This is not an easy article for me to write, but I am going to do my best. On 2022 October 26, my mother passed away. She had been struggling with dementia for a few years, and she moved from being able to conduct conversations with us to not speaking any known language to not speaking. We talked with her as she progressed and made sure that she knew that we loved her. In a sense, we had already said goodbye to her.

I do not know if this is a childish thought, but I thought that there was a chance that a miracle would happen, and she would get better. If that happened, I would have the lady that raised me back in full force. But nothing materialized. It was hard because in life she was a force of kindness to be reckoned with. And she inspired me to be a better person every step of the way.

When my sister gave the eulogy this past Friday, she perfectly captured the essence of my mother in her words. We would not be the people we are today without her being our mother, our best friend, and our confidant. And we were not the only people. Putting her skills to use, she worked with her church to provide baby blankets for newborns of single mothers. If someone needed to talk about how they were doing, she was there. It was always kind words and asking honest questions to help people out. That is something I try and do in my life when helping people out, all thanks to her.

Unable to make it back home to Burlington, Ontario where the funeral was, I watched the funeral service with my wife’s family. It did not take long for each one of us to cry at the loss of my mother. The words that my sister chose just resonated with each of us. When it was over, we sat around for a while as I relayed stories of my mother and things she had done in life. It was hard to laugh through the tears, but we did that anyway. I think that my mother would have liked to hear those stories just one more time. I hope that she was listening.

If I had just one more minute left with her in a lucid state, what I would do is an easy thought exercise for me to undertake. I would say “Mom, we love you. You are wonderful. You have helped so many people, but now it is your time to rest.” And I would spend the rest of the minute giving her the biggest hug that I could… because she always gave those kinds of hugs to us in life.

Nothing fancy. Just love, kind words, and hugs. Lots of hugs.

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