Mom was diagnosed with cancer early in December of 2000. We took her home from the doctor’s office, Jeff and Mom and I silent as we made our way from his office to the elevator. We had all agreed to hospice care. When we took her back home to Mathilda Brown Home, the staff went into full gear as we all received an explanation about what hospice would entail. Jeff and I were grateful that Mom could stay in her little room, in the place she loved.
I visited daily then, and most days, I’d find Mom in her room, sitting in her chair, crowded next to her bed, or lying on the bed, resting. One day when I arrived, I found her on a wooden chair in the hallway, her bathrobe over a nightgown. She’d forgotten to change that day, so we went into her room and chose clothes more suitable for the day. “ I must be losing it!” she said.
Another day, Mom was sitting on the edge of her bed, facing the window that overlooked an alley and the playground of Oakland Tech. When I came into the room, Mom said, without turning her head: “ I wish it would snow once, just for me.”
I wished it would snow, then, too. As tough as winter can be in the Midwest, we Midwesterners love its beauty, those days when the snow falls silently and without a wind to rustle it, to the earth. That winter, in the days before Mom died in mid February, weather reports on local radio announced that there had been a sprinkling of snow high on the hills over Oakland. I wished I’d been able to take Mom to see it, but by then, she was confined to bed.