22 August 2015


In the one room were four generations of people my mother loved-Sons, Daughters, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren, Nieces and Nephews and her Sister and Brother. Each generation represented all the parts of her life, from her childhood to her respected position as Elder.  Each of us stood there with their own memories, each trying to let her know we'd bring her home. Or at least, help her to the door.  When she took her last breath of this world's air, we were stunned, even though we'd expected it.

A month ago, I was in and out of the hospital room where my mother was struggling to come home.  I'd called my sisters and brothers, my father and a couple cousins.  We'd all gathered to make decisions. I'd not wanted to have to make decisions any more.  I wanted someone else to take charge.  So glad my sons were with me.  No questions, no pressure, just offering their love and support.

The following days were mostly a blur.  Time warps.  Yeah, those now have a different meaning, at least for me.  Today, tonight and tomorrow will be the first time I've been alone for longer than a few hours.  36 hours? Perhaps 48?  Time enough to sort through my own feelings, my own memories and pick myself up to continue on the path I'm meant to travel.

There's music playing, Mom's favorite, Hank Williams.  Soon, I'll put others on and remember when we'd sit and listen, sometimes turning the music up so loud my son asked if we were having fun since he could hear it all the way out to the road.  Teehee.  Least it wasn't at no 3 in the morning.

We've sorted through her things, putting them in piles.  Yeah, I'd often complained about her pack-rat ways, mostly cause it was hard to clean,  a process sometimes hard to accomplish.  We each had our own way of cleaning.  Mine wasn't the easiest for her to watch.  I knew she'd have to leave the room because she had to bite her tongue.  The kitchen ended up being the only room I'd clean, least the external surfaces.  She would tell me "Looks good" when I was finished and she'd come back to sit in her spot.

When she'd clean, I tried not to hover, especially the past few months.  I'd try to find something else to do.  I was glad when she'd go take her ol' lady nap.  Then I'd check over the dishes, look in the cupboards to find where she'd put things. Find the stuff I used mostly.  You'd think since we were the same height, things would be easy to find.  Not so.

You may be asking yourself why I didn't get my own house if we had to bite our tongues.  The answer to that question is so complex, it'd take years to sort out.  The best way to describe it would be that we'd come to accept each other as women and to respect each other's ways.  We had a give and take relationship once we understood each other's strengths and weaknesses.  And this wasn't something I could understand until I went through the same sort of things with my own sons.  We'd come to understand that we needed each other in this three generation household, four when the great grandchildren would visit.  And we found a way to make it work.

She'd only lived off the reservation for one three month period, then returned to stay.  It was important to her that everyone had a home to return to when they got tired of their travels out and about.  In a subliminal way, I understood that she wanted me to do the same.  I tried to "pass the buck" and told her to give the house to my sons.  When she gave me the look, I said "My sons will take care of their mother."  That was enough for her.

When my sister called and told us we'd better get down there, we finished the setup that now wouldn't be used.  My mom knew that we'd gotten the house ready for her to come home.  And that was enough for me.  

10 August 2015

My Mother, Marjorie "Marge" Holmes

Today is the first time I've posted on any of my blogs for quite some time. My mother, who's been the subject of many of my posts, started her journey to the Spirit World on 23 July 2015.  Over the winter and early spring, my mother has been the subject of much prayers and good thoughts. We laid her to rest on 28 July 2015, near her sisters who journeyed on before her.

I've been updating my blogs for a blogger type book, you know the business side of writing, when she became more fragile.  Not that she ever was the sort of woman to admit she needed help. Oh, I watched her over the past few months. Then in February, I decided to get her garden going.  That was our last project together.  There's still a few projects I'd like to finish.

One of them is repainting the house, inside.  I'd tried to have her paint the house in any color she wanted.  However, it was white and would remain white.  "You can paint it any color you want, do whatever you want.  After I'm gone." when I'd pressed her about the color.  So, I will repaint the house, her bedroom, in her favorite colors. The rest of the house will be in my favorite colors.  Seeing's how my son thinks the world of his mother and will allow me to run his house the way I see fit.  Heh heh.

She sorted through her clothes, donating many for the local Boys and Girls Club fundraiser.  Still a few clothes, jackets and other odds and ends were set aside for her grandson's fundraising efforts for his trip to France next year.  Those will be delivered, preferably, picked up.

Then, in April, after I'd been elected Secretary for the Elder's Committee, she happily started sewing again.  She dragged out her fabric, cleared the kitchen counter and set up her sewing machine.  Yesterday, I was looking for something and tried to pick up two squares I thought had fallen from the pile she'd made.  It was still in the machine, waiting for her to add another set of blocks.  It's still there.  At least til we finish clearing out the rest of her things.  Then her granddaughter has said she will finish the blankets.  These last two blankets will be kept in the family.  We will donate sewing of our own making in her memory for the Elder fundraising.

I will revise the books I wrote.  She was so proud of my writing.  She even contributed some ideas and that particular book will be dedicated to her when it is finally published. She was happy when I finally got to attend a Writer's Conference.

I have so many memories of her.  I am grateful for the years I lived with her.  At my sons insistence of course.  Together, they decided that Grandma's was where they wanted to live.  And so we have.

Marjorie Alice Holmes 1936-2015