I started talking about what was going on with my mother’s health and how she suffered a brain aneurysm on Valentine’s Day this last month here in this post. You can read a little more about my thoughts in this post too. I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to everyone who posted on my Facebook, Instagram, and here on the site how you are praying for this beautiful light and her recovery. I’m still processing the incredible love I have received in almost 3 weeks, even from those of you I have never met. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Yesterday we all sat together as a family and spoke with the Neuro doctor that was overseeing my mother’s fight in the ICU. It was news that we all saw coming but left room for hope for some sort of miracle to fall from heaven. My mother suffered a severe stroke after the first week of being at the ICU (something that we knew was a possibility of happening with such trauma to her brain) that would leave her permanently disabled and completely dependent upon someone to take care of her for the rest of her life. We all cried because we knew that the inevitable had presented its face to us in that moment. My mother is strong, independent, proud, and a life force to be reckoned with; she would NEVER want this for her life. One of the things we would laugh together about when we were growing up and into our adult lives is how she would tell me and my siblings to never put her in a home. At the time, we would roll our eyes, “Yeah, yeah, mom, we get it” as she would burst out into laughter, hugging us and repeating herself with that infectious joyful voice, “Just don’t put me in a home!” What a gift those words became yesterday as we were faced with the horrible option of sustaining her life without the quality of independence and joy that she demanded on a daily basis or take her home to the hospital she dedicated her life to here in Indiana and administer hospice care for her. It wasn’t even something we had to think twice about, we knew what she would have wanted. She told us everyday day up until this fated incidence.
So here I sit, next to the bedside of my dying mother. The snow falls softly and peacefully outside the window that her faces. She favors her left side now due to the stroke hitting the left side of her brain. She has lost most movement on her right side, though the left isn’t much better, and her gaze tends to also favor the left. I find myself staring at the details of her body because I know that in a matter of time, I’m never going to be able to hold her hand again and feel her fingernails on my skin. I love touching her neck and see the years of where the sun has hit it, leaving it a little leathery but still smooth (Mary Kay was, after all, her skin regime for the past 20 years); the aging spots that have taken residence on her arms over the years; the spider veins that decorate her legs, the bit droopy earlobes that occupied earrings to match every stylish outfit she wore; her eyes, though now seemingly lifeless–those deep bluish grey eyes with long eyelashes. I will miss all of it but right now I am just relying on my memory to store all of this as much as possible so when I won’t be sitting here any longer, I will remember it for as long as I possibly can. What I will never forget is how deeply I knew I was loved by my mother.
Leprechaun Rice Cakes
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 mins
- Yield: 1 Leprechaun Rice Cake 1x
- 1 rice cake
- shredded carrots, for the beard
- tip of baby carrot, for the nose
- green bell pepper, for the hat
- red bell pepper slice, for the hat buckle
- yellow bell pepper slice, for the hat buckle
- sliced black olives, for the eyebrows
- 2 black peppercorns, for the eyes
- Slather the hummus on the rice cake.
- Assemble the remainder of the ingredients for the leprechaun face as pictured above.
And now I hold her hand tightly, touch her face, as she is reminded how deeply loved she is by all of us, and pray for this process to go as peacefully as possible.
There are no words adequate to express my sorrow for you, your mum and your family. I’m glad you have been given some time to sit with her and reflect.
Shedding some tears and sending you much love.
Oh Cara. I am just catching up on your recent posts and am devastated for you and your family. Your mom is so lucky to have a daughter like you at her bedside holding her hand through all of this, and what am amazing woman she must be to have raised such a smart, creative, fun-loving daughter like you. I’m thinking of you.
Cara, I wanted to thank you for your post. My husband sustained a stroke three years ago and your story about your mom sounds like it was similar. My husband lived for 2 1/2 years before passing this past June on his 57th birthday. So I sympathize with you big time. May God bless you and your family in this time.
I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you and your family. A big hug from France !
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit
Oh Cara this so beautifully written yet the message so heavy. I don’t even know what to say, words seem futile in the face of all the emotions you must be going through. I can’t even imagine. Know that I am thinking of your and sending you much love <3
Hey Cara, after my cookie bomb with the garbanzo bean flour, I mixed up your all purpose flour. Tonight we had guests and I really wanted to eat the dessert (blueberry cobbler) and didn’t have time for two separate ones. I summoned my courage and just made it with the gluten free flour blend. It was delicious and no one could tell it was gluten free and vegan. I’m amazed. THANK YOU!!!
Ps-I just realized how tacky it looks that I put this on this post. 🙁 I haven’t forgotten the big thing going on, though it looks like it! ?
Cara, I’m sending you my prayers and love. Thank you for sharing your story and your mother’s with such clarity, sensitivity and grace. As you said the most important gift she gave you is knowing you were loved. It is a gift you can take with you always. Blessings to all of you.
As I sit by her bedside early this morning before the sunrise, I prayed and talked to her. I told her that I was going to miss her so much and that I loved her very much. She was a dear friend and I am a better person for knowing her. We ate lunch together before her trip to Arizona and she was talking about Otto Titsling songs from the Beaches soundtrack, She told me that when she had a tough day at work she would crank up the radio and listen to it on the ride home. She was right that song is a hoot. I lost my mother last June and Carol always offered me supportive words and good ole hug. My husband David always had a joke for her about every day and she would just laugh, whether funny or not. She talked about you guys everyday and her grandkids, she loved life. Thank you for bringing her home. I pray for her peaceful journey and peace for her family.
What beautiful words you wrote. I too have always told my daughters to never let me live a life that isn’t on my terms. My heart breaks for you and your family. May you always find peace in the knowledge of the love you shared.
I read with great empathy for you and your family. I hope I am as lucky as your mom to have her family beside her. Life just goes so fast and faster the older you get.
May the Grace and Peace of our Lord be with you and your family as you prepare your hearts for your Mothers transition in to HIS hands. I know first hand how that feels. Prayers for you all.
Peace unto you. Your love and gratitude for your mother leap out from your posts. Your readers are there with you in support and love. What an amazing woman your mother is to have taught her daughter to share sunshine in the midst of tremendous pain. You both are a blessing. When my family makes this leprechaun we will also celebrate the lives of the women had the strength, grace and dignity to choose to live in light. Thank you.
Cara, Dear, I am so sorry that you are going through this. I do understand your pain, I lost my own mom to cancer in 1981 after a 12 year struggle with it.
I have the hope of seeing my mom again when the Lord returns. It has softened my aching heart. I hope you also have this blessed hope in the resurrection. If so, you know your mom isn’t lost forever, it is just like a sleep from which she will awaken. Until Resurrection Day!!!
Blessings and comfort to you.
Cara I am so very sorry. Thankfully you both are blessed knowing the love you have for each other. I wish you peace and love.
Oh Cara, my heart just hearts for you right now. Reading your post reminded me of something, but in the opposite. I remember holding my daughter when she was an infant and just drinking her in with my eyes. I even loved the smell of her and would hold her close and breathe her in. And I can imagine your mother doing that with you. And now you are giving her that gift as well. She is loved. Loved for everything she is. What better gift could you give. And what a wonderful gift she gave to you as well. Also, your post has helped me in another way. Something I’ll tell you about one of these days, but not now. In the meantime, please know my thoughts are with you and these days with your mom. “Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.” — George Eliot, who I’m sure you know, was actually Mary Ann Evans, and used a male name to help her work be taken more seriously. I only say this because her quote makes more sense to me knowing it was penned by a woman.
That should say my heart breaks for you right now. My eyes were teary. What can I say? :\
Your mom is a beautiful, caring and lovely lady. I enjoyed working with her but also enjoyed her company outside of work. Her love for God and her family was very strong. She always had a special glow when talked about her family. Sending you a virtual hug and may God wrap His arms around all of you during this difficult time. Thanks for sharing and sending my love.
Nine years ago in February I was at this same moment with my own mother. We were also fortunate to have known her wishes but I still sat in that hospital room searching my brain for a way out of that choice. My heart goes out to you and your family.
