Mom has been a survivor her whole life. Barely a preteen, she spent not-so-comforting nights sleeping in an air-raid shelter as Germany bombed London every night for three years. This was the Blitz. In the morning she would run off to school as if nothing had changed, return home quickly for an early ‘super’ and down into the shelter before dark. Once I took her to a concert at a church. There, because of lack of seating, people were sitting on their coats on the floor. She soon disappeared and I found her in the ladies room crying. She said it reminded her of the ‘tubes’ in London. The public air- raid shelters were scattered throughout the city, using subway platforms as sleeping areas for those who weren’t fortunate enough to have their own air-raid shelter.
With strong determination, she decided to come to America to be with her love Roger, my father. They met during the war, he in the American Army, she in the Royal Air Force. They built not only a life together but a home together. Mom hammering nails right alongside my dad. They lost the entire house and all it’s contents to a fire when we were out of state visiting. Mom had many trials and tribulations as many of us do but each time she picked her self up and kept on going.
After my father’s passing at the age of 47 she was so lost. Sis and I had to show her how to write out a check to pay a bill. Dad handled it all and even drove her everywhere until about a year before he died when she acquired her driver’s license. She was so naive in many ways.
Frank then came along and offered friendship, love and a sense of stability again. Their marriage eventually brought her to FL and lasted as long as her marriage to my dad. Frank passed in 2000.
So, she survived two husbands and eventually living independently for 12 years in her own home. As she aged, one of her many falls resulted in compressed vertebrae. They patched her up and she was fighting for her life again. A new knee a few years later was the reason she had to carry a card with her through airport security informing them of the metal she had in her body that would set off the Xray. Patched that up and only a few years after that when she moved to Royal Palms she fell again only to break her right femur. Each time she fell and it resulted in an injury, Parris and I felt it would most likely be the beginning of the end. But no! She was a fighter and at 92 years old recovered with a steel rod in her leg!
Even in January after a massive stroke, it appeared she might recover at least most of her abilities. Unfortunately, she began to deteriorate leading to very difficult dementia in the past few months. Her stroke exasperated an already congestive heart failure so common in someone who is over 90. The Dementia is a progressive and a mean disease. You watch your loved one lose their memory and control over their mind. But she fought again against the disease that was taking her mind.
I had never thought before writing this that she was a brave person, but reflecting on her life now, I do. I am at peace knowing that she has rejoined those who she loved and she is out of pain. I had prayed that when she was ready she would simply take a deep breath and go in her sleep and that is exactly what happened. I had hoped to see her once more and hug her and tell her I loved her but wasn’t able to. But she knows it. Her memory and mother’s love will live on within me forever.