M Jean Tucker, circa 1945
My mother died seven years ago today. I've had her on my mind off and on all day, as you do on days like this. She was 78 years old, and had suffered from a rare neurological condition called Corticobasal Degeneration. It was a horrible, degenerative condition with no known treatment. It was the kind of thing that is so awful to witness that all you can do is feel relieved when it is finally over. I miss my mother, but I wouldn't wish her back under those circumstances for anything.
Before she retired she was a tough broad. She worked for the Department of Investigation for the Feds.
She used to go into places wearing a wire. She investigated Medicare and Medicaid fraud. She put a lot of bad guys in jail. She had an unlisted phone number.
Her last few years were very difficult. I commuted back and forth between San Antonio and Topeka KS, where she was cared for in the wonderful medical unit of Aldersgate Village. Her caregivers are my heroes, as are my husband, my friend and alternate roommate, Billie, my other "sistas" (you know who you are) and my mother's (and my) dear friend, Pauline. Each of you made a difficult time so much better. My husband supported me throughout, never complaining about my absences and the extra burden this put on him at home. There are simply no words for this kind of loving support. Billie opened her home to me, a shelter in the storm, in Topeka. I cannot imagine what it would have been like without your loving support through those years.