Thursday, January 27, 2011

What is the definition of generous?

Generous (adj.)

generous - willing to give and share unstintingly; "a generous donation"
charitable - full of love and generosity; "charitable to the poor"; "a charitable trust"
generous - not petty in character and mind; "unusually generous in his judgment of people"
unselfish - disregarding your own advantages and welfare over those of others

The only thing missing from those definitions is a photo of my Mom. In life, she was such a caring, giving woman. Before she retired, she worked as a nurse who cared for geriatric patients, most of whom were at the end of their lives on this earth. A few days ago, before we lost her, I was filing some papers away and found some cards that were given to her by patient's families. While reading them I felt such happiness; they were talking about my Mom! She loved and cared for her patients as though they were her own family, and her kindness and generosity was always so appreciated by their loved ones.

Now, in death, she is doing one of the most generous things I believe a person can do. She made the very altruistic choice to donate her body to a University/School of Medicine here in Georgia. Her decision was based on not only the memory of her days in nursing school (where there was a serious lack of cadavers to learn by), but also by the knowledge that her lymphoma and leukemia could possibly help someone battling those terrible diseases in the future.

I am crying tears of pride as I write this tonight. Although we won't be having the traditional funeral or service, just knowing that her gift will enrich and expand a future doctor or nurse's knowledge brings me such peace.

Although I was the only one there with her when she took her final breath, Mark and Renee came to be by my side as quickly as they could safely get to the hospital. We said our last goodbyes in a lovely, quiet room, just the four of us. We had plans for her last days to be at home with us with hospice, but that wasn't meant to be. Instead, we shared an experience that reminded me so much of the day Renee was born, except that we were saying goodbye to Mom instead of hello to baby Renee. There were tears, hugs, and smiles. It seemed surreal, yet perfect, that we were able to be there together. It was just a special, beautiful moment in our lives.

She will be with us forever, in our hearts.

6 comments:

Kimba said...

I never got the chance to meet your mom in person, but the loving words from all of you about her made me feel as though I did. She certainly was a generous person and she will be missed by many.

Hugs to you all.

Tink *~*~* said...

LOVE the photo. LOVE you! Please be extra nice to yourself.

xxx
*~*~*

Christa said...

A beautiful dedication to your mom. Her generous spirit has given a wonderful gift to aspiring nurses and doctors. Her generous spirit has also influenced all of you because you are the most generous family I know!

Gloria Caruso said...

The apple does not fall far from the tree, and though I never met your mom or you for that matter I know you as a person and your heart. You are one special person, and she had a lot to do with that. Your mom is without pain and happier now. She is always with you. God bless you all during this time, now I have been thinking of you. HUGE {{{HUGS}}} glo

Tootie said...

Mare that was a beautiful post and tribute to your Mother. I know she must be as proud of you, as you are of her. She lives on through you. :) Hugs...

MariBy said...

Mare, I am so very, very sorry to hear of your family's loss...your beloved sister will watch over her now.

Many gentle hugs to you, Renee and Mark.