What I Never Expected

If you are a daughter, you know that we can be a little mean and at least a tad bit critical about our mothers.

If you hem-haw about this, you just take my word. I’ll be honest for you. I have two sisters. I have four daughters. I know things.

There were times in my mom’s life that her mother gravely disappointed her. And since we are being honest, there were times in my life when my mom disappointed me too. She knows. We talked about it. She brought it up asking me several times for forgiveness. Also, there were times in my mom’s life when I know that I disappointed her. We talked about that too. She waved away those moments with grace and love. I never expected this.

Then there’s this whole teenage thing that happens when moms become annoying to daughters and invasive. Then you grow up and life between moms and daughters is more mature and good but really intense sometimes. C’mon, we are all women. Well, not all of you out there.

There was this moment in Mom’s hospice room when all three of us daughters were in the room. You could sense the woman-tension. We were all experiencing intense feelings. Mom was having a hard morning, but she still wanted to be the Mom. We just wanted her to rest. We were all driving each other crazy. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. I never expected this.

She was seriously, almost compulsively Type A. We couldn’t be more different in that way. I must have driven her crazy. But, she just let me be me. Even in her last days, she was trying to organize her hospice room. She told me to consolidate some snack foods that people brought, and I was trying to tell her to relax about it all and to stop bossing me around. Then I told her she could boss me all she wanted and asked her what else I could organize. I never expected this. Life is so very real to the very end. I never expected this.

We did puzzles in hospice. We watched Mary Poppins. We wandered outside. We watched Oklahoma. Just know that my family knows a lot of those songs. Oh, and those movies are so over the top on everything. I hated the puzzle that was a picture from the movie Titanic. My sister and I had a head stand stand-off. We both fell over. The floor is hard there. We had some good family time in the hospice facility. I never expected this.

So, you get these ideas in your head about who your mother is and what is important to her and her perspective on life and such. Well, I do anyways because I like to analyze people and such. Not all of it is true actually. My mom always wanted to be safe. I attribute this need to her chaotic childhood. Because of this, I never ever thought my mom was brave until the last few years. The last few weeks confirmed how much courage and faith she had. Her bravery truly came from her faith in God. I never expected this.

Mom was sick off and on for ten years, and she had been thinking about hospice for over a year. My sister still had to run out when the funeral home came to pick up her body. I cried hard because I couldn’t believe they were taking her away. She looked so peaceful laying there. It hit me hard Monday morning when I picked up my phone to call her. I still have her last texts to me. I miss her hollow-like. I never expected this.

Mom gave me her Kindle. I never had a Kindle before. I like it, I think. Last night I picked it up for the first time, and there was a Jane Austen book that I’ve never read on there. I didn’t know that she read Jane Austen. There were lots of things I probably didn’t know about her. I thought I knew most things. I never expected this.

Thanks be to God for blowing away our expectations.


3 thoughts on “What I Never Expected

  1. Powerful. Eyes full of tears. As I head out tomorrow to KC to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday I really appreciate this reminder. Thanks Katie.

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