Sunday, June 3, 2012


Monday is the day on which my mother would have celebrated her birthday. She is no longer with us. She left this world in November 2007. Were she here, she would be 93 years of age.

Dementia and the physical incapacities of aging made her last years difficult for her and those who loved her. You will all understand when I say that when she passed away, it was met by her family with sadness, gratitude that she could be gone, and relief. None of those emotions were wrong or are wrong. My father had found the last year or more so hard that he needed my brother's presence just to make the visits to his beloved wife that he wanted to make. Dad concealed the depth of his own loss as privately as he had always lived with personal matters. He seemed adjusted to life alone. He was four years older than his wife, Tina. Yet at last, the emptiness was enough. He too could no longer sustain life and six months after Tina died, Ed too said goodbye, privately and alone. Dad was gone at 93 years of age and were he alive he would be 97.

I've got so many million years I just can't count them. Those were the words of a spiritual that was among Dad's and Mom's favourites. Sung by Stuart Hamblen, the words became familiar around our home. "When I close my eyes in sleep, say amen but don't you weep. I've got so many million years I just can't count them."

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