Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Is It the 4th Yet?’

 

Four years ago, my Mom passed away and I think about her last weeks with us every year at this time. She had been going downhill for six months or so, and for the last month, she was in the hospital’s CCU for three weeks, then a regular hospital room for two weeks. I guess when you’re 91, a lot of things go downhill fast. But hey, she grew up in and lived through the Great Depression and WWII, was a fantastic dancer and loved to sing, married and raised a family, and loved her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids, so she’d had a great life.

Every day we’d visit her, and she always had the same question; “Is it the 4th of July yet?” We’d say “no Mom, it’s only June (whatever), the 4th is next month.” It was touch and go for a while in the CCU, but she finally stabilized and got into a regular room for a couple of weeks. Still the same question, “Is it the 4th yet?”

She got well enough to transfer to a nursing home/care facility for “rehab,” but I was pretty sure she wouldn’t be getting much rehab. She weighed about 65 pounds and had heart and stomach problems. But they sent her by ambulance to her hometown in West Virginia, and because the nursing home was only about two blocks from my sister’s house, family would be nearby. I lived about 60 miles away but went to get her checked in that Friday (the 1st), and she asked me if it was the 4th yet. “Not yet, Mom.” My sister’s family was on the way home from vacation that weekend, so the next day when a nephew came to visit, she wanted to know what day it was and “Where’s my family?”

Monday was the 4th of July. I got a call from my sister late that morning, “Mom died. The therapist said she was working with her, turned around for a minute, and when she turned back to her, she was gone.”

That’s when we knew why she kept asking.

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  1. Arahant Member

    OldPhil: That’s when we knew why she kept asking.

    Gotta have a goal in life. I seem to remember there were a couple of fellows who also died on the Fourth of July.

    • #1
    • July 4, 2020, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  2. Rodin Member

    When the last date is etched on to our own memorial, “July 4” is as good as it gets. She shares that with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Not bad company.

    • #2
    • July 4, 2020, at 6:19 AM PDT
    • 17 likes
  3. Vectorman Thatcher

    OldPhil:

    Monday was the 4th of July. I got a call from my sister late that morning, “Mom died. The therapist said she was working with her, turned around for a minute, and when she turned back to her, she was gone.”

    Reminds me of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams dying on July 4, 1826:

    Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries who had stood up to the British empire and forged a new political system in the former colonies. However, while they both believed in democracy and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their opinions on how to achieve these ideals diverged over time…

    On July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams lay on his deathbed while the country celebrated Independence Day. His last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” He was mistaken: Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 83.

    • #3
    • July 4, 2020, at 7:05 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  4. kedavis Member

    Somehow I would think a person would be more interested in making it to their own next birthday. But still a great story.

    • #4
    • July 5, 2020, at 12:15 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I would think a person would be more interested in making it to their own next birthday. But still a great story.

    She had celebrated her 91st just before entering the hospital.

    • #5
    • July 5, 2020, at 4:22 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Beautiful. 

    • #6
    • July 5, 2020, at 4:54 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Thank you! My mom loved the 4th of July. It’s a bittersweet holiday because she’s not here with us. My mom died in 2015. Blessings to you and your family.

    • #7
    • July 5, 2020, at 9:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes