MaMa’s Big Full Life

“Man, I had a great life.” MaMa and PaPa Bear

photo

Thirty years ago this past January I stood at my Dad’s gravesite and told a crowd of family, friends and relatives a story that went something like this: “If Dad was standing here with us he’d say, ‘Man, I had a great life.'”

photoMom passed this morning, just weeks short of her 93rd birthday. She battled neuropathy, diabetes, renal disease, and a list of other medical complications that would make WebMD blush. Mom went to dialysis three times a week for six years, never missing a day. Dialysis kicks the crap out of most patients, sapping their energy and motivation to conduct their day-to-day activities. I’d pick up Mom after a four-hour dialysis process and she’d look like she just finished a hair salon appointment and we’d go to a restaurant and pig out.

Mom & I, Circa 1990.

Mom & I, Circa 1990.

I’m certain if Mom was sitting here at the laptop she’d write, “Man, I had a great life.” Is there a more heartening, joyous phrase to utter when the final bell rings to enter the next dimension? I mean really?

Mom and Dad lived in a row house in Philly. Mom drove a Ford Escort, never had a career or hit the lottery, but she was wealthier than many people who live in mansions and drive Mercedes. Proof? The swell of people who stopped by her room in her final days with eyes welling and voices cracking. And the fail-proof sign of a life well-lived–that eternal glimmer in her eye.

MaMa lived a big, full life. We could only be so lucky when the final bell is about to ring to say, “Man, I had a great life.”

Mom, still up for a selfie.

Mom, still up for a selfie at 92.

 

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About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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21 Responses to MaMa’s Big Full Life

  1. Sophie33 says:

    I even never made a selfie! You & your cool mom look great together!

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  2. LB says:

    Jim, it’s been awhile since I’ve had a moment to catch up with my favorites on WP, and I’m glad that I came today. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I loved reading this tribute post to her.
    I smiled over the thought of the two of you sharing a meal after hours of dialysis.
    And that photo! Wonderful!

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    • Jim Brennan says:

      Thanks LB. She was a wonderful woman who lived a long and full life. We put Mom to rest yesterday with a beautiful ceremony and celebrated her life afterward with a spirited reception.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My sincere condolences, Jim. Thank you for sharing this remembrance of your mother with all of us.

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  4. This is such a loving tribute to you mother, Jim – “the fail-proof sign of a life well-lived–that eternal glimmer in her eye.” I am sorry to hear of her death and send heart-healing thoughts to you and your family.

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  5. runner500 says:

    Really sorry to hear about your loss Jim, but I guess it makes it easier to come to terms with when, as we say in the UK, ‘they have had a good innings’ and a full life. It sounds as as though your Mum has done this. A good tribute to her.
    Paul

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    • Jim Brennan says:

      Thank you, my friend. She loved listening to my marathon and ultra stories. She was the only one who never asked me if I was nuts. She believed in me. What more could you ask of a Mom. She certainly did have a good inning (I like that one, thanks for sharing.) Hope your recovery is progressing successfully. Be well.
      jim

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  6. I’m so sorry for your loss.

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  7. shawnasob says:

    I wish your family comfort in this difficult time. How lucky a woman to have lived such a fulfilling life! I often dwell on the fact that all of us have a finite amount of time here and I believe that your parents lives should be an example for those of us who tend to focus on the material things when in fact it is our relationships with one another that really do make us rich. So heres to your mom and your dad! 🙂

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  8. Dennis McCrossen says:

    Jim, sorry for your loss however it sure sounds like your Mom lived a wonderful life. More importantly she not only lived long but lived well

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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    • Jim Brennan says:

      She sure did, Monk. I never heard a negative word from her in sixty years. She was always upbeat, ready to take on whatever life had to throw at her with a smile, all the way to the end. She’ll be missed, but then again she isn’t really gone.

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      • Mark Mangan says:

        She sounds like she definitely instilled the love of life and the positive attitude you live by and pass on to others. Sorry for your loss but happy for what you gained and share.

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        • Jim Brennan says:

          Thanks Mark. I appreciate your kind words. Hope all is well on your end, and happy St Paddy’s Day. Heard from Charlie Mac this morning, the big leprechaun.
          jim

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  9. OmniRunner says:

    Jim, I’m sorry for your loss. It sounds like your mother was a wonderful person. You are a lucky man.
    Andy

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