packing up this morning and heading back to california. I’m taking the chicken poop way out and not stopping at the care center to say goodbye to mama moss. too gut wrenching and potential flood of tears inducing. so I said goodbye yesterday evening when I tucked her in bed. I hate that she’s confused and doesn’t know what she should be doing from one minute to the next.
still there are moments of bright clarity. the Past is a ship that is still in the harbor. It’s the Present that has set sail. floating out across choppy water in a gale. you are desperate to help guide her back, but from shore it’s frustratingly impossible.
meanwhile Dottie dances at a wedding, as she put it, “in my I’m-not-in-the-convent-anymore blouse.”
mama moss says wry and funny things out on the terrace in the warm kansas sunshine.
sister and I play in our visual journals and eat delicious brisket that chris made.
there are lots more chapters waiting to be revised in the book of moss. And everyday we add a few more pages.
catch you on the flip flop, drip drop.
Sent from my iPad
crescent rodgers says
ah, Dottie, convent! I think I get it -sort of… Hope is lovely hang on to it. this comment actually belongs to this post and the one after.
Thank you so much for all your posts -they are so cool, real, and awesome!!
Sharon | the teacup incident says
One can only give so much without a little break from grief. We all need to help ourselves get through difficult times in a way that honors our inner spirit. Saying goodbye to your mom the day before leaving Kansas was a healthy way to gear up for traveling back to Moss cottage. You gave yourself a sweet memory to hold during the trip and have “sister-time” souvenirs to savor once home. I admire your bravery and thank you for sharing your thoughts here with us.
Marcia G. says
Hi Mary Ann,
Seems to me like you’ve discovered some important lessons in life and you are to be commended for you efforts to share what you’ve gleaned on your journey. None of us knows exactly what our future holds but one thing you can know is that there will be bitter and sweet. In order to get through the not so good times we need something to sustain us and inspire us. When you travel, you are storing up memories and experiences that will help you later on. Your art is an outlet for your creativity and a visible expression of your thoughts and feelings. The ties you create and strengthen with your family will be there for you when you need them. This situation with your mom is one of those difficult times and you and your family will need to rely on each other to make your way through it.
Take care of each other, keep doing what you’re doing and above all, as much as your time and energy will allow it, please keep sharing what you’re learning and living along the way.
When my mum had breast cancer you were so sweet, and shared a personal tidbit with me, so I am very mindful to respect you, and all that makes you.
You have my heart, and all the love that lies within it.
May your memories be clearer than your momma’s, and may they guide you and your sisters on this voyage.
Angie looks so gorgeous in your scarf and sunglasses. That photo brings tears to my eyes. Hugs to all of you.
Holly Hudson says
Mary Ann & siblings,
The above comments are beautifully written and from deep hearts, embrace ‘Em dearly. I wish I had these strong supportive vibes, when I traveled this same journey, the art blog world is so so special, travel safely,
Sherry Green Peck says
My heart hurts for you….love for a parent is so connected to our own existence and the loss is like a knife blade that pierces the soul and emotion of the heart. I felt that knife blade pain every time I drove over the spot where my Dad (at 83) had his wreck, that finally after 6 months took his life. It was strange, that every single time I drove home over that one spot in the road, the pain pierced my soul of emotion and it was painful ….for threes years! It will be good to be immersed in your work coming up… be easy on yourself and hang on to the good memories. You and your sis still look the same!!! So cute!! Love the braids! Great picture of you with Mama Moss…will be praying for your Mom and for your Sweet Sister…
Carol Gossett says
We used to fuss over who got to pick mom UP for an outing, and who had to take her BACK. ALWAYS easier to be the one picking up than the unfortunate soul who had to take her back. She would cry, and it was heartbreaking.. I too, took the chicken doo-doo way out on more than one occasion. It isn’t easy, by any means. Reading about Mama Moss makes me miss my own mom, who passed almost 3 years ago. Hugs to you and yours as you share this difficult journey.
I wish there was a like button on these here comments. I’d hit it many many times. I find it so interesting that so many of us have had this experience.
Cat Graves says
Call it whatever you want, but I take the chicken’s way out a lot…it is not easy seeing mom in the care center. We try to bring her to the house for dinner every Sunday and I find it much easier to see her in that setting. My sister plays games with her, I chat or share photographs of her life with her and she gets to have her cocktail of choice…gin martini! We eat dinner and then get her back by 6:30 pm for last med call. We all do the best we can and that has to be good enough.
You all are doing whatever can be done. You have given your mother your love and support in every way possible. Her past is where she’ll live for the time she’s here and that’s a good thing. How many lovely memories she must have of a long, well-lived, well loved life. You’re all brave, not chicken poops. You have tucked her in and made her feel happy, what a sweet gift that is. Wishing all your family strength and god speed through these turbulent seas.
Jane Bumar says
She is cared about, cared for, secure, and safe. After a while, you start to re-calibrate your sense of time when you are with your loved one to the seconds of brightness, or clarity, or something; time aboard this ship is not measured in hours. No compass that we understand directs its sail; just make peace that you really are doing your best, you all really are.
