11/14/15 Update on Jim’s Mom

Jim’s mom, Therese – well, it’s actually Theresa, but she likes Therese – has been with hospice care about a month. Today, Jim was called suddenly by his brother and told that he needed to come see his mom now. So he went, in the middle of his workday. Jim just turned the van around, got on the expressway, and off he went.

Therese is heavily sedated on morphine. She is not lucid at this time. The family believes it is a matter of days. Her passing should be peaceful. I don’t think Jim realized how frail his mom was. Jim’s father passed away several years ago, right before Thanksgiving. I believe his mom will follow suit.

Any good thoughts and prayers you can send to help ease her passing, and for my husband and family, are greatly appreciated.

My relationship with Therese has been a difficult one. Now is not the time to elaborate. However, I respected her a great deal. She had a very rough life. Born in 1925, she was brought up in the Great Depression. She had five children. She and her husband, Jim, lost their two middle boys to muscular dystrophy. There is so much muscular dystrophy in Ireland that they even have a saying for it: “they lost the walk”. Therese was their chief caregiver, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therese and her husband, Jim, collected no money from the state and took care of the boys themselves. I cannot begin to fathom how terrible it must have been to have buried Pat and then a year later, Mike. Both boys were not expected to live past 10 but made it to 21 and 22, respectively. I am sure it was because of the love and care they received. Pat was Salutatorian of his class – one of the first “wall free” college classrooms – and he received his degree posthumously. Therese has a little red metal box and in it is a picture of Mike. Jamie bears a strong resemblance to the uncle he never met.

Therese went on to bury her husband and her oldest son, Lawrence. Jim and John are the survivors.

I was walking with Maggie and doing a lot of deep thinking about Jim’s mom, and how I am sure that her husband and three boys are waiting for her with open arms. About what a joyous reunion it will be. I can only imagine!

I will keep you all posted, and thank you very much.

Your friend, Elizabeth

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