a particular day

December 02, 2005

Lorena Imogene Barbour (1922-2005)

I spent part of this evening watching as mom, aunt and brother sifted through boxes upon boxes of my grandmother's photos.

Her vitals had fallen yesterday, and the lady from hospice said it wouldn't be much longer. There wouldn't be time to bring her home. Family was called and we came to this foreign place to hold her hand.

How much thinner she was from just Thanksgiving.

How the structure of her face was visible.

How each of us would take turns bedside.

I looked at her more intently than perhaps I had ever looked at her before. Her skin, so radiant and clear. Her hair, although in disarray, was thick and mostly not gray. I wished selfishly for those genes.

She squeezed our hands and said things. I hovered inches from her mouth to hear the words, "It's all been so wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful..." trailing off as she would close her eyes and give the hint of a great smile. Like she just had the best lemonade in the heat of summer.

These moments happened between abrupt starts of wide eyes and clutching. Clutching her robe, the oxygen line, the air. And then to sleep.

She passed shortly after the final family member left for the night. Peacefully.

Filed in: Family |

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My condolences.
We lost two people in our family: my husbands' Nana and a family friend. Both lost to cancer.
Your post was short and very sweet. Made me feel like I was there in the room.
Glad she had family with her at the end.

Posted by: Laurie Fields | Nov 22, 2011 9:54:02 AM

my thoughts are with you, chris. i have lost a brother and my mother. isn't that whole process of death surreal?

Posted by: chuck | Dec 12, 2005 12:49:12 AM

Our condolences, Chris. Thanks for sharing her with us online.

Posted by: Brian Bird | Dec 7, 2005 8:55:37 PM

My sincerest condolences to you and your family Chris.
Thank you for sharing this. You are such a beautiful writer.

Posted by: Catalina | Dec 5, 2005 10:56:26 AM

Sorry for you loss. My condolences. Touching memory, well done.

Posted by: duane | Dec 4, 2005 1:24:31 PM

my sincere condolences to you and your family.

Posted by: neal gardner | Dec 4, 2005 12:18:44 AM

Thank you for sharing those last moments, Chris. You wrote it beautifully.

Stay true and strong.

Posted by: Naz | Dec 3, 2005 12:02:16 PM

it was fortunate to finish together.

Posted by: A.J. | Dec 3, 2005 10:53:57 AM

my sincere condolences.

Posted by: andrés | Dec 3, 2005 9:40:22 AM

thanks for your thoughtful words chris. may your family take good care of each other during this time.

Posted by: Sean | Dec 3, 2005 7:30:29 AM

thinking of you and your family, chris.

Posted by: angie | Dec 3, 2005 5:53:06 AM

Touching words, Chris.

My heart goes out to you and your family.
Sincerest condolences in this difficult time.

Posted by: davis | Dec 3, 2005 12:46:43 AM

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