Love and tissues for the upcoming days.
I’m the 69 year old who will probably be Mama Maureen for my son and dil. How touching to read all the posts and comments whil I look at this future issue from the other side. I’m always touched to hear how others feel when they go through experiences I’ve never had (nor will) but most probably my children will.
Love the photo of the Moss girls! Looks like one of them was a shy lass.
susan w says
i love your water metaphors, well said
Jane Stewart says
Sending you and your family a big hug. There are no words to ease the pain, only love.
Judy H. says
So hard. Best wishes to all, and safe travels.
Sandy Guderyon says
I have been there, too, and one thing I know is that Mama is still there-her being and her soul, and always will be.
She knew inside that you flew all the way there to be with her and it mattered to her. You have done well, and as best that you can. All of it is v. v. brave. All of the Women Warriors. Blessings to your family and welcome back. What I would do without this blog, I don’t know! Thank you so much.
Leslie J. Moran says
As you go through this just remember one thing. She may not always remember who you are, but you will always remember who she is. That’s how you are honoring her.
Melinda Sohval says
I am sorry baby..really sorry.. on the up side tell Carol I love the Jammies!
No easy goodbye here, not last night or anytime….
Sending huge hugs,
Um, make that PARENT….
Monica Smith says
What a beautiful way to say it. She is in no pain and I imagine happy in her world.
Yes, many of us have had similar experiences with a beloved patent, but I read your lovely post with a tear in my eye, knowing how heart wrenching it is to have to leave, but knowing you must. None of us knows what is over the horizon, so it is good that you are living your life the way you want to now. That is all we can do. Warm and loving thoughts to you.
Peggy Mcdevitt says
Many of us have been through mama moss type moments with our loved ones, it’s hard. It is what it is and you do what you can do. Happy thoughts coming your way.
Anna Maria Stone says
Oh.. It’s so tough, and I feel for you.
Carol Kitchell says
Catching up with your posts finally. Love your journal pages, as always. Your ocean pictures were wonderful – especially the kelp and seaweed ones. I felt like I was there, and it felt really good! Your life plan sounds just right. Good for you and your creative life and good for the kids who will benefit from your skills and imaginative gifts. The journey with your mom isn’t an easy one. My dad’s boat set adrift into uncharted territory, too. It was a frequently rough voyage, but sometimes the person he used to be broke through like the sun coming through the clouds. Our parents may alter with time and in ways we wish we could somehow prevent, but at the same time, they remain always the people we knew throughout our lives. I thought that caring for him somehow completed a circle that began when he first cared for me. And that’s what you and your sisters and brother are doing – be blessed, my friend, in that life passage.
Susie LaFond says
have a safe trip home sweet woman, I know the road you’re on is a tough one, ain’t gonna try and pull the ‘wool over your eyes’ about that, not that I could cuz I know you’re a tough cookie; but seeing someone you’ve loved forever, looked up to for her wisdom, well it’s ‘expletive’ hard. I know you are treasuring all these little moments that hold a ton of emotion and that you’re probably cursing the ‘darkness’ flooding in over Angie’s waters so hang in there sweet woman, if nothing else you’ve got a hell of a lot of floating buoy’s out here bobbing around in the water willing to help guide the way; we are all blinking furiously for you….xox
Judi Delgado says
Your story is bringing out the story in all of us. Shared experience. Shared pain. Shared joy. Blessings on your journey.
Saguaro Chick says
No….no chicken poo….the night before when you said goodbye will feel more wonderful…I bet it was wonderful for Mama Moss too deep down inside somewhere. Not an easy time, not easy at all. I would share a story of being in a that moment, the one you are going through with your mama, that your family is going through, but this is your moment and just know I feel your love/pain deep down in my heart. I adore the beautiful photo of the two of you. And I am digging Dottie in her convent-free party shirt! Family is a beautiful thing. It is what keeps us going and keeps us strong to get through it all.
I so understand, Mary Ann. My Mom lived with us the last 6 years of her life until a few years ago at age 74 when she passed away. So hard and touching and heart wrenching all at the same time. Your goodbye is well understood too (I’ve been there as well). Nobody can understand the ache unless they’ve been in your (our) shoes. Many prayers and supporting you in no chicken poop!
Linda Watson says
It’s not the chicken poop way, it’s the very, very brave loving daughter way. You visited her, were and are present for her, and for yourself. What a gift, although an incredibly hard one. I did it in 2003. Wow, just realized that’s been 10 years ago. Actually wrote about it on my blog this Thanksgiving. 10 years?
Edie Trull says
I can relate Mary Ann, I had to put my mother into a nursing home on Tuesday after caring for her in our home for almost a year. Breaks your heart into a million pieces. Prayers for you and yours. Edie
Oh, sister – I feel you. I started a second secret blog just for my mom thoughts and a year later, I’m glad I did. All will be well. Safe travels home.
Lynn Dirk says
Hugs and safe travels.