Mother passed away on Feb 20, 09
God certainly does work in mysterious ways. My mother, Latifeh Mahmoud came to this country a young widow with two small children. She did not know the English language or customs but honored a promise she made to my father as he lay on his death bed, "Take our children to the United States and give them a better life" and she did. My father was an American citizen and mom came to the U.S and raised my brother and I and we struggled as a family but she gave us a home filled with love, honor, respect and safety.
She stressed the importance of hard work, self respect and respect for others, her faith was strong and she was loved by many. She enjoyed entertaining and was the life of any social event because she was the bright star in the room everyone turned to gaze upon.
We were poor growing up, she never accepted any handouts, and she pushed my brother and I to do well in school, he is a neurosurgeon and I became a police officer.
She smoked well chained smoked for many years and developed chronic COPD, she also suffered from congestive heart failure. In Nov of 2004 she was rushed to the hospital and died but was brought back to life, she was incubated with a trachea tube but survived being off of it to the surprise of all her doctors and was released.
I remember praying to God when I heard she was brought to the hospital in an emergency I pleaded with God to give me more time with her as I was not ready to loose her yet and I wanted him to prepare my heart for the day when she was called home to be with him, I also prayed that I would be with her before she died as the thought of not being there with her would devastate me.
This is how God works in mysterious ways, I live in another state, and was not able to be with her all the time but flew home as often as I could to see her. I was married at the time, suffered an ectopic pregnancy, my first real loss, then I went through the loss of never being able to have my own child and then I lost my husband through a divorce and the chance of ever being a mother as we were two months away from adopting, so I had a lot to mourn in the years since 2004, and when the day came that I was told mom was likely not going to survive and I should come up asap, I drove the 6 hours praying I would make it in time.
I got there and she was lying in her bed, weak but alert. For 7 days I sat by her bedside from 9 am till 9 pm, holding her hand, stroking her face, sharing stories, laughing, crying, remembering and on the last day of her life, she knew the time had arrived and my brother and I were both by her side, holding her, kissing her and telling her we loved her, she did not cry once, she was strong, and she told us both to take care of the other, she was not dying but going to be with our father. She also said she heard strange music which we had no idea what she was talking about as there was no music.
She slipped quietly away and I cried many tears, but was thankful I was with her when she passed.
God has indeed prepared my heart for the pain I was about to suffer, and he gave me 7 days with her and I was with her when she took her last breath.
I had a peace with me the whole time, and I still do, I am so thankful for all the pain I went through before my mother passed because that I know is why I am able to endure this pain.
This pain is different, my mother was more than my mother she as my best friend.
There was not one thing I could not tell her, I even shared all my deepest darkest secrets with her, she never judged me, but loved me. I not only lost a mother and best friend but I also lost the one person on this earth who loved me unconditionally and I do miss her terribly.
Not one day goes by where I do not cry.
But I have peace. My mother was such a strong lady, full of love, full of laugher, she had the best sense of humor and I got mine from her.
She came from a country where women were second class citizens, but she was ahead of her time. She taught me to stand up for myself, to believe in myself and to not allow anyone make me believe I could not do what ever I wanted to do.
She was also the best friend to many people in our town, she always had time for a friend, her door was always open and no one could come into our home without eating something.
She loved God with all her heart, she gave up her life to raise my brother and I and she protected us from the rough elements in which we grew up surrounded by. Violence and drugs were everywhere but the neighborhood knew not to mess with my mom, she had their respect and left us alone.
She always pushed us to be our very best, and she was so proud of my brother when he became a neurosurgeon, he was her primary care taker all these years and he gave her what she always wanted, a beautiful house to live in with her own garden.
She was the absolute best cook and gardner, people were amazed at each thing, she could grow anything and even grew a lemon and orange tree from a seed from each. They were big, and her pride and joy. She was even told she should open a restaurant but never did, she managed one once but she had no desire to have a restaurant of her own.
She enjoyed cooking and did this every day.
The thing I miss most is her smile and voice, we talked on the phone every day since the day I moved out at age 23 till now age 43. Not one day went by where we did not speak, and I miss that.
She could make me laugh, she encouraged me and comforted me. She loved me unconditionally and I thank God for giving me that last week of her life and to be able to be with her and hold her when she took her last breath.
He prepared my heart for this day and I thank him for all the suffering that I went through as this is the only reason I have not broken down into a heap of utter misery.
I did not understand why was going through so much loss back to back, but do now.
The best gift ever was just being with her that last week, and being with her when she left this world. I know she is in heaven and free of pain.
Her last years were painful, but she still no matter what, had her sense of humor and generous heart towards others, she always, always, always put others before herself.
There is a void in my heart and a pain that will never go away but I have peace and I know where she is and I know I will see her again. God is good.