27 May 2008

Auf Wiedersehen, Mein Deutche Mama

The last week of April, the mother of one of my dearest friends was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, which had spread to her liver and the surrounding lymph nodes. Her doctor gave her, at most, six months to live.

She died at 3:45 this a.m., surrounded by her children and loved ones. I'm told she went peacefully - no machines or condescending care givers, just birds singing outside her window, the sound of the wind in the trees, and the music she loved.

I've always called her my "Deutche Mama" because Martina was originally from Germany and she treated me like a member of her family from the moment her son, my friend, introduced us well over 20 years ago.

I will always remember her smiling face, her loving nature, her kindness and generosity, the strength of her faith. In my mind's eye I see her in the big kitchen of the retreat center where she lived and worked (for some reason she has flour on her hands). She's busy taking care of everyone around her, me included.

My life is that much richer for having had her gentle presence in my life and she will be greatly missed.


Mrs. Chicken said...

I'm so sorry, Missy. Thinking of you.

Jenna said...

Sorry for your loss. It is an amazing gift to have these special people in our lives.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

My brother fought pancreatic cancer for 15 months until his death last year. It is the most horrible cancer anyone can face. My sympathy to you.

Tim Kocher said...

I just saw this, Missy - thanks for writing it, I have shared it with my siblings. The image of her you describe is vivid and true to life. My mom loved you a lot, and would have blushed to read such a nice tribute.