: Very Strong

14. N is for your full name; Unavailable in this venue.

15. O is for overnight hospital stays: 2, each before the age of 8.

16. P is for people you were with today? Thus far, one of my sisters, my wife, two of my children.

17. Q is for quote: "Never part without loving words to think of during your absence. It may be that you will not meet again in life." - John Paul Richter

18. R is for Biggest Regret: Not spending more time showing those I love, that I love them enormously.

19. S is for status: Sad, mournful, sleepy

20. T is for time you woke up today: 7:00 am

21. U is for underwear you have on now: Fruit of the Loom Boxers

22. V is for vegetable you love: Zucchini steamed with rosemary, basil, and lemon

23. W is for worst habit: Avoiding things I do not wish to face

24. X is for x-rays you've had: Dental

25. Y is for yummy food you ate today: Cinnamon raisin toast

26. Z is for the zodiac sign: Sagittarius


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mistaken Illusion

During the last course of the day, my senior seminar, we started to have a wonderfully rich and animated discussion about today's topic... pollutants in the environment that disrupt endocrine function. It was very pleasant and I enjoyed capturing and guiding the student's ample enthusiasm for the topic into a variety of questions for discussion. It was a feeling of light-heartedness and intellectual discussion that feels wonderful to my mind. So, as the class ended, I felt good.... and as I was walking out of the classroom door, the thought that would occur every day during the last several years.... the thoughts that came to me reflexively without any effort were:

"Yes! I have completed the day successfully.... I want to hurry out so I can get home to see my wife, my Mom, and my kids and hear about their day and tell them about mine."

Then as those basic thoughts flashed through my mind, the harsh recall of my Mother's passing hit me similarly to being buried by a ton of bricks. Do not get me wrong... I had thought many times during the day about Mom and how I missed her. But somehow, I had gotten into an educational cycle where I was able to feel quite happy, and that happiness had me briefly go back to my old thought patterns.

It hurt so much to again feel that sorrow, that longing for her presence. I miss her, and I do not know how to make this something that I can fix, something I can at least try to make somehow less harsh and despairing, and perhaps devote my energy into somehow at least making her memory alive. I just do not know if I am capable of such high energy endeavors now or ever.

Today was in total a very difficult day.

My Mom was a remarkable and beautiful woman. I miss her voice, I miss her smile, I miss HER. Please help me, O Lord, to somehow get a sign. I so need a sign... one that is filled with certainty from you and from Her so that I can KNOW she is in heaven with my father, my uncles, my aunt, and Her own parents and grandparents. If only there were a way I could KNOW heaven exists and is real and that they are there, especially my mom... if I could somehow know this... instead of having to have "faith" in it... it would help me so much. Please, PLEASE allow me to receive a real sign... a definitive sign from Mom so that I KNOW there is a continuum.



Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not Up To It Today

Today was difficult in terms of my emotions. My wife held me and we cried and talked together about Mom and our fears, regrets and anxieties several times during the day. I am very fortunate that my wife loves me and is willing to help console me. That said, I could not gather enough energy to write about the cookie making today. I will hopefully do so on Wednesday.


Monday, March 19, 2007

I Wish I Could Do It Again

If you go back to my December 12th post from last year, you will see I mentioned how I was planning to "skip out" early to go home and help my mom bake cookies and fruitcake. I have been thinking about that day most of today and it has made me wistful and melancholy . I believe that, if things go well, I will try to put the images of that day down in a detailed fashion for Tuesday's post.


Friday, March 16, 2007

14 Days

It has been 14 days, two weeks, since my beloved, lovely mother passed away. In many ways it seems as if months have passed since this harsh event has drained color from my life. In other ways, her passing seems so new and so recent, it is as if I have an open, bleeding wound upon my being.

