Good friends are our angels on earth…helping us along, supporting us, and loving us for who we are, with all of our strengths and our shortcomings. This week my mom’s best friend in the Care Center is going to lose her battle against a fast acting cancerous brain tumor. Three weeks ago, mom’s friend, Signe, started to act out with anger and other uncharacteristic behaviors, so her daughter brought her in to get a MRI. They found a huge brain tumor, that had grown so fast and big, that there was no longer any hope for a successful surgery. Signe became an angel for my mom in many ways, and I know mom was one for her, as well.
Mom got to know Signe well early last fall when mom began to start eating out more in the dining room with the other residents. She clicked with Signe right away, as they were both very personable and friendly. Signe was closer to my mom’s age. She had strong conversational skills and was very inquisitive and cheerful, much like my mom. When I talk with mom about her friend passing soon, she sadly says, “Now who am I going to be friends with? She was the only one who has their wits about them!” A funny quirk was that my mom thought her name was Sydney, instead of Signe, even though I tried to correct her many times! Signe never seemed to mind mom calling her by a different name 🙂
Signe’s friendship was very instrumental in helping my mom get acclimated and comfortable there. They ate 3 meals a day together, and often spent times in between meals sitting at the table talking and sharing tea together. It got to the point where if we were with mom taking a walk, and it was close to dinner time, she would get anxious and say, “we need to hurry and get back, because Signe and I are eating dinner together, and she will wonder where I am if I’m not there!” I would sometimes get annoyed that she seemed to want to be with her friend more than me, but I also thought it was sweet, and I was very grateful that she was finally finding some happiness there.
My young kids and I got to know Signe well. She loved to see their joyful spirits and talk and visit with them. In many ways, my kids have become like grandkids to her and the other residents. They all just light up when they see us coming down the hall. I think we remind them of their own kids and grandkids and it helps to cheer them up. It is very rewarding to spread that kind of love and energy to people who desperately need it.
Yesterday I talked to Becky, Signe’s daughter, who told me with much emotion how grateful she was that my mom came in to her mom’s life, and what a good friend she was to her. She said that my mom was like her mom’s guardian angel, & that she was always so friendly and sweet to Signe. Signe was up sitting off in the living room when my daughter Anna & I got there. She was unresponsive, yet awake & staring off. I told her that we were praying hard for her. Becky said that her mom wanted to get out of bed to see Donna (my mom). I felt so sad for her and her family, yet very grateful that my mom was able to be that kind of friend to her during her last months on earth.
I thank God for sending Signe into my mom’s life. They were both so blessed to get to know each other when they did. I truly believe that God sends people into our lives exactly when we need them the most. We will miss you Signe….our special, one of a kind angel friend.