My dear mother, Marilyn Luehrman, finally found relief from pain and therefore eternal peace early last Friday when she was reunited with my dad in death. Marilyn suffered from various health issues that complicated her life in the last several years but she seemed very pleased to have lived long enough to welcome her first great grandchild, Coulter, and have a chance to visit with her four children as well as other family members in her last days.
I spent much of the last 11 months at her side as she navigated her final pathway thru a maze of doctor visits and living solutions until palliative care became her balm. She used to tell me that she didn’t want to ask me for my time until she really needed it….as if she were saving me in reserve for future use when desperately needed it. Not unexpectedly, we got to the point in the last months and weeks when she finally said, ‘Don’t leave me’, and I didn’t. I have no regrets about that since I cared so entirely for her until the very end.
She would be pleased that so many people who interacted with her in her final weeks have since contacted me to send their condolences at her passing. The woman from hospice who came to bathe her, Angel, called and was almost in tears and many others have done the same.
Marilyn never liked the camera since she felt it didn’t like her, but I can’t resist a few of my favorite snaps here. This is my favorite photo of her with my dad. They posed for me for fun on the motorcycle of their dear friends, Martha and Bert North and I remember that day with them very clearly. Here is another one that she actually liked…it is one that I took when I was a senior in high school using my old Canon film camera (I’m sure I can find the old B&W neg if I look in the right places) when she was so glad to see my brother, Tim, back from Amherst College for a visit at home. I have many more photos of her that I could share but she would probably want me to stop there with her favorites. In the end, her goals in life were to be a constant mother figure to her children and to spend as much time with my father, her Dear Pete, as possible…I hope that is exactly where she is right now, reunited with him at last.