Sally: A Memoir


My own mother’s story continues to bring me new life.

I have thought a lot about my mother this past week, as I celebrated my Mother’s Day as an eternally blessed mother and grandmother. She passed almost two years ago, and I miss her more each day. There is a piece of me that left this world with her, the relationship that was ours alone remains our unique dance. Yet I am grateful for her story, one which is shared in my memoir and continues to bring me ever new life.

Her story is not heroic, it is one of a strong and independent woman from her generation. My mother was both a mirror of the unspoken culture of her times, and also helped to break that mirror as a very independent thinker. For this, I thank her everyday. Her story is, though, one of a woman choosing family over career, struggling through her aging years which witnessed great loss for her as her vision and mobility grew ever more limited. Ultimately, it is the story of her walk through the medical system and her choice to say she had had enough.

Her gift to me was her story, the story of aging and decline. The story of needing an advocate within our medical system that continues to believe that life at all costs is to be the norm. It is the story of my own loss, my own struggle to remain an objective hospice nurse so that her care would be delivered as she chose it. But my most cherished gift came in being allowed to share myself as a Reiki Master with her, helping to allow her most peaceful transition from this world. And to spend those intimate hours with her before she passed.

My life has changed enormously since then. I am now sharing myself with others to help educate and illuminate end of life care and choices. And I am offering my services as an independent End of Life Consultant, as a guide and coordinator. Somewhere inside me, I knew then that this was to be my path, but to be walking firmly along it so soon is a truly blessed gift.