sr josefa and redemptive suffering
"until the end of time"

thursday thirteen, things mama said

Back in the day when I blogged regularly, Thursday Thirteen was an awesome way to capture things that were cumbersome to Mom and me
write. During my recent time with Mama, just prior to her death, she said things that were cute, sweet, peculiar, and insightful. But most things were lacking lucidity. Because of her advanced Alzheimer's, she seldom made much sense. 

This Thursday 13 is composed of things Mama said near her end that touched me. 

  1. She told my sister about a man getting startled. "They afraided him."
  2. One day as I sat with her, she said, "Darling, you look so sadful." 
  3. "We need to have a prayer meeting. Tonight, we're going to kneel down and pray. Lord Jesus, I need you the most."
  4. When she was awake, she was likely praying. "It's in Jesus's name I'm asking. I don't know how to ask, come be with us. Teach us how to walk, speak to our hearts. We're all sinners ready to be spoken to. So many powers are hung out to dry."
  5. She called each nurse, "Teacher."
  6. She told me I was beautiful. "You look just like your mother, but I think your mother is prettier." I asked, "Do you know my mother?" She replied, "I've seen her a couple of times. You're gorgeous, especially when you're beautiful."
  7. When I told her she was my mother, she said, "Let's not get carried away."
  8. She was often very worried about her parents, especially her dad. When she'd ask where they were, I'd say they went to town for groceries. She'd say, "How do we know something bad didn't happen to them?"
  9. "Will you be taken away from me? Stay here with me."
  10. "Should I pay?" "No Mama you don't owe any one any money. You've paid for everything." "Well good."
  11. "Get the hair out of your eyes." All my life, she's told me that. That time it didn't irritate me at all.
  12. I sang "You Are My Sunshine" to her, then she started talking about it in third person. "That sure was sweet when Valerie sang, "You Are My Sunshine" to me.
  13. She often prayed for all the men in the family, my brother, Michael, the most. But for each of her brothers and all her grandsons, she prayed "May they be mighty men of valor." 
  14. Praying, she said, "Deliver our children. I ask this for my kids."
  15. "I love you like the dickens."
  16. In prayer, "I'm asking for your saving grace. The house is tore up. Let it be clean."
  17. "Come on, Beautiful." I replied, "I'm right here Mama," to which she responded, "Very good. I love to hear you say that."
  18. "Bless your heart, Baby."
  19. "Lord, help Michael shut-up."
  20. She put both hands on my face and said. "I love you. I love you so, so much. Of all the people in the world, I love you the most, outside my family."
  21. Interestingly, her last spoken words were, "Be still." When the paramedics brought her "home," they jostled her around terribly. She was quite drugged and couldn't really wake up, but she managed to tell them to be still. 

I exceeded 13, but that's okay. 

Mama has always prayed. When her mind was going, going, gone, she prayed near constantly. Near the very end, her prayers were very disjointed and lacking sense. What a comfort to know that God knew exactly what she was trying to say, what her spirit was expressing. That is such a beautiful thought, actually it's not just a thought, it's a fact. "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us . . ." Romans 8:26. Her prayers reached heaven perfectly sound minded. Thank you, Holy Trinity.

_________________

Updated a couple days later: I shared the above memories with my siblings and aunt and two of them had things to add to this list. My sister, Diane, shared these:

  1. She told me that someone had been “scorchy” with her. 
  2. She talked to Stacie about not worrying and said, “Do you pray?"
  3. “Jesus, you are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”
  4. “Lord, you are the one I want to love…”
  5. With Vernie sitting beside her, she prayed, “Lord, is Vernie good?” And Jill promptly spoke up, “Tell me what He says." 
  6. I was bent over her close (with mask on), and she was talking when she suddenly stopped mid-sentence and said “What beautiful eyes.” It was so heartfelt, so sweet. I told her I got them from my mother. She asked who my mother was. I told her Geraldine Piearcy. I saw confusion cross her face. She was quiet for a moment and then said thoughtfully, “There’s two Geraldine Piearcy’s.” I didn’t not know it then, but I learned afterwards that there really is.

_________________

My Aunt Jill, Mama's twin sister, wrote this:
 
She kept saying at one point, "Jesus make Vernie not talk to me that way!"  I asked her how I was talking to her and she said, "Like I'm an inferior person."  I said, "OK I'll not talk that way to you any more."  But in reality I hadn't been talking to her that way.  Diane said a nurse had come in earlier and had "talked down" to her.  Diane thought she was just calling everybody Vernie and that's why I got the blame for somebody else talking down to her.
 
My favorite memory of Geral was when I first walked into Hospice House that first morning after she moved in.  When I opened the door to her room she was lying with her face toward the door.  She saw me come in and her whole demeanor sharpened and went on alert.  She stared at me and said disbelieving like, "WHO ARE YOU?"  I reached up and removed my mask and said, "Who am I?  Don't you know who I am!!!"   I've never in my life felt so much joy at that moment at seeing her again and watching the relief and joy spreading over her face.  There was no doubt about it.  She KNEW WHO I WAS!  She may not have been able to say my name but she KNEW WHO I WAS!  I've thought about that moment a million times since then.  It was a perfect moment for me.  I think it was for her.  I take much pleasure from remembering that one moment when we first made contact. 
_______________
 
Those memories, even if I wasn't there for them, are very special to me. My favorite thing about blogging is the family records it preserves.

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