What I am finding is that it is growing easier to ignore the regrets I have. In many ways that feels shameful for me to do, but in other ways it is a relief to not have the harsh reality of these regrets be at the front of the line of my thoughts and actions. Most all of my regrets have revolved around brief instances where I was not as kind and patient as I could have been during my role as caregiver. Please do not think I was an ogre, for I was not. But there were times when I hurried Mom through her daily routines in order to facilitate my getting to work that I regret deeply. I wish I had had the foresight to have taken more of those opportunities to savor my limited time with her. I did find many ways to do this during these last several years, and I did try to stay focused on helping her and I experience joy and happiness. Yet, inevitably I suspect, I did have occasions where I let external pressures from work, the pressures due to the needs of others, and my own selfish wants, to shortchange her and shortchange myself of the joy we could have shared together. I do not think it was incredibly often that I did this, but I now regret profoundly having let slip away any of those missed opportunities.

When I went yesterday to the restaurant my mother and I had dined at in one form or another during the last dozen plus years following the passing of my father, it was a melancholy experience, but one I am glad I did. It was important for me to let the staff at the restaurant know of my mother's passing. They had known her, and known me and had known my aunt especially well for the last dozen years. And before that, they had known my father as well. They were sad, and consoling of the situation and of my loss.

I almost did not stop in the restaurant. When I arrived there after the 40 minute drive, I first stopped in the parking lot of a nearby store and waited. I was not sure if I really wanted to go in. It felt like another ending. I waited for a fair amount of time before I convinced myself I needed to do this to show respect and love for mom.

When my mother and I went to this restaurant together, our selection(s) were relatively predictable. My mother typically select one of five different entrees: A) a waffle with strawberries, B) pancakes with syrup, C) a BLT sandwich on toasted wheat, D) a grilled cheese sandwich with catsup, or E) potato pancakes with applesauce. The majority of the time she selected the waffle or the pancakes, and only occasionally one of the other three. For me, my selection was even more predictable.... for 95+% of the time, I would order a turkey sandwich on toasted rye bread, and a soup and salad. Only on very rare occasion would I deviate from that order, and when I did, most of the time it was to order a stack of multigrain pancakes with blueberries and strawberries.

During those times at the restaurant, we had fun together simply chatting about daily events, about television programs, about news items or other casual topics. We often laughed and we felt at ease. These were very special times we had together. More often than not, following our dinner together, my mother would like to go to a nearby pharmacy to look at the cards, toys, and other items they had for sale, or to go to an also nearby dollar store to see their various items of interest.

During the last six months of my mother's life (as I stated yesterday) the actual travel was not possible given her weakened health. But the times were still able to be very meaningful and special. During the last six months when I would travel to the restaurant to get the meals "to go", we always ate the exact same menu item... my mother had a waffle with strawberries, and I always had the turkey sandwich and soup and salad. The staff at the restaurant was very kind in being willing to package each item of my mother's dinner separately... the Belgian Waffle in one container, the strawberries in another, and the whipped cream in a third. I was able to put the items back together (after heating the waffle in the microwave oven) in a way that was as beautiful as they would be brought to us when we could eat there. I think this made my mother quite happy.

I so miss her. I hope I expressed to her well enough, my love for her. I regret I did not do so more. I hope she knows and understands that I do cherish our times together and so wish there were more times left.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fill In The Blank

Today can best be described as a day that is relatively devoid of emotion. I do not feel happy, I do not feel incredibly sad. I feel "numb" without the fuzzy numbness... if that makes any sense. I do not feel dulled senses, nor do I feel heightened senses. I do not feel aware or unaware. I do not feel curious,nor do I feel fearful.

I feel blank.

As today is the busiest day of the work week this semester, I was feeling unhappy about what I needed to do for today when I was thinking about it last night. Yet, I think it turned out to be one of the more successful Thursdays I have had at work this semester. Not that this gives me any joy or satisfaction. Nor, however, does it give me sorrow or pain either. It did not cause any emotional construct from me.

I feel blank.

I want my Mom to see me, to hear me. I want my Mom to let me hear Her, see her. I do not know, nor can I know if that will ever happen. But it is what I wish for each and every night and each and every morning. Sometimes I pray to God for this wish, sometimes I simply wish it in my mind.

I feel blank.

I am going to go now, and I will drive for 40 minutes to get across town to the restaurant my mother and I would eat at together every Thursday since my father passed away. It is the same restaurant the three of us (my mother and father and I) would regularly eat at as well before his passing. I now need to go there to be respectful of the many workers and tell them of my mother's passing. They will be saddened, but will want to know.

I feel blank.

During the last six months of my mother's life, when she was too weak to travel to the restaurant mentioned above with me, I would drive to this restaurant and ask them to specifically package the food we typically would eat together in "to go" containers. I would then drive back home and carefully prepare the food and plate it on nice china and glasses and the two of us would eat our meal together. I wanted Mom and I to have a sense of normalcy and happiness.

I feel blank.

My wife and I made a very conscious decision at the start of our marriage to have each of us spend one evening each week alone with our parents. It has usually been Thursday when we did this. It was something that we felt was very valuable and important in addition to the time we spent with each other's families together as a married couple. It is one of the few things I feel confident in that I did right for my parents.

Still, I feel blank.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wrath of God

I do not know why I deserve this, but now I received word from my wife that HER mother has now been hospitalized and that she will receive a heart catheterization sometime on Thursday.


I am so sad and so angry and so utterly frustrated right now. I think God has decided to turn his wrath upon me and my family. I do not understand why this has happened and do not understand why life has to be so utterly horrible and harsh.

I miss my mother so very deeply. I regret that I was not with her when she passed away, I regret that the time now with her is over. I so miss her face. I so miss her voice. I so miss her smile. I broke down and wept during part of my class today. Teaching anatomy & physiology is especially difficult at this time because what I talk about is so closely intimated with what has gone on with my mother's decline. When I talk about the cardiovascular system, I think about her heart and its problems, when I talk about the respiratory system, I think about her breathing issues.

Why is God so cruel and so mean? Why is it that He has decided to separate me from her love, from the love of my father, from the love of my aunts and uncles who have also died, from SO VERY many of those I care about? Why? It is mean, it is cruel, it feels heartless and makes me feel dead inside.

I do not think I shall ever be able to feel any contentment ever again. I do not think I shall ever laugh a REAL, open, whole hearted laugh again. I think any smile I will be able to give shall only be forced and akin to a grimace.

I do not understand God. I do not understand His reasoning. All I feel is alone, and abandoned. And now with my wife's mother being ill as well, that feeling is even more isolating as I have to try to be there for my wife. The thought of being in that hospital again is enough to make me sick.


I had thought I would be able to tell you about the Grief Support Group I attended last night. Overall, my impression of the group was quite good. But, I shall have to leave it for a different time, for their messages and their ideas and insights seem hollow to me again because of the day's current circumstances.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Out of Order

I am not usually one to participate in psycho/socio groups... not because they aren't helpful, but mostly due to my own background in neuroscience and psychology makes me already say and talk the talk already in my own mind. However, I have decided to attend a meeting of a Grief Support Group that is in my community. The fellow who runs this session has one of his degrees from the American Catholic University. I am hoping I may find the group of value.


What can I say about my mother? She was one of only a very, very few people who knew me deep inside. Her passing makes me cry out for my loss. Only my wife knows me in that deep level. I feel abandoned, even though I do not like myself for feeling that way. It was NOT her fault. I sometimes fear it was MY fault that she died. I worked hard every day to try to keep her health stable and her medication balanced and homeostatic.


I do not like, I do not respect, and I do not understand hospitals currently. I live in a region with what is classified as an "excellent" hospital and trauma center, yet what I have seen over the last several years makes me cringe and grimmace. A hospital is not a place of safety anymore. It is not a place where one can feel comforted that a sick loved one is being nurtured and cared for competently. Instead, hospitals are filled with overworked, burnt-out individuals (many of whom may actually care and may actually be quite competent) who simply do their "job" to the minimum standard they can get away with because it is all they can afford to give mentally and emotionally. It is truly criminal how our current hospital situation is, and I know my experience is the rule, rather than the exception nationwide.


I feel guilty because on the last evening of my mother's life, Thursday March 1st, when I left the hospital and went home, there were several issues that occurred that make me sad and shall likely do so forever:

1. When I left, I left sad and tired. I had been up until 5:30am on Thursday morning with her at the emergency room. I then went home and slept for an hour before going to work and taught for several hours. When I got back to the hospital later, my mother was not feeling any relief of her bloated abdomen and I was concerned. Yet, her blood work showed no issues with her lungs or heart. I left the hsopital exhausted and sad and wish I would have been more upbeat for her.

