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Thoughts on Mom’s Arrival in Heaven, and Thanksgiving 2013

How high she has risen, and how far we have fallen.

by
Tom Blumer

Bio

November 27, 2013 - 10:56 pm
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On Saturday, I got a call from my sister Barb. It was the call you tell yourself is never going to come — or you convince yourself it’s so far out there in the future that you can safely keep it out of sight and out of mind.

My 86 year-old mother Grace was in the hospital, and it was deadly serious. Remnants of denial caused me to not even think about bringing overnight clothes until I was two-thirds of the way from Cincinnati to Columbus.

Mom’s temperature had hit 104 degrees overnight. She was rushed early Saturday morning to the emergency room and then to intensive care. The medical staff successfully stabilized her. Already quite frail before all of this occurred, she was now critically weak, kept alive with the marvels of modern medical technology which have advanced so impressively in the 14 years since I last watched them in action.

The first 24 hours would tell the tale, but Barb and I knew, barring a miracle — something the ardently Catholic Grace Blumer could have conjured up if anyone on earth could — that Mom’s time on earth would soon end.

A friend told me a story some time ago and repeated it when I called him Saturday. His late mother had been in a coma and came out of it several years before she finally passed. Thinking it was the end, he and his wife said the things they felt needed to be said. His wife even sang silly songs to lighten the moment. When his mom fully awakened, she was able to recite every word and lyric each of them had uttered.

Mom knew that Barb and I were there. She couldn’t talk because of the tubes in her mouth, but she responded to our voices and squeezed our hands when we held hers.

Sunday morning, the doctor told us that even the most heroic of life-saving efforts were overwhelmingly likely to go for naught. We were confident that our father and her husband Tom was in Heaven saying, “I’ve waited 14 years, one month, and 16 days to get her up here with me. That’s long enough.” Barb, who has been Mom’s heroic medical system and living arrangements shepherd for so many years, had the nurses disconnect the life-support systems. A short time later, Mom passed away peacefully.

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Top Rated Comments   
Loved your column. I lost my mom this past year, too. Agree about your summation statements wholeheartedly. My prayers are with you.
My wife is spending Thanksgiving in her chosen profession, nursing, giving chemotherapy at the hospital. Cancer, unfortunately, doesn't take days off. It's nice to spend the day reading columns like yours.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Tom. Having a great mom is a lifetime blessing that never stops giving. Her legacy lives on in all she touched. You have much to be thankful for , the nation needs more Grace...our strength and greatness is built upon the salt of the earth she represents.

God bless her soul, which lives on in you.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Many people are thankful for Thanksgiving 'day' employment. It gives them income they otherwise would not receive. Can we be thankful for them too?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (13)
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my buddy's sister-in-law makes $64/hr on the computer. She has been laid off for six months but last month her check was $20986 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read Full Report............ http://www.Bay95.com
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I always cringe at the "thoughts" in "thoughts and prayers" phrase. I always think, can there be prayer without thought?

It's like "random acts of kindness". Kindness is never random.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Blumer, having an 81-year-old mother, you reeled me in with the title. If you google me you will find we probably agree on most things.

But...I wanted to read about your mother. You brought her up, I want to know who she was.

I don't know how much longer I have with my mother, she gets smaller and softer with each passing day.

I was hoping for an article that would help me deal with the day I know is coming.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Condolences for your loss. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your, and all of the writers and commentators at PJM.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Another had to do with some of those I called about Mom’s condition. Their reaction was that we were in their “thoughts.” Not their “thoughts and prayers,” just their “thoughts.” "

As an atheist, I would feel profoundly dishonest if I assured you my prayers are with you. I personally don't think there is a deity to which I can pray so I don't pray. Period.

But I sympathize with you as a fellow human being who also has an 86 year old mother. We had a cancer scare with my mother just a few months ago but, luckily, a brief round of chemotherapy seems to have restored her to something very close to her normal robust health. But we expect this is just a remission and that we'll be coming to the end of her life in another year or two. I'm already anticipating how very hard that will be.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't say "prayers" for the same reason. Good luck with your mom, I hope it's more than a remission.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Loved your column. I lost my mom this past year, too. Agree about your summation statements wholeheartedly. My prayers are with you.
My wife is spending Thanksgiving in her chosen profession, nursing, giving chemotherapy at the hospital. Cancer, unfortunately, doesn't take days off. It's nice to spend the day reading columns like yours.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for the beautiful column, my prayers for you, and let's hope that your Mother prays for all of us...because we really need it.

42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
You and your sister are in my thoughts and prayers. Happy Thanksgiving.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
My prayers are with you Tom - a beautiful tribute to your mom. Hard to say more as there is a lot of dust in the air now...
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Tom. Having a great mom is a lifetime blessing that never stops giving. Her legacy lives on in all she touched. You have much to be thankful for , the nation needs more Grace...our strength and greatness is built upon the salt of the earth she represents.

God bless her soul, which lives on in you.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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