The Blog

16 Dec 14

It is with deep, profound sadness that I write this post, but here it is.

 

We received news today that my mother passed away this morning, shortly after 9am (Saskatchewan time). She had been weak and ill for a fairly long time – spending most of the past year either in hospital or care home. Back in June, all seven of her children travelled to Saskatoon, where she lay in hospital, not expected to survive the night. We gathered around her bed and said our tearful goodbyes and waited for news of her passing. The night came and went, and the next,…and the next,…and on the third day she woke up and said to my sister “Do they not have any toast in this place?” My sister sent me a text message saying “I think I’m hallucinating!” with a photo of our mother eating peanut butter and jam toast and watching The Price is Right on TV. We were all gobsmacked, but at the same time there was a part of us that wasn’t surprised. Our mom was a tough, depression-era farm woman who pushed through whatever life threw at her, without complaint. She had little time for complaining, or complainers. As children we often heard the phrase “You got a full belly and a dry bum, what are you moaning about?” Knowing what she and my father, who passed away in 1982, had gone through in their lives – poverty, illness, World War 2 (my father fought overseas), the loss of an infant son, and raising seven children on an impossibly tight salary, made us wary of complaining. They were reasonable about it – anyone was allowed to grouse about something for awhile – but say your piece, air your grievance, and then shut up and move on – life is tough enough without having to listen to a bunch of whining. It was a solid way to grow up, and it forged a sense of perspective in us that, to this day, helps provide a bit of context to life’s ups and downs. So when our mother made this rather miraculous rebound from the brink of death, we knew her toughness had something to do with it. Not only that, but she thought it was hilarious that we had all gathered around her bed to say goodbye, and then she didn’t go anywhere. She had no real memory of that window of time, but she would laugh and say “I had you all pretty worried, eh?” Her recovery afforded us some extra time and some extra laughs that we never expected to get. Once, when I was visiting her recently, she said “Are you worried about me dying?” And I said “Nothing you do surprises me mother. If you passed away tomorrow it wouldn’t surprise me. And if you came bouncing down the hall on a pogo stick, that wouldn’t surprise me either.” That made her laugh. And making Mom laugh was about the best feeling in the world. She was a great laugher. You could get her going to the point where she just kind of shook and made a slight, high-pitched squeaking sound. When she was laughing like that, we would call her Precious Pup, and that would get her going even harder – wiping tears from her eyes. Dad could always make her laugh too. We may not have had a lot growing up, but we had a lot of laughs. And we were never cold, and never hungry, and always felt secure in our old house, and that had everything to do with our parents. Losing Dad just after my sixteenth birthday was sudden and unexpected and a tremendous shock. It flattened us all, and devastated my mother. It took her a long time to rally from that, and at the time it was just she and I at home (I’m the youngest of her children, and the others had all moved away by that time.) So we had a few years at home where it was just Mom and me, and as close as we were before, we grew incredibly close during that period of our lives. Even though she had been in a steady, steep decline these past weeks, and we all knew this was coming, losing her today simply and plainly crushes a part of me that won’t ever heal entirely. But that’s only because I loved her very much, and when you love someone that much, that’s the price you have to pay when you lose them.   It hurts like hell, but I feel so truly blessed that I got to pay that price.

I’m going to miss that laugh.

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We love you Mom. Rest in Peace.

 

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    Comments

    1. Allison Rogers says:

      So sorry to hear of your loss. It is hard to lose a parent at any age but I am sure you will face it with lots of laughter. Take care!
      Allison (ALL IS ON Jones) Rogers

    2. Marv & Liz Gurbach says:

      What a beautiful lady your mother was Brent,our deepest sympathy to all.

    3. Marv & Liz Gurbach says:

      So very sorry for your loss Brent,deepest sympathy to all.She was a beautiful lady inside and out.

    4. Vicki Clift says:

      Brett
      So sorry to hear of your loss, thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

    5. Sapphire says:

      Sorry for your loss. I know what you are going through. I lost my mom back in July. She passed away in her sleep after a brief illness. I was very close to her and I was the youngest in my family too and my father passed away when I was kid so it was just me, my bro and Mom. I still miss Mom everyday. :-(

    6. Maggie Parsons says:

      What a beautiful message of your mother Brent. It was warming and touching. Your mom is in peace and back with your dad in harmony. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Bless you all.

    7. Debi (Bustinski) Sisson says:

      Brent,
      So sorry to hear of this sad news. Please give your family my condolences. If you could give Della an extra hug, that would be great. I have so many memories of both your mom and dad, they were wonderful people. I spent alot of time at the house on 98th ave playing with Della. You are right, you won’t entirely heal but the heart ache does ease over time. Take care, and again my condolences.

    8. Cheryl Papp from Tisdale Sk. says:

      Attended the Salvation Army Church with your Mom a few years back.I also remember her quick wit and friendly personality when she came to the post office,were I worked.Remember asking her how her famous child was doing? She said ‘which one?’ Perfect answer.She loved you all.Yes, she was a beautiful lady,and will be fondly remembered.Condolences to you, and your sibblings.Love and prayers from the old postie.

