My Mother: As Well As I Knew Her

In loving memory of Emma Louise Davis (Balog) – 9/3/1940 – 1/19/2011

My mama turned 41 the year I was born.  I was her only child, and she doted on me better and more than any June Cleaver or Mama Berenstein Bear ever could have.

She was a homebody, and tho she’d never admit to it–she suffered from crippling anxiety and fear about many things.

My mama loved to read books. She researched everything, and she was actually brilliant, yet genuinely humble.

She was a stewardess with Southwest Airlines in the 60’s (when that was a glamourous job), and bought her own house as a single woman in the 70’s.

She travelled around the world before I was ever born, ever the spiritual seeker. My mama only lived to be 69 years old, although she was extremely health-conscious.

I only had 30 years of my life with her…the last of which was very difficult and sad.  Two weeks after the birth of my fourth child, my mom fell in her kitchen and broke the head of her femur cleanly off.  She was slated for hip replacement surgery and was supposed to be walking again within weeks.

However, during the surgery, she started having a series of strokes that took away most of her movement, including her ability to swallow or speak.

She spent the larger part of her last 14 months in a nursing home, with a feeding tube in her stomach, unable to communicate except with her eyes and one of her hands.  In a way, I grieved more in the first few months of her decline than now.  We used to talk on the phone for at least an hour several times a week, about nothing much at all. Continue reading