Aging Parents

Carol Maltese: One year Later

March 5th.

Yep, that was Fat Tuesday aka Mardi Gras. Of course, that day meant something very specific to me. As everyone knows, I grew up in New Orleans and Mardi Gras is one of my favorite days of the year.

March 5th also marks the anniversary of my step-mother’s death.

It’s hard to believe that it has been a year that she’s been gone. Carol and I didn’t always see eye to eye. We always had mutual respect for each other. However, taking care of her for the last 3 months of her life, we became so much closer. We had many wonderful conversations and each of us let down our guard a bit and shared so much of ourselves.

The last day she was coherent, she struggled to tell me something important. She told me that she wanted me to spoil him. At first, I thought she was referring to my husband. I quickly realized that she was referring to my father.

In the months that followed her death, I did my best to follow her wishes. I did everything that my father requested and spoiled him as much as I could allow.

It amazes me that in her last moments on this earth, her last coherent thoughts were of my father. She loved him unconditionally, no matter what. She wasn’t thinking of herself or anyone else. Her last thoughts were of her children and the love of her life.

She taught me so much about life and death. She died with as much dignity as she could and did it on her terms. She said her goodbyes the weekend before she passed on and she let us know that she loved us all and how we should proceed without her.

I hope that in my final days that I have as much strength as Carol did when she died.

I miss her terribly.


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