    9. Tom Mason says:

      Brent,

      My condolences to you and your family. Losing a loved one is never easy. May you always remember fondly.

    10. Tom Mason says:

      Brent,

      My condolences to you and your family. Losing a loved one is never easy at any time of the year. Take joy in the good times you were able have with her.

    11. Sheri Slade says:

      Brent,
      I am so sorry for your loss. It’s never easy for anyone. My Mom passed away in March after a brief stint with cancer. Most of the family was able to make it to Tisdale to say our farewells… for the second time as well. Like your Mom, mine was admitted to the hospital for the third time in Sept of 2013, and the family was called to be with her. She survived that and bounced back as well as she could. by the time she was diagnosed with the cancer, she didn’t have any to desire to have the inevitable delayed and refused any further testing or treatment. They didn’t expect her to make the ambulance ride from Saskatoon to Tisdale. Surprise!. She hung in there for another five weeks. She always was a strong stubborn prairie farm girl that just like your Mom. I’m sure your Mom provided me with cookies numerous times during our childhood on 98th ave.
      It gets easier as time goes on my friend. My thoughts are with you.
      Sheri

    12. BRIAN CROWLEY says:

      Hi Brent so very sorry to hear about your mom passing. She was a very unique lady and admired by everyone who met her. Our old Tisdale neighborhood has lost a few great people in the last couple years. But as you mention it was great we had them to love us in the first place. She will live on in you and your siblings humor for sure.
      Take Care

    13. Gwen (Keir) Osborne says:

      So sorry about the loss of your mom. As a fellow “Tisdale-ian”, I remember seeing her around town when I was a little kid. Such a nice lady. May peace be with you and your family. Take care.

    14. Brent and Family says:

      I think I know what you are all feeling at the moment. Our family too lost both our parents … it is always “too soon”. My mom would get in a fit of laughter exactly like your mother every time we told the joke about Pedro in the Desert who stopped at a Dairy Queen and the ice cream lady asked him if he would like his nuts crushed! OMG … the tears would be running down her face every time that one came up … it never got old.

      Cherish your memories, laugh about those memories with your siblings, and know that there will always be a whole in your heart, but it will become more manageable as time passes.

      Know too that they are still with you – your Mom & Dad – we just often aren’t paying attention to the signs around us. I’ve started paying more attention of late and I truly believe my parents, especially my Mom, is often with me.

      Take Care, Nola

    15. Marilyn Styan says:

      Sorry to hear that you lost your Mom, she surely was a great lady, I had the privilege to visit her in the hospital and to my surprise she knew exactly who I was. Wayne & I send you and your family our deepest sympathy.

    16. Dale and Susan Mckenney says:

      Brent
      We are sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom.
      You are in our hearts and prayers.

    17. Janice Yelland MacKinoon says:

      Sorry to hear about your Mom Brent , Thinking of all of you at this time.

    18. Gale scheelar says:

      so very sorry for your loss. As a mother of six i would be proud to have one of mine make such a beautiful writeup. I know she is close to you and smiling. Take care sir

    19. Rhonda (Johnson)Kirwan says:

      So very sorry for your loss Brent. I remember you making Dad laugh as well when he was sick. The memories are yours forever. Take care.

    20. Michelle says:

      Sorry to read this Brent. Take care.

    21. Ron Yake says:

      I am so sorry for your loss , but your story appealed to me so much , it is so close to my own , it brings back memories I thought were kept away for always. Thank You.

    22. Bob Henderson says:

      So Sorry to hear of your loss Brent.
      Your mom was a fine lady that I knew and respected back in the 50’s. Herb was our milk man and Jake was a best Friend. I lived in the house right beside Margie Burrows. She had an effect on me too.
      The Butt family will always be remembered warmly in Tisdale. Not just for your own accomplishments, but for the whole familiy. They were all wonderful people.
      My wife went back to see the movie at the Falkon Theatre a few weeks ago. She literaly left her head rolling down the isle after laughing it off! Keep it coming man, we love ya.

    23. Terr-Lynne Goudy says:

      So sorry to hear about your mom Brent. Just lost my mom two weeks ago after a brave battle with terminal brain cancer. She fought back several times and to read about your mom reminded me a lot of mine. She was well known in our home town of Melfort. This Christmas will be very different, our own seven kids admired her strength and are the people they are partly due to my mom’s courage and ability to stay positive and laugh. Praying your family has a Merry Christmas in honor of your wonderful mom!

    24. Lillian Laferriere says:

      So sorry to hear of your moms passing. She was a wonderful woman. I remember you, your mom and Della from years back. You always seemed to have your mothers sense of humour and you will carry it with you forever. Our condolences to your family.

    25. Shelley (Stoker) Rotariu says:

      Brent,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. Now I have an idea of how I’ll feel when it’s my mom’s turn to leave as you so eloquently described your feelings and love for your mom. Well said, my friend. Enjoy your memories.

      Shelley

    26. Nancy Deleurme says:

      Deepest sympathies to you and your family, Brent.

