Skip to main content

Saying good-bye to Mom.

I really thought I could wait till Sunday. I talked to Mom on the phone on Thursday... she was a little confused, but lucid. Our very close friend had lost her father the day before. She pushed me... offered all of her airline miles to me... just go. My wife was scheduled for a procedure on Friday... Shabbos away from home is never fun. In the end I was convinced... American has a compassion fare... new problem: no compassion seats for a return trip... ok, come back later, fly back overnight. My wife and kids ran around getting my packed, buying food for me, making arrangements.

I arrived Friday morning and was met by my brother, his wife, and my Dad. We spent a couple of hours visiting and letting my brother get a little work done at his Reno store. One the way to see Mom, I got a quite unexpected phone call. "Mr. Allen? This is ....; I want to ask your daughter to marry me and I would like your blessing."

We arrived at my Mom's room. She recognized me and I was able to tell her about my daughter's engagement. My daughter was the first grandchild and Mom always had a special place in her heart for her. Mom tried to talk, but could not really get more than two or three words out before the thought would leave her. She had some juice and then closed her eyes to sleep. I didn't know that would be her last verbal communication. Her eyes opened a few times that day... but there was no vision in them. The only thing we have heard from her in the last couple of days is her increasingly rattly and irregular breathing.

My sister arrived late Saturday afternoon. I haven't seen her in 20 years, but nothing is really important now except that Mom has her three children together. We are waiting together. Deciding together how to handle things as the situation progresses. We do not agree on everything, but on two points we are in complete harmony. The first is that we each want what is best for Mom. The second is that my brother makes the final decision. My brother and his family have literaly dedicated their life to caring for my mother these last few years. I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude for all that he and his amazing family have done for our mother.

The goal is now to keep her as comfortable as we know how.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…