Our mom passed yesterday afternoon. She went peacefully with all four of her children around her.
As it turned out, the surgery, always a high-risk idea, was no longer a viable option. Mom asked for them to remove the balloon pump on her leg that was helping relieve the pressure on her heart. She went soon after that. We all had a chance to talk to her and love her before she could no longer communicate.
Our mom has always touched people. Growing up, all of my friends referred to her simply as “mom.” She adopted them into our lives readily and with ease and never let them go. Old friends and more recent friends of mine alike ask me about her every time we talk.
And you, her blog friends, meant the world to her. She mentioned you all to us often in conversations and emails. We were frequently directed to check out so-and-so's post today. You taught her things; you made her laugh; you valued her input. It was a whole new world to her that opened at the end of her life and added a dimension she was immensely grateful for, and so are we. Not only did all of you give her so much, she was able to give a
gain, too – not just to you, but to us – we learned a great deal about what mattered to her, some of it reminders, other things new discoveries about our mom. She got to matter at a time when her body was failing and so much was out of her control.
Friendship is something that I have been pondering in a serious way for some time now. I don't have any real answers, but part of what I'm learning is that friends, love and support come from where they are needed, when they are needed.
The ultimate example of the importance of who cares when it matters most would have to be mom's nurse in ICU, Maryanne. She was with mom only the last day - for maybe the last eight hours before she died. Maryanne had to have been one of the kindest, loveliest people I have ever met. She knew just what to do and say to comfort mom and us at each stage. What more could a soul ask for but to be escorted to the next dimension by such a loving, compassionate being?
We all know about the value of old friends, but there are new friends that arrive also, some of them suddenly and perhaps only for the briefest of seasons, like Maryanne. These friends are just as important in a life as the long haul relationships. Though most of you only knew mom a relatively short time and only over the internet, you were key players in her life. There are, as one musical has put it, Seasons of Love. You all came into the picture in the final act; and what power you wielded!
Our mom was passionate about many causes as you know and can see from her sidebar – so laden with links it takes forever to load the page and was the single impetus for my husband to install flash blocker on our computer! But truly, she cared. She cared about the world and all of you deeply.
When I asked her for the last time what she wanted me to post on her blog, she said,
“A picture of Isaac.” I will be adding a photo montage to this page (not just of Isaac, but of my mom) in the next few days, so you can look for that. And I will undoubtedly be writing about her on my own blog. I am already filling journal pages with thoughts.
Speaking for myself at least, I am so very happy for the personal notes addressed to each of us, the journals and all of her blog stories she left behind. My mom and I shared a love of writing and words that ran deeper than I had even realized.
As difficult as this loss is for all of us to grasp and accept and as difficult as it will remain for a long time, she was ready to go. She is finally where part of her has been looking forward to being for the last 34 years – with our father.
She is no longer Almost There. She has arrived.
With much affection and gratitude from the family,
Kitty, Bobbie's youngest daughter
Barbara Joan Petruccelli
March 16, 1932 – June 19, 2010