Somewhere over the Rainbow ... Again

I wrote a post with this same title back on March 28, 2010. It was the
first, but not the last, time we expected my mother to pass away.

You may be aware that my mother was suffering from Alzheimer's. She passed away on Friday.

As my sister said on her Facebook page, it was "The Long Goodbye."

I'd like to say it was the "Very, very, very, very, very Long Goodbye."

Mom had the awful disease for at least 16 years. The last five or so, she was in a largely vegetative state. There were at least four times between March 28, 2010 and now where we thought she would pass away ... but then she got better enough to continue to live, albeit on a low level.

Even this week, when my sister, my father and I were with her at a Hospice house in Tacoma, Washington, it looked as though Mom's life might continue for a couple more weeks.

She was getting no nourishment or fluids except for a small amount of fluid delivering morphine.

A small amount of supplemental oxygen was enough to keep her body, that hadn't been demanding much for years, going. We made the decision to remove the oxygen on Friday, and she crashed within 30 minutes.

She had been getting superlative care at an adult family home for many years, but the home got shut down unexpectedly a week ago. Mom was moved to a new facility, and that marked the beginning of her truly final end. We believe it was God's intervention. Had the home not been shut down, how many more years would she have been in a vegetative state?

It'd been a while since she opened her eyes. But in her last breath, she opened them wide and looked for a moment at her husband of 66 years. In that time, he was able to tell her how much he loved her, and to say goodbye, before she closed her eyes again forever.

We had her memorial yesterday, on Mother's Day. About 50 were in attendance, mostly family. It was a gorgeous day in Western Washington. All the lilacs were in bloom. Anyone who wanted to was able to share a memory of Dorothy. If she was looking down from Heaven, I think she would've been very pleased with our loving send-off.

The memorial was at noon. We had a light lunch afterwards, and then after that, when we had cleared the church (Seventh-Day Baptist in Auburn), many family members headed for Lake Tapps for a picnic and boating.

Below is a happy picture of my great-niece and nephew in their grandpa's 'Zuke, loaded with flowers to be taken home.


  1. You have my deepest condolences Catherine. I'm glad your mother's passing, when it finally happened, was peaceful. Alzheimer's is an evil, pernicious disease. I know you and your family must have gone through so much all these years your mom was ill and hopefully can find some solace in the fact that she is no longer suffering. My thoughts are prayers are with you and your family.

  2. I am so happy there is no more suffering in your family. Although your mother's passing is bittersweet, I pray your happy memories cover the sadness from the last 16 years. Safe travels back to Idaho! Teresa :)

  3. So sorry for your loss, Cathy. So much love in your words! Her spirit surely sores on. I wish peace and warmth for you and your family as you continue to love, reflect and live.

  4. I'm thinking of you, Cathy. It sounds like it was very much time for her to go, but it's never easy. Much love!

  5. Blessings and prayers for you and your family! Your Mom is now at peace.

    Take Care.


  6. Sorry to hear about your mother, Cathy.

  7. With sympathy, Cathy, at your loss. The photo of your mother is simply beautiful.

  8. So sorry, Cathy - for the passing of your mother as well as my belated note.

    As you know, I went through similar circumstance last year and I totally understand that l-o-n-g goodbye, and the emotional toll that it takes on all your lives. What a blessing that your dad was able to speak with her before her passing.


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