20 comments / Posted by Catherine Hickland


"Love and appreciate your parents. We are often so busy growing up, we forget they are also growing old." -Unknown

A few shorts days ago, I lost my Mom due to a long-time illness brought on by a series of strokes.

My mother was a vibrant, sassy, sometimes bitchy, and incredibly funny lady.

She was 91, in a lot of pain, and even still, retained her sense of humor to the very end. I was telling her funny stories about being on the road with my pet chicken for seven weeks, and every call always started out with her asking, "How’s the chicken?"

I told her that the chicken was my "Henny Boo Boo," and she laughed as much as she had strength for. Only people who know and love me would understand why on Earth I would drive across the country with a chicken, and she got me completely.

My mom was really strict, and you didn’t dare cross her. I had a curfew, which was 11:00PM during high school on weekends, and if I came back at 11:01pm, I was going to have to sleep outside in the wet grass; that was that.

She was a tough negotiator because it was her way or no way. I slept outside a few times, but only a few.

It taught me to be on time, be respectful, and live by rules and boundaries, which were there for my own good.

Relationships between mothers and daughters can be complicated. She did things that drove me nuts, but I did the same with her I am sure. Being a mother isn’t easy.

To the end she was vintage Mom. She waited until my seven week tour was finished and I got back safely before she let go.

My last words to her were,  "I Love you, I love you, I love you, I love you."

And I guess that was all she needed to hear. She had always said she wanted to go in her sleep, and so she did, I am grateful for that.

When a person is ill, and dying over an extended period of time, it’s hard on them and hard on us. It’s painful to know they are ready to leave their human suit and move on to their spiritual life but aren’t able to exit until they are called.

When they finally do get to go home, it leaves those of us who loved and knew them feeling alternately sad and relieved all at once. The sadness seems to prevail after the initial shock wears off, but this is an appropriate emotion for the monumental loss of a loved one.

I feel blessed to have her as long as we did.

Motor response is a funny thing, as in the past dew days I have woken up and said, “Oh gosh I need to call Mom, its getting late back on the East Coast,” only to remember that the time change from here to Heaven is not nearly as long.

I simply stop what I am doing, go outside and talk to her. It’s instantaneous. If I stop and quiet my mind, I can feel her presence in my heart and she feels good there. She is now part of the great I am, at one with everything and present everywhere in my life.

I am grateful she lived to see me accomplish my goals, and dream new dreams. She was so happy to see me fall in love and marry a great man, as a mother always wishes that for her children.

Mary, this one’s for you. Thank you for bringing me into this big world, I am so grateful for my life.

Imagine all of the people who wouldn’t be here if not for you! It’s going to be weird not to have to remember to send you a tube of Pounce once in awhile…

Enjoy Heaven My Angel.  

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

-Your "Little Thing"


  • Posted On November 05, 2013 by Alison Gorman

    Mary Hickland, God love you. You were one of my Mom’s best friends and Oh, how we loved to visit you. I lost her, too in 2009 at the age of 86. We talked of you so often and we always laughed. She also had a rough time having had a broken back from a senseless fall, several heart attacks and strokes, but the two of you were tough gals and I know you two are up there looking down on us and watching over us. Just so you know, remember your beautiful Italian yellow flowered chandelier you gave to Mom, she cherished it all of her life and now it hangs above my desk. She would always say, “my friend Mary Hickland gave me that beautiful lamp”. She loved you Mary, and so did I. You were her very dear friend. With Love across time, Alison

  • Posted On November 01, 2013 by Ruth

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, Cat. My deepest sympathies on the loss of your beloved mother. I am going down that same road, as I have been the sole caregiver for my mother since she had a stroke over 9 years ago. I see the decline, yet want her to be able to stay so bad. It’s a bittersweet journey…as we don’t want to see them suffer, yet there is that part of us that don’t want to let go. I attended a Memorial Service for my Godmother this morning, and didn’t realize how hard it would hit me. I am sure that we all share the same feelings of thanks, for you to share such personal feelings with us. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Posted On October 08, 2013 by Colleen

    Your story made me cry.. I am so sorry for your loss. My best friend, my Mother, Alice Rankin passed away last November. She had always said to me " Not even death can separate us.." I find some peace by thinking this, She was the first person that ever held my hand as I entered this world.. So how fitting was it that I should be holding her’s as she quietly slipped out of it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story…

  • Posted On September 07, 2013 by Sandy

    I’m so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I have tears coming down right now as I’m typing and thinking of the pain she was in. Mothers are truly special. Thank you for this beautiful tribute for us to read. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Bless you Cat. Sincerely, Sandy

  • Posted On September 04, 2013 by cindee

    I am very sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost my husband of 40 years, my only childhood friend of 46 years and my beautiful mother all in a matter of a few months apart. I will always feel blessed having such wonderful people in my life. I will always feel a void in my heart but i know they are still with me on earth, always watching over me. Your mother is still with you and loving you always. God bless you. Sincerely, cindee

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