"STERNBERG Shirley Sternberg, age 89, May 8, 2012, Mount Carmel East Hospital. Any family and or friends, please call 291-3040"
The above is how my sister found out our mother passed away. She was in Columbus Ohio. We have no
idea how or why she was there. She was such a tormented soul, but very resourceful when she needed to
My sister call the number and found out a few things about the last year of her life. It was said, by a Chaplain,
she had an apartment, signed herself into a nursing home, then, and we don't know what period of time, she signed herself out, but by then she had lost her apartment, and wound up in a homeless shelter, until she could
get another apartment. (Sorry to say, that wasn't the first time she went to a homeless shelter.)
She had breast cancer that ate into her lungs. At the end she was in Mt Carmel E Hospital, and after a losing battle she allowed the staff to administer morphine for the pain. She passed in peace, the first she had in many
Our whole story is way too long to write about at this time, but we have been estranged for many years, not due to anything on our part. The one comfort for me, is the last time we spoke, the conversation went well.
After an endless attempt to reach her by phone, we got concerned, so we called the local non emergency police dept to do a "wellness check" since she was elderly and lived alone. She was so excited that we cared
enough to do that. Her phone was turned off, she never heard it ring. However, and there was always a "however", the next day when we came home from work, there was a message from her, yelling, cussing
us out for "calling the police" on her.
That was the last time I tried to extend a daughter's hand of friendship to her. I never allowed myself to think about her too much after that. When she did cross my mind, I would push the thoughts out of my head.
That was, oh my, well over five years ago.
My tears, and yes, I cry for the pain she went through and I cry for what should have been rather than what was.
So, I now say to my mom, "Rest in peace mom, and as I say my final goodbye to you, I can also put my pain for and towards you to rest."