Tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary since my Mom passed away from complications of liver disease caused by autoimmune hepatitis. I had flown to Florida to care for her through her stay in ICU, the hospital, and the rehab center before we could fly her home to my brother’s and get her in hospice care.

I became her full-time caretaker, learning to manage her medications, use a bedpan, change the bed linens while she was still in the bed, and to try to keep a positive outlook and cheery disposition for her during an incredibly hard time.

Those weeks of caring for her were some of the hardest times I had ever faced. They were also some of the most touching and beautiful times I can remember.

I got in the habit of taking whatever few minutes I had free to spend outside in the wildlife garden, to drink deeply of the calm and beauty of nature around me. These moments of quiet appreciation for the beauty of the moment became my sustaining force to help me get through the day. When things became overwhelming as each day progressed, I could return in my mind to those precious moments and be grateful that I had been present in that moment.

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