Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Life is for the Living

In the movie "Pearl Harbor" there is a scene where one of the main characters who is a nurse is ordered by a doctor to do triage for the incoming injured and dying soldiers by putting an "F" for fatal or "M" for morphine on their forheads written in lipstick. Morphine also meaning that this person could be saved.

Likewise, in most of our lives and in our families, if we live long enough many times we are put in the same position as the nurse and have to denote in our minds which of our friends and relatives are "F" for fatal and which can be saved. And so, each of us have to deal in real life with "Life is for the living" (and not for the dead and dying). Because if we do not prioritize the living in our minds and hearts then we become a part of the dead and the dying and leave the earth mentally or emotionally.

So, when my mother was in a coma with a "death rattle"(fatal end of life pneumonia) and since my mother had not known who I or anyone else was in my family for several years and my wife's father had just died, my priority HAD to be keeping my wife alive and sane and when I found myself in Los Angeles International Airport transporting my wife's father's ashes to Saint Louis, Missouri by air it was only partly a surprise when the senile dementia facility that my mother had been in since december 2001 called me to tell me that she had died.

My senses reeled while we waiting for the next flight to Saint Louis and I leaned against a window watching the planes take off and land. The craziness of life did not elude me in that moment. But one thing was sure. If I wanted my wife to be okay I needed to be with her. My mother was with God and always had been and always would be. Even in senile dementia she would tell people about their auras and the angels she saw. I was amazed how close to God my mother always was even with senile dementia. She always amazed me spiritually even though at the same time I never got over or have recovered from the hell of dealing with her senile dementia. Nothing prepares anyone for that never ending hell of watching a friend or relative regress down to age 1 and to babyhood and then die of senile dementia. For senile dementia is a fatal disease cause by the hardening of the arteries of the brain. Her doctor had said that she could have lived to be 100 or more except for her fatal senile dementia.

So, in my triage I could save my wife. I couldn't save my mother's body and mind. Besides, my mother was now 89 and my wife was only 53 and could easily be helped through the death of her father. My mother was already with God and always had been.
My duty was to pray for my mother and to pray for and to be there for my wife.

My mother died September 18th 2008, almost one year ago now.

One more amazing story about my mother. One of my three best friends from my childhood was a teacher in East Los Angeles in a High School there. He had known my mother and father growing up and went with me one day to visit my mother in her rest home. When he and I walked in the room my mother was in the middle of a "heaven rapture" with God and his angels and was ecstatic. It was almost like walking into a room where two people were making love or praying. I found it a little embarrassing. So, when my friend and I tried to talk to Mom she said, "Oh. Look at the angels! Do you see them singing. They're so happy Freddie.(My Mom called me Freddie) So my friend and I stayed as long as we felt comfortable and then finally left.

That summer my friend who was then 61 in 2006 died unexpectedly. His body wasn't found in his townhouse in the suburbs of Los Angeles for almost two weeks. But I knew soon after that my mother's angelic rapturous experience had prepared my friend for his impending death.

My mother was always completely amazing. Even with senile dementia she was helping people into God's hands and helped prepare my friend for his passing on to the angels.

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