    27. D Bruce Cleveley says:

      We grew up relatively the same way and it made us better human beings for the experiences and grateful for what – and more importantly – who we have in our lives.
      We lost our Mum to ALS last year and it did take us a little while…
      But tonight, we DID bring snacks.
      In less than two hours our peasant-view TV will screen “Corner Gas: The Movie”.
      As we sit under our own indoor surveillance bush.
      Next to the fireplace hearth featuring a collection of unique rocks from special places – including one from under the Corner Gas sign at Roleau.
      We’ll spit when Wullerton is mentioned.
      And our thoughts will be with you and your family….

    28. Wendy Schell says:

      Hello,
      I truly believe that you, Lloyd , and Della…all have a very similar sense of humour that must have come from your Mom. What a treasure to embed in you characters !
      Going through the next year of “firsts”, will be very difficult. I know you will move to the stage of “greatful” as you reflect on all those wonderful memories , the love and the laughs that she gave you.
      Thinking of you all,
      Wendy

    29. Heather says:

      I am very sorry for your loss. What you’ve written here is beautiful. I’m sure you have so many more memories to cherish.

    30. Sherwin Samida says:

      So very saddened to hear of you and your family’s loss. I enjoyed many a laugh and have great memories of the time I spent at you’re family’s house. My thoughts and my family’s are with you and your’s.

    31. Mona Renaud says:

      So sorry for your loss Brent! Your tribute to your Mom was beautiful and she is smiling down from heaven with love and pride :-)
      Heartfelt condolences to you and your family!

    32. Tanja says:

      I am so sorry to read this, Brent. I also loved reading it, there’s something about reading shared memories that brings me into the fold, feeling like I knew your mom personally. She was a remarkable lady and no doubt has 7 remarkable children. May your memories of her bring you great comfort and joy.

    33. Rosanne Landers says:

      So sorry Brent. :(

    34. Debbie Renaud says:

      I was helping out in the pie booth at the Silver Stream country fair several years back and your Mom stopped by to treat her friend to pie and coffee. She mentioned that the horseflies were taking chunks out of her legs and she wished they’d make more of an effort to concentrate on the areas that could use a little trimming down. She was hilarious, and you are an example of the wonderful legacy she has left behind. We’re sad for your broken heart..

    35. Darrel jabush says:

      Sorry for your loss. Trust me time helps. Thoughts with you and your family. Your words about your Mom remind me very much of mine.

    36. Audrey Jeffrey says:

      Bless you on the death of your mom. I was just watching the new Corner Gas Movie. I went onto Facebook and saw the announcement of your mother’s passing. Again Brent bless you and your family.

    37. Heather Powell says:

      Richard & I send you our love , prayers & hugs to you all . Your Mom was a wonderful woman. She now is with your Dad living it up.

    38. Laurie says:

      Sorry to hear this. Here is what I know about a Mom passing. Your memories of her will pop in your head when you least expect it and you will smile!!

    39. Raelene Malakovski says:

      So sorry for your loss Brent, I too grew up in a small town in Salvador Saskachewan I unfortunately lost both my parents at a young age. My father would have loved your T.V. show as he was a grain buyer. I loved watching your show as it brought back so many happy memories of growing up

    40. Lorna says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your Mom. It doesn’t matter how old you are or your how old your Mom is, it is so difficult to lose them. A Mom is that one person that always had our back, that we could count on to be in our corner. I hope that you can hold the memories close to your heart and they can be of comfort to you. Deepest sympathies.

    41. Mackenzie hart says:

      My condolences Brent and family. Take care, I wish you well in this difficult time.
      Mack

    42. Trevor says:

      Brent, you cannot but have allowed your mother to die immensely proud of you. That in itself is an immeasurable gift to give a mother. How could she not have been better prepared by laughing with you for the last tough years of her life? And the movie aired tonight was a delight!

    43. Cathy Smith and Family says:

      So sorry for your loss Brent and Family, our deepest sympathy on the loss if your special Mom.

    44. Kathleen Alm says:

      Sometimes there are no words. When you love someone so deeply it strips away your protective instinct to be strong when they leave this world. My heart goes out to you. Take the time you need to grieve.

    45. Monica Harpham says:

      So sorry too hear about your loss. She was such a wonderful lady. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    46. Tim & Sherry Kapeller says:

      Sorry to hear of your loss, Brent. Our condolences to you and your family. We, too, have both lost a loved one and it is never easy and always too soon. May you always cherish the memories you have. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    47. Hal and Karen sisson says:

      So sorry to here of the loss of your mom .they are all very special to us no matter what our age is. We hope all is well and we can see you ion mediicine hat in February at your show if you plan on coming take care

    48. Helen says:

      Dear Brent and Family,

      My family and I are saddened by your loss. Thank you so much for your moving tribute, we all got to know your mother and her great spirit a bit. Our sincerest condolences at this most sad time.

    49. Lee Ann Keple says:

      Brent,

      I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with your and your family. May her memory always be for a blessing. Take care.

    50. Elaine Schreuer says:

      Sorry to hear of your loss Brent

      my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

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