In Which Mama Florrie Says Good-Bye

2016 was a brutal year. 

It was a year of Loss, and Anger, and Sadness, and Change. It was a year of New Beginning, and Hope, and Improvement, and Relief. That was my year; I don’t know about yours. 

Just when I thought the end was in sight, I got a call on December 3, 2016, from Mama Florrie’s daughter Rose that Mama Florrie wasn’t doing well. 

The call came on a Saturday, and Sugar and I were planning our annual FlowerFest for the following day. We decided we’d go see Mama Florrie the following weekend. 

Later that afternoon, Sugar decided we needed to see her the next day. 


On Sunday, December 4, 2016, Sugar and I drove to the little town of Estill to the nursing home where Mama Florrie had been living for several months. 

The Stiles M. Harper Building

The Estill Convalescent Center. There was a nice gentleman standing in front of the sign having a conversation with himself. I didn’t ask him to move so that I could get a better angle of the sign.


We found two of Mama Florrie’s children in the room with her. Rose and Harold were happy to see us. 

Mama Florrie was curled up in the bed. She couldn’t speak, but she knew that we were there. In the past, when we were having a conversation, she might nod her head and say, Ooooh, yeah, in a soft, high coo. Today all she could manage was a small faraway coo when I talked to her, and I knew that she was there. 

Two of her grandchildren called using video chat. Have you used it? It was a small act of closure for that day, although at that point we couldn’t know how much longer she had. I could hold the iPhone so that they could see her, and she could hear them. She responded to their voices with more soft coos and by squeezing my hand. 

Her adopted daughter came in with a tabletop Christmas tree and little stockings to hang. The whole time, we were having conversations around her bed, and Harold would check to make sure she was tucked in properly. 

Before we left, a nurse came in with Mama Florrie’s medicine. The nurse asked her if she wanted the medicine, and she gave a small, vigorous nod, and she swallowed the liquid painkiller that she was offered. 

When we left, she was resting. 

The next morning, I got two calls at work from Rose. One was to say that Mama Florrie wasn’t doing well and it wouldn’t be long. The second call was to say that she was gone.

(To be continued)



2 Responses to “In Which Mama Florrie Says Good-Bye”

  1. The Coastal Crone Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

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