Rosa Hartig Kitchener
"Mom Passed Away"
Monday, January 16, 2012
@ 10:00 a.m.
By Her Son, John Hartig
Another chapter of my life is closed. My mother is dead. Mom died just shortly before 1:00 p.m. at the Trinity Home in Kitchener, just two days ago. I've been meaning to write something because that's how I usually "let things out." These are my Monday morning ramblings, my Monday morning blues in words.
My brother, George, phoned on Saturday at 1 p.m. to tell me the news. "Mom passed away." She was 92. I had no tears, maybe that would come later at the Funeral Home on Tuesday evening or at the church on Wednesday morning. I just felt a gentle sadness.
At about 6 p.m. on Saturday, I thought, it's been 4 hours now. Mom was still alive today. I didn't want to roll back time; I wouldn't want to freeze time at a quarter to 1 to prolong the tiny life she still had at that point. Mom was skin and bone. She had not spoken for over a year. She refused to eat anything in the last month. I wouldn't want her to continue in such a state just to have her keep breathing. I don't think she'd want that for herself. I know I wouldn't.
I remembered mom, 3 years ago, at my sister Renate's 60th birthday party celebrated at the Concordia Club in Kitchener. She was up and dancing with Nick.and of all things, she was whistling to the music as they danced. Mom loved whistling. She still recognized us then. Well, that all disappeared a year ago. My brother, George, said she drifted in and out of awareness and often didn't recognize him, even though he and his wife, Shelley, visited regularly every week.
I was so glad that I drove to Kitchener a couple of days before mom passed away, on Wednesday. I stayed all morning and most of the afternoon. The weather was unseasonably warm, at about 5 degrees, no snow! Can you believe it, on January 11! Everything was green. Lovely drive to Kitchener. The noise of the trucks on the highway was still buzzing through my head when I walked to my sister's room there at the Trinity Home. My sister is in the same Home as my mom because she's handicapped with Multiple Sclerosis. The law of the universe did not hand her a blessing. We're all dealt something, I guess, at different times.
In a way, it was a blessing that I made it to Kitchener on Wednesday and not Friday. On Friday, it snowed, dangerous road conditions. Also the doctor had given mom a needle to sedate her, so she would not feel any pain through her last hours.
I didn't feel guilty that I brought my Star Trek novel, The Better Man, and read while I sat with mom on Wednesday morning. I broke off the reading to look out the window from mom's third floor room at the shriveled plants in the garden below. The sun would occasionally peep through the clouds. I spoke to mom intermittently. "The sun is shining outside the window, mom. I'm glad I visited you today. It's Wednesday morning. Everything still looks green. I'm glad you're my mother. I just had a lovely visit with Renate downstairs. Nick is here. George is going to visit on Saturday or Sunday with Shelley." Of course, all that was said in simple German.
Mom was born in Banat, now a part of Serbia. She was a Danube Schwabian [née Ginter], of Germanic descent, outside of Germany. She spoke 5 languages, which probably got her out of tight spots during World War II. She was separated from her Yugoslavian husband during the war and everyone thought he was dead. Mom fled to Austria as a refugee where she met my own father, Michael Hartig, who in turn was a Saxon fleeing Romania and the Communists. I was born in Austria. My half sister, Nellie [surname,Isailowitsch], from mom's first husband had the dark and beautiful features of the Slavic race. I loved my big sister dearly.
I kept reading my Star Trek novel and occasionally told mom about the weather or about the old family photos hung on the walls around her little room. The nurse brought in a glass of cranberry juice. I've always found the staff at the Trinity Home very caring and thoughtful. It can't be an easy job. The nurse let me put the straw in mom's mouth. Mom took forever to suck the juice up. It moved up the straw, then fell down again, up the straw and down. Finally, there was enough suction to get the juice into her mouth. Success in little things! By the time she was through, the glass was mostly empty and the nurse was pleased. They record these things.
I had a bowl of soup downstairs in the tiny cafeteria, which was also the entrance to the home and the foyer. I sat down by the pastor. I visited Reni once more and told her I'd go up to mom's room and probably stay until about 2:30 p.m. so I could get on the highway before the huge onslaught of traffic would hit the roads.
Mom opened her eyes twice during this visit. Once in the morning when I talked "at her" and once in the afternoon. Her left eye was clear and it glowed with recognition. Her right eye was blind due to macular degenation. he said no word but I know she recognized me during those two times when she opened her eyes.
Well, it's a chapter closed now in our family history. How glad I was that I had visited mom last Wednesday and that I told her I was glad she was my mother.
N.B. if the slideshow is not supported, or there is only sound and no picture, try the Firefox browser, or Safari, or better yet, click into the folder "images". You can see the whole movie there independently, either .wmv or .mp4, click on your choice and view the movie. Also in "images" folder you can find the "Slideshow-Hartig_singlePhotos" etc, click into the folder, and look for index.html. Click on it and a slideshow of single photos will appear. I decided to upload this video on this index page to Youtube. So you can at least get a Video Tribute for Rosa Hartig deceased through their website. Good luck.
Video Tribute to Rosa
*Music Titles: Sunshine A; Disco Lounge
Creative Commons License
Acknowledgement: Kevin MacLeod
Rosa Hartig Story
2012 © John Hartig Web Design