I Am Here...

 ...though you may not know it.  Or maybe you do.

I sit here.  I read.  I write.  I text.  I just am.

But I want you to know that I am here.  So every once in a while, I speak to you.  Loudly, but with love. I've stroked your head, your cheek, your back and your arm.  You don't respond, but that is okay.

You sleep seemingly peacefully and that's something I wanted.  I think it's what you wanted to.

What are you dreaming?  What are you thinking?  I wish I knew.  I wish I knew if you know that I am here.  I am here.

I brought in a photo of your grandson.  The one that you really liked.  (And I liked too).  The nurse taped it to the side of your bed.  If you do awake, you should be able to see it.  Even if you don't, it is there and that is okay too.

I listen to you breathe.  You sound like you always did...or at least as I can recall when you would go to sleep at night and I could hear you.  The slight snoring and soft ahhh.

I say that I love you.  I tell you that I walked on the beach this morning.  It was the first time this season.  Even though I have been back and forth many times over the past few months, I haven't walked the beach.  So I did this morning.  It was overcast.  The beach was narrow.  The water was not too cold when it hit my feet.  There are so many houses.  The beach is still a beautiful place; the place that you loved so much, but there are so many houses back from the sand.  So many houses; I don't think you'd like it.  I know I don't like it.  If you were awake, we could talk about that.  About how the small stretch of land has been filled to capacity with homes that grow higher and higher.

I wish we could walk on the beach, the two of us.  I wish we could float down the "river" that the tides would make.  The little pool of water that would form between the shore and the bar, not deep, but just deep enough to float in and let us drift with the wind.

Do you dream of the beach?  In your mind, do you recall the bay and the boats that go sailing on it?  I know you wanted to go back and watch the boats race.  To run the races properly, keeping track of the boat numbers and the timing, which was difficult and frustrating, but you always did it.  I know you miss it and I know that you hate that you are not there this season.  

As I sit here and watch you breathe and sleep, I hope you have found the peace that has been missing from your life for...a month?  Several months?  A year?  You seem to be restful.  I hope I am right.

And I am here.   I hope you know that I carry you in my heart.  I always will.

(Note:  I wrote this around 1:30 this afternoon.  An hour or later, as I held her hand, my mother stopped breathing.  She died peacefully [at least that’s how it appeared to me].  I am so grateful that I had time with her today, even if she was not awake. I am glad that I stayed with her.  I am thankful that I was with her as she ended her journey.  Even though she was not awake, I feel that she knew I was there. It was where I was supposed to be.)


  1. Beth, I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. Sending you, Steve, James and your entire family love, and of course, hugs. ❤️

  2. Beth, I am so sorry. A doctor friend told me that a patient of his woke from a coma and
    thanked him for what he had said while she was “sleeping.” Your mom knew you were there. You did everything you could for her, including being with her. Sending love, hugs and prayers - Candy

  3. So sorry for your loss. But also your gain in those moments. Hugs.

  4. Oh Beth how beautifully written. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. I feel the way you wrote about this journey was very cathartic ( not sure if that is the correct use of the word as I am not a writer like you) for everyone who knew your Mom. I was touched by so many of your words. I felt like I was there with you. I hope you felt that in some way so you knew you weren't alone. And I do believe your Mom ended her time here on Earth peacefully which is something we all desire. I will pop over to see if I can do something constructive for you up North while you are down in Normandy.

  5. Dearest Beth,

    Please thank your dear husband, Steve, for the call he made today to share with me the sad news that my dearest and best friend of over 50 years' time, your beloved Mom Betsy, had passed away. His voice and words held such kindness. He touched my heart deeply, for he knew this news would leave me feeling broken in heart beyond words. In recent years, each time I would phone her, or she surprised me with a call, I always made sure that before our visit ended, I told her "I love you." And I meant it, every time.

    Betsy Foster was a force of nature; and to each of us who knew her intimately and loved her dearly, utterly unforgettable. She was giftedly intelligent, full of no-nonsense common sense, and fiercely loyal in friendship. One of the things I found most endearing about her is that when something really tickled her, her eyes would literally disappear, crinkling shut when she laughed.

    Your memoir of her final illness is written so beautifully, Beth; so tender and caring. You are the embodiment of everything Betsy cared about. Her parents, your father, your late brother John, and you are the people she cherished most in this world; and you are the absolute best, brightest part of the legacy she leaves behind.

    As I read your post this evening, I felt a sense of healing come into my heart; for I knew Betsy was not alone when she breathed her last; but with you, her precious Beth. May we all have a similar blessing one day/

    With love always and ever,

    Your "Mrs. L," Sharon Leedham

  6. Beth, so sorry for your loss but happy that your mom is at rest,

  7. Dear Beth - so sorry to hear of your loss. Your love for her came through so beautifully in your blog posts. You are in our prayers. Wishing you peace and love, Tom & Lisa

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