Olive May Wilkins 1916 – 2015
My mother passed away Sunday evening, February 8 at Grandview Vintage Senior Living (formerly known as Grandview Palms until January) where she lived for the past 4 1/2 years.
As a deeply religious Christian, she was looking forward to being welcomed in heaven by Jesus and her family who had preceded her in death, especially her mother and her brothers who she mentioned frequently in her last months.
She is buried at Inglewood Cemetery in the Pineview section next to her husband and my father, Ronald Wilkins.
She was admitted to the hospital about six weeks ago and when she was discharged I requested that she be transferred to her own apartment at Grandview under hospice care. Fortunately, we had previously discussed this situation and I knew she didn’t want to die in a hospital setting.
The staff at Grandview bent over backwards to take care of her, going above and beyond their normal duties for Olive. Also, the staff at Wilshire Hospice who were assigned to her were more than wonderful, caring for her and supporting me.
I was happy that she was able to die in these circumstances.
Although she was a challenging and difficult person all my life, I know it’s important for me now to let bygones be bygones. Gradually I am remembering some of the good times we shared. I am working on eventually only recalling the pleasant moments and letting everything else go because what is the point?
Before my father died seventeen years ago, he passed the responsibility of her care on to me. He basically treated her as his child my entire life. With her death I am at peace with myself that despite everything, I always did the best I could for her. Every decision I made was for her benefit, even though she often could not see it.
I believe that moving to the US from England was extremely hard on her, as it was on me as a teenager, living an insecure and nomadic life until we finally settled in Los Angeles. My father had a restless spirit and previously we had moved from England to Argentina, where my mother was born, and back again to England. All this uncertainty, coupled with her own troublesome childhood, affected her in ways I never understood and I have to forgive her as she vented her frustration and trauma on me, her only child.
I am not sure what lies beyond this life but I do hope that if there is anything, she can finally find the happiness and peace of mind she never seemed to grasp in this lifetime.
When we lived in Argentina, I called my mother “mamacita” which was an affectionate term like mommy. Today I understand it has other meanings but I never used it like that.
So, I say affectionately, rest in peace, mi mamacita querida.
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