A Tribute to My Mom

William L. Snead

It was fall. The swirling, bronzed leaves blew hither and thither as the shining sun hid behind billowy white clouds.

I was five years old, and as I looked up at the door and through the portal, there appeared the bronzed face of my beautiful Mom.

She called, “How about your breakfast? Come in and eat!” And the little boy scrambled for eggs when he was called in for his meal.

After breakfast, beautiful Mom walked me to school on my first day. As we walked, a squirrel hustled for his nest.

In school, we stood up to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Then our teacher, Miss Brown, sat at the piano and played “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” and we all sang the song. Then we studied colors and letters.

After two hours, the school bell rang, and Mom was standing in the doorway with a smile on her face. She said, “Time to go home where we’re never alone.”

Years later, on Mother’s Day, my brother and sisters gathered with me. Mom and Dad were not around. They probably went to town. We were preparing for Mom’s return, and we baked a chocolate cake. We made potato salad, baked beans, and a gift of puppy love in a small dog named King.

When Mom returned and walked through the door, she saw King. As tears streamed down her face, she held the puppy close and said, “Thank you for all you’ve done!” King licked her tears away.

One by one, the years went by, and we all left home. Mom encouraged our family to do our best. Her encouragement was like a lighthouse beacon for all of us to follow into the world of success. We did just that.

I missed her very much and called and spoke to her at least once a week. Her voice warmed me from top to bottom. It was like a warm wind blowing in from heaven to clean up all the smog in the air.

As Mom grew old and Dad passed, my sisters and brother were concerned about Mom’s health. One day while in the basement, Mom fell and broke her right hip. It required surgery. After 30 days, Mom was gathering her belongings to come home. While arranging her clothes, her sweater got caught in the walker wheel, and she fell and broke the left hip. All of us were devastated. Mom would need another surgery. The good news was Mom made a full recovery.

When home, Mom needed assistance, so I went to live with her. I worked in the local paper mill, and Mom appeared to be progressing and doing fine.

One morning when I awoke, she was holding her stomach and grimacing in pain. I rushed her to the hospital emergency room. The prognosis was not good; at 90 years of age, she needed to have surgery. But would she live through it?

I gave consent. The surgeon removed three inches of infected colon, and she would need a colostomy bag. Mom made a partial recovery and had to live in a nursing home.

In time, Mom adjusted to life at the nursing home, and she seemed content, but dementia was beginning to take its toll. The doctor put her on an anti-depressant because of the state of her mind and mood. He put her on various medications, and there were any number of side effects.

After weeks of prescribing different medicines, one was found that actually had a partial effect. She seemed somewhat better, but the dementia grew progressively worse. At 95, she developed full dementia and at times didn’t know who she was. She would talk about her mother, father, sisters, and brothers.

The doctor decided to make a change in the anti-depressant. He weaned her off the medication. The next day she suffered a severe stroke, and the day after she passed away.

We all loved my mother, the greatest
Mom ever.

Because of a change in medicine, Mom lost her precious life. She left behind this world so filled with stress and strife.

Then she walked through that last portal to meet her closest friend.