Sunday, May 22, 2011

her time

on April 27th, 2011
the earth changed mightily yet quietly
as softly as going to sleep
and so she did

my little lady Dorothy knew it was her time and it was

I was not her CareGiver that day
her daughter was
and how perfect

having lunch with her Mom that day
they had a wonderful lucid time, it was a totally with-it kind of time
Dorothy's brother and his wife came as well
and they all received instructions and directions as to how
things were to be handled upon her death
and it was all clear and open
and she was in charge, as usual,
over lunch

it was not as if a great external change had come about
that signaled to all that "this is it, folks"
but she knew and called this meeting
this happy gathering of clarity and happy goodbyes

one of her "clarities" was that she wanted to be changed
into yellow clothes
and so they did
because she wanted to die in yellow clothes
ok, then
her yellow clothes were put on

company stayed until early afternoon
and so sometime between 2 - 5:00 she left this world behind
wearing light yellow
and a peaceful face

she did it her way

her Memorial Service happened on Mother's Day
and that was not an easy day for many people to manage
but that is the way it could work for the family

I had been asked by her daughter to be the one to design
the memorial boards for use at the service
she brought in packets of photos a big smile and also
the basket of silk flowers Dorothy and I had designed
and put together for her room at the nursing home
those were for us at Home Instead

for two days at work my "job" was to design/create these boards
I decided two would be perfect
24" x 36"
they would be framed by the funeral home when I finished

I wanted light yellow fabric for the background
my boss's Mom went into her stash and gave me a pile to work with
there was one piece that was perfect
and could not have been cut closer to fit
I ironed it
and glued it down
placing photos to represent a life, long and filled with accomplishments
I did background papers and we went shopping for what I wanted to use
it was all my design
I knew her home
I knew what she loved to have around her
and her daughter's choices of photos and emphasis
showed me the way with this last gift I could offer
as homage

we brought the boards over to the funeral home
we went shopping for flowers from our business
and added the cutest little frog that my boss found in our
shopping adventure to place in the base of the lovely
yellow potted plant
there had to be a frog! her collection made me laugh
every time I went to her home
the yellow ribbon had to go - it was awful - and so I found
a lovely yellow ribbon that I could use to fashion a
bow that was deserving

doing the boards was like scrapbooking pages
very large pages
of a person's life
I was able to see her from a new perspective and as I read
articles that were placed on these life-pages
my respect and sense of honor soared
and the hilarious section of her in costumes was my favorite part!
after all, we wore witches' hats together for Halloween
and they were very haute couture
Coco Chanel of withches' hats
her wildly varied costumes had a designer flare
authentic on one hand
with a twist of the crazy on the other
if that makes sense and if not, it's ok

it was such a perfect ceremony
family centered
with dignity and humor
a sense of history from a long life
a sense of love from a content life

I miss her
her name is still on my May work schedule
I have had to cross it off
that happens in my work life
this has permeated every day since
and so I had to go back this morning and see if I had written
about it or not

I do not think I did
it was too hard until today perhaps

to learn from her in her final year and four months was a privilege
oh wow she was tough at first
and I teased her from time to time
with reminders of how another CareGiver and I would have
contests to see which of us would last longer before
being kicked out!
"You can go now. I don't need any more help."

it fell upon me to win her heart and trust
and we worked it out together
the first time she said after three hours:
"Oh, is it time for you to leave already?"
I got all choked up.
we had become friends

so Dorothy, is it time for you to leave already?
it was time
her time


  1. Oh Gloria-what a lovely blog. I hope that if or when I should need someone to take care of me they would be as wonderful and loving as you.

  2. What a wonderful tribute to your friend, Gloria...Dorothy is most likely smiling at you from the great beyond. How lovely that your lives intersected for sounds as if it was a positive experience for both of you.