My daughter Stefanie worked with your mom… She Was so supportive of Stefs decision to move to Hawaii for a year… She told Stef it was the chance of a lifetime! Stef loved your mom and looked up to her… And I appreciated all that she did for Stef and all that she taught her at the hospital!! I had the privilege of knowing your mom also, she always had a smile and kind words to say! I pray for all of you for strength and for God to take her peacefully!
Sarah | Well and Full
Such beautiful words about your mother, Cara. It made me tear up a little bit; I was thinking about my mom and how much she means to me. Sending a prayer to you and your family. <3
Oh, Cara. This brings back such memories of sitting by the bedside of my own dying mother so many years ago. You’re right that you’ll remember it all, and she will stay with you. It’s a beautiful thing you’re doing, and sharing with us. Sending you so much love and sharing tears. xoxo
This is so beautiful, Cara. What an incredible tribute to your mom ~ I’m sure wherever her awareness is right now, she is so proud of you for handling it all with such grace and reflection. It’s not easy, but hopefully all the love and support around you gives more strength to get through, and that you have some peace knowing that you are doing it so consciously. Love…. xoxo
I am so sorry Cara, you wrote such beautiful words about your mother. I am sending lots of love and strength your way
Oh Cara, I’m so sorry for you and your siblings. What a painful time. And yet, I am also so touched by your post and by the gift of clarity that your mom gave you by communicating her needs and desires so clearly and so frequently. These transition times are magical, painful, sacred and scary. But made less confusing by knowing what she would want and that you are able to provide that for her. Also, this is sort of weird… but the best way I have found to truly remember something is to try to draw it. Even if the drawing turns out weird or kinda ugly, the process of trying to draw compels your mind to be quiet and to really study. Perhaps it could be healing and peaceful to do some drawings of your sweet mom. Love & Hugs to you.
Oh my heart hurts for you. I’ve been hoping for an improvement with your mom. I’ve walked this eerily similar road with my dad. Hold tight to those memories!! Much love and hugs to you!
oh cara… i am so so so sorry and so sad for you. all the love in the world to you and your family while you are going through this time
So many tears for you, Cara. I wish that things had turned out differently, and my heart aches for what you are going through. Thinking of you with love.
I was really afraid this is what everything was coming down to, but wow… I hope you have a smidgen of peace knowing that despite the circumstances and timing, this is what she wanted. No questioning your decision, etc.
I can only imagine how hard this was to write, and how terrible this past few weeks have been for you. Please know your dear family is in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope you all have some peace and glimpses of joy as you celebrate her beautiful life.
Much love, friend. I’m so sorry.
thought of support, love and courage to you all
I’m so sorry this happened to your mom 🙁 I know how heartbreaking it is….she and your family are in my thoughts and prayers
I was in the same place 3 years ago this week and my heart has been very heavy the past couple days. Your post and reflections about your mother are beautiful. Sending you strength and peace.
oh my friend, I am sending you the BIGGEST, STRONGEST hug right now.
I do not have any words, as you have spoke them so beautifully. you are in the moment, gathering memories to hold on to, and I can tell you that is exactly what you should be doing. be in the moment with your mom, your family.
sending you all so much love and peace right now. you are all in my continued prayers.
You are so incredibly strong to share this process and all the heartache and agony it entails. You must know how much each and every one of of us loves you. It’s our honor to help buoy you up in any way we can. Peace and love light your way and your mom’s sweet girl.
I’m so sorry, Cara. I’m still praying for your mom, your family and for peace. XO
Tons of Love and Hugs
This breaks my heart. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I’m grateful you can be with her away from the hospital, but I so wish it was a joyful reunion.
Many prayers and love.
Meggan | Culinary Hill
Oh, Cara. xoxoxo.
So much love to you and your family. Your mother is an amazing woman.
Beautiful. Shed be proud of this post. Xo
Sophia, veggies dont bite
You weren’t kidding about the tissue. I’m bawling my eyes out. Oh sweet friend. I am SO very sorry. I just want to give you a giant hug because no words can fix this. Know I am thinking of you ever day. And I’m sending all my love to your whole family at this very awful time. Hugs. XOXO. Mayloads of music and happy memories be forever in your heart.
Your post about your mother is haunting and so deeply touching. I can feel the love between you just through your words.
I am praying that peace finds you and your family throughout this very difficult time.