2. When I arrived home, I ate, watched a brief amout of television and then attempted to call my mother to wish her good night and to tell her I loved her. She did not answer the phone, so I called down to the nurse's station and asked for help. They told me that she had requested a pain medication and was feeling very groggy and that is why she did not answer the phone. The phone lines close at 10pm to patient's rooms, and so I did not have much time as it was roughly 9:45pm when I called. I asked the nurse to please go to my mother's room and give her the phone so I could talk with her. When the nurse was their I called in and she said my mother was now sleeping comfortably and should she awaken her. I told her no... please let her sleep so she would get some rest.

3. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the couch at that point. I felt sad and defeated, not knowing what to do or expect. My wife and I both felt that things were ok because of the blood work and we expected there to be only a few day stay as they adjusted my mother's medications. So, I fell asleep as did my wife. I did not awaken on the couch until roughly 2:30. From the lack of sleep the day before, I simply woke my wife and she and I went upstairs to bed and both immediately fell back asleep. This was the first night in years where I DID NOT PRAY for my mother. I was too groggy and did not think of it. I regret this beyond measure. I hope that God is not vengeful and hope he did not do this because I missed praying for her that one evening... but given what transpired, part of me feels God is spiteful and did this because of my lack of committment and my lack of focus. It makes me angry at God, angry at myself, gives me tremendous guilt and is something I have difficulty trying to overcome.


I called last night to have the oxygen concentrator and the tanks of oxygen removed from our home by the medical supply firm that supplied them via my mother's health insurance. Long time readers may remember my struggle with that. It is bittersweet having them removed. It feels as if I am "getting rid" of something that can help me remember her. Yet, I know it is foolish because they are not her, and were only a temporary measure for her. They will likely be gone this afternoon.


I miss my mother's voice, I miss her smile towards me, I miss seeing the love she had that reflected so strongly from her eyes. I miss her.


Life has lost its order. I do feel lost. I do not know if I can ever feel joy again. I only feel sorrow, pain, and grief. I so want and hope and pray that my mother (or perhaps God) will give me some sort of "sign" that is a real, true, indication to me that Mom is happy and is in heaven with all the many wonderful and departed relatives and friends including my father. I hope I will get some sort of "sign" but I am fearful it shall never be provided to me. I will never know.


Monday, March 12, 2007

I Miss Her Greatly

Here are the words of one of the hymns I selected for my mother's funeral:


You Are Mine

I will come to you in the silence,
I will lift you from all your fear,
You will hear my voice, I claim you as my choice.
Be still and know I am here.

I am hope for all who are hopeless,
I am eyes for all who long to see,
In the shadows of the night, I will be your light.
Come and rest in me.

Refrain: Do not be afraid, I am with you.
I have called you each by name.
Come and follow me, I will bring you home.
I loved you and you are mine.

I am strength for all the despairing
Healing for the ones who dwell in shame
All the blind will see, the lame will all run free.
All will know my name.

I am the word that leads all to freedom,
I am the peace the world cannot give
I will call your name, embracing all your pain,
Stand up, now walk, and live!

written by David Haas


There is a huge, empty hole in our home, and my heart feels hollow.


Friday, March 02, 2007


My beloved mother died this morning at 7am.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Emergency Room

After three days of denying she was ill and being angry at me for asking about her condition, my mother finally decided that she needed to go to the hospital at 11:30pm last night.

I rushed her to the emergency room. She was edemic, had significant swelling in her legs and abdomen, she had significant pain in her abdomen and both shoulders. Upon arrival at the emergency room, she vomited.

The whole process continued with the usual difficulty in getting good blood draws, the pain that entailed for her, and the administration of pain medication which made her disoriented and confused.

My one sister acted disgruntled when I phoned her around 12:30am. Another sister did come to the ER to stay with me.

I left at 5:30am when I was assured that she was indeed going to be admitted to a room in the next hour or so.

I do not know what today will bring. All I do know is that I have a two hour lecture and a three hour laboratory session that I am ill prepared for and it is not a subject that is easily "wingable". I feel like crying. I feel like there is no hope for her. I also feel there is no hope for me.