Bernice Ann Watmough Parker March 27, 1929 – March 21, 2012
March was an extremely difficult month this year.
On the 25th Anniversary of my mom’s death, March 20th, we got the call that my mother-in-love was suddenly much worse and it wasn’t going to be long at all. She had been battling a bad infection in her leg for awhile and was also recently diagnosed with stage 4 congestive heart failure. When I thought about the inevitable, it seemed that we likely had somewhere close to a year left before we would be dealing with all of this.
In the middle of the night, she was rushed to the emergency room. She now had pneumonia and a strep infection (much like the one that almost took my hubby back in 2005 – to read about my hubby’s illness and consequently my father-in-love’s bout with the same infection…at the same time, read this post of mine.)
I have hated March 20th for the last 25 years and now I will even more. I could not go to the hospital, because I had to stay and comfort “Buddy”. He was totally devastated and it hurt terribly to see him go through this.
I also did not get to hug and mutually comfort my hubby. He was at the hospital, where he was really needed, with his mom, dad, and sister. After he came home that evening, I decided that I really needed to go see her. Others, including my hubby, were telling me not to go and to remember her how I always did. Although I understood their concern, I felt that I definitely needed to go and say goodbye. I had not been there when my mom passed away, because it was totally unannounced. I was still on my way when my grandma passed away about 1 1/2 years ago. To learn more about that, you can read here.
I just felt way down deep that I needed to be with her. That short drive to the hospital seemed like one of the longest drives ever. As I drove those few minutes, I was reminded of the seven-plus hour drive from my college to my home when my mom passed away. I just kept praying that I would be there in time… unless I was not supposed to. I deeply believed that God would allow whatever was best.
I had to gown-up due to the extent of her new infection. The few minutes until the nurse came and guided me through it all seemed like an hour in itself. When I walked into the room, it was more difficult seeing my father-in-love, because I could tangibly feel his pain and love.
I got to tell her how much I loved her. I thanked her for giving me my wonderful husband and for all of the guidance, love, and everything else. After my father-in-love and had discussed how she seemed to be fighting and we wanted her to let go and not be in anymore pain, I went over and reassure her that we would be OK and that she could just rest now. After awhile, I noticed that my father-in-love was extremely exhausted and truly need a little bit of sleep. I encouraged him to recline his chair and to rest a bit. I told him that I would see him tomorrow. He quickly fell asleep and I left. The next time I saw him, he apologized for falling asleep on me. I lovingly told him that was exactly what I had intended.
We got that final call at about five in the morning.
Here was what I posted on Facebook that morning:
“Rest in Peace my dear moms. They finally are going to meet each other and surely Grandma will be joining in on their party.
Bernice Ann Watmough Parker March 27, 1929 – March 21, 2012
Carol Elizabeth Williams Lakey March 4, 1947 – March 20, 1987
My mom-in-love passed away early this morning and we are all really going to miss her! She was feisty, very loving, strong, and a wonderful mom-in-love (I got the mom-in-love from my friend Shirley – I love it)! She was also a nurse in the Korean War. I am SO proud of her and thankful to her for giving me my husband!”
My dear hubby posted this loving tribute:
“For 46 years, you’ve been like a beacon, guiding me through dark times and rough waters. Though it’s been my time to command the helm for many years now, you’ve stood by, standing watch over how I’m doing, ready to offer sound guidance and sage advice. But now your time has come to be relieved. Thanks, Mom. . .go, rest peacefully, and be assured that, thanks to all I’ve learned from you, I can take it from here.
Bernice Ann Watmough Parker. . . March 27, 1929 – March 21, 2012”
We all found great comfort from our loving friends and family during this difficult time. I have discovered that this is one of the best things about Facebook. It helped tremendously when my grandma passed away and a lot of us cousins could reminisce and comfort each other at all hours of the night… knowing exactly when each one of us needed it most. During this time with my mother-in-love’s passing, there was a lot of comfort being sent from miles upon miles away. So for any of you all that do not even like the thought of Facebook, believe me, there is definitely a lot of good done on there!
I also determined something that proves that my mother-in-love was awesome! Both her son-in-love and daughter-in-love loved her dearly, wanted to spend time with her, and always raved about her to others! That’s proof of a wonderful lady!
Here is a copy of her obituary:
Bernice Ann (Watmough) Parker, loving and devoted mother, wife, and dedicated nurse, passed away Wed., March 21, 2012 in St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. Bernice was born to Harold and Beatrice Watmough on March 27, 1929 in Lawrence, MA. She moved with her family from Methuen, MA to San Mateo, CA at age eight. Graduating from San Mateo High School in 1949, she immediately entered nurses training at Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, CA. Upon graduation, she joined the U.S. Army Nurses Corp., serving two years at a hospital in Osaka, Japan during the Korean War. Upon leaving the Army, she continued practicing nursing for 40 years, retiring from Washoe Medical Center in 1991. She and her husband, J. Edward Parker married July 28, 1963 in San Mateo, CA. They have been Spark’s residents since 1985. They have two children; Gail McClure, Reno and Matthew Parker, Sparks. She is also survived by a sister, Nancy Fogerson, Renton, WA., and numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Bernice requested no services, and her family is honoring her request.
Your family will love you forever, Beeza.