I knew my mother, Joan Marie (Kelly) Kenny, every day of my life. She died yesterday afternoon after being briefly hospitalized for an infection in an artificial heart valve that slowly overwhelmed her body.
Through the miracle of technology, I was able to speak to her on a phone held to her ear while I said goodbye if by goodbye I'm allowed to include sobbing uncontrollably while apologizing for crying and being comforted by the woman who gave birth to me and my brothers and sisters.
Mom died very much as she lived, with quiet determination on her own terms and with her eyes wide open, rarely blinking because she knew losing sight of where the bastards of this planet are, even for a moment, could be catastrophic. There was nothing she would and could not do for her children as I know all too well.
There was, in the end, too little, I, as her oldest could do for her. Kara, my sister who was with her in the hospital, told me Mom's heart was slowing down and she was sleeping more than she was awake so I was grateful she was awake when I called so she could hear me tell her how much I loved her one last time in this life.
Mom believes in heaven and I have no doubt that after her sometimes hellish almost nine decades here on earth that is where she is. Mitch Albom wrote,"when death takes your mother, it steals that word forever." The only solace I take in that thought is that forever is only my lifetime and no longer.