Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mary Lou Lee 1928 - 2008

Austin and Trey Lee with their Great-Grandma 'Weezer', near Powersite Dam on Lake Taneycomo, MO, August, 2006.

Mary Louise Lee nee Bansbach, left this life peacefully this morning attended to by her daughter, Mary Jane Mooneyham. Mary Lou was born in St. Louis, MO on April 30, 1928, the oldest of three sisters. She was preceded in death by her parents, Alphonse and Eleanor Bansbach; her two sisters, Evelyn Wells and Carole Lonergan; a grandson, Drew Pridgeon and her husband of fifty-six years, Bob Lee.

Mary Lou is survived by her ten children: Bob, Jim, Tom, Mary, Carol, Jane, John, Ed, Ellen and Joan. She is also survived by fourteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Her children appreciate the comfort and solace given to their Mother in her final days by her friends Jo, Beth and Jill and her caregivers Elaine, Gloria, Ellen, Linda and Stephanie.

Five years ago Mary Lou's heart failed and a mechanical valve was installed. Last January, during the ice storm, she contracted pneumonia, was hospitalized and for the rest of her life was tethered to a nasal cannula, plastic tubing and an oxygen tank.

This winter, Mary Lou began to tire quickly and her breathing became labored. She said that as soon as the weather turned and spring arrived, she knew she would begin to feel better. Three weeks ago, she contracted what appeared to be the flu bug that was going around and was hospitalized.

While in the hospital, her doctors told her the mechanical valve had become calcified and was not sealing properly. She was not a candidate for surgery and hospice was indicated. Her son Tom arranged for around the clock care and Mary Lou came home.

Last Thursday, Mary Lou suffered several Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA). She could not understand what was happening to her: she said her body was not doing what she was telling it to do. I explained to Mom what was happening and that by knowing what was coming (more TIAs), we could be prepared for them. She did not like what was happening to her body and she was determined to beat it as she had beat the major stroke she has suffered almost 23 years earlier.

Saturday morning, my brother Tom and I walked down to Mom's home (she lived two doors down from me). As we entered the house, Tom's daughter, Stephanie called out for our help. Mom had suffered another major stroke. This one affected her left side, her leg, her arm, her sight and also gave her tremendous headaches.

We called hospice, the nurse came over, confirmed what had happened and started Mom on the 'comfort pack', the goal being to keep her comfortable and let her passing over be pain free. Mom never regained consciousness. Our sister Jane and some of Mom's friends kept a bedside vigil.

This morning, March 26, 2008, at 5:50 am, Mom left this earthly life. She specifically directed her mortal remains be given to Mid American Transplant Service for organ donation. She asked that what could not be harvested be used for research. What remains is to be cremated and placed with our Dad's cremains in their plot in the National Cemetary at Glenstone and Seminole.

We will have a service when her remains come back from St. Louis, which we expect to be sometime in late April or early May. We are hoping it will work out that we can have it service on her birthday, April 30. If it works out that way, fine, if not, that's ok too.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, Jim .. my condolences to your family. I have been following your Mom's decline on your blog, and I am relieved that this ordeal is over for all of you.

I have wonderful memories of your Mom ... she was a terrific person who had beautiful eyes, a warm manner and a sensitive, thoughtful soul ... best wishes to all her children and grandchildren and entire family.

-- Kelly K

dirtsister said...

Oh Jim, I'm so sorry about your momma. Thinking of you and your family. Take care.

Jason said...

Jim, my thoughts and prayers are with your family. You have my number and if you need ANYTHING do not hesitate to call me.

Sandy said...

My condolences go out to you and your family, Jim. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Chris B. said...

Please accept my condolences and prayers for you and yours at this time Jim. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Why are you posting such personal things about your Mother on the internet? Does the rest of your family know that you are violating your Mother's privacy? It's one thing to list cause of death, etc but to post all that other unnessacary information looks like a pathedic attempt to get attention. Shame on you, bus plunge. You've gone over the edge.

Дж. Хьюз said...

Jim, my deepest condolences on the loss of your remarkable Mom. She and you and all of your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jason said...

There's nothing that shows someone has real integrity like posting an anonymous comment attacking someone whose mother just died.

What a real coward.

Jim, I'm sorry such poor excuses for humanity found their way to your blog.

Jack said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Your mother sounds like a courageous and strong woman. I really enjoyed the picture of her with her family. Beautiful.

I think it is perfectly acceptable to share your thoughts, your life, your pain, on your blog. Ignore the idiots.

Anonymous said...

as jim lee's little brother, i possess the right to respond to the "anonymous" comments above...
with ten kids and, i think it is more than jim said, uncountable numbers of grandkids and great grandkids, jim's blog about our mom have kept us posted, as well as kept posted other busplungers, about something important to all of us...that being important events in our lives...thanks to jim and my other family members for what has been an extremely emotional event in our lives. thanks also to fellow busplunge affitionados for your feelings about this event...Rock On Jim..
johninocala@aol.com...oh, and yes i am also anonymous only because, unlike jim, i can't figure out how to register some of these "online things".. love ya jim...

Jacke M. said...

Hi, Jim, I'm doing this is public though part of it is concerning things I have written to you in private about. The reason I am doing it in public is because I want other people to know and understand that your blog postings about your Mother have made a difference in my life and given me strength.

I got word today when I took my Mother to the Doctor that she likely only has about a week left with us. It might have been less had we taken the aggressive approach to try to save her and lost her as a result of the surgery. The Dr. didn't give her a very good chance of making it through another amputation surgery. My Mom chose to initiate hospice and go as comfortably and peacefully as possible, likely giving her family members a little more time to love her, let her know how much we love her and tell her all the little things we want to tell her before she goes. I hope, at least, we have that much time and we could even have more time, only God knows, really. At any rate I plan to make use of as much time as God allows me.

You, sharing about your Mother helped me and I appreciate it. Writing about personal events in our lives on a blog can often help other people who are going through a similar situation grapple with their own decisions and learn from our examples. You have been a wonderful example for those who are dealing with similar situations.

Thank you.

Complaint Department Manager said...

Sorry I got here aas Late as I did. You have my deepest sympathies. I can tell she was held in high regard by many. To Jim's brother and his response, Thank you for taking the high road, you are a class act and my sympathies to you as well sir.

Sandy said...

It's reasons like anonymous8:51PM why I moderate the comments at my blog. That was completely uncalled for. As if the family didn't have enough to grieve over as it is, some dickinabox has to come along and make it worse.

I hope your heart is healing at this time, Jim.

California Girl said...

Jim, I am so sorry for your heartache. You and your family and friends will always remember this beautiful lady. I am glad you posted so much information about her. Its comforting and incredibly wonderful how much you and your family and friends loved her. That hole in your heart will mend and be filled with her love for you. She, no matter where you are and what you're doing, will always stay with you. What a credit to her that she wants her body donated to those who can use it.

She is a beautiful soul and she lives on in you. Sending hugs your way.

Sky Girl said...

Out of respect for Jim, his mother, and his family, I am not going to say what I think of anon 8:51. I will leave it up to your imagination.

Jim, I am truly sorry for your loss. I am thinking about you and your family at this difficult time. What a lovely tribute to your mother you wrote.

dr sardonicus said...

My condolences to you and your family.

Kim said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mom.

Anonymous said...

Jim
I also thank you for this blog and all of it's postings.
Mom was an exception person who loved life and enjoyed her children being around her.
Jim, you and Jane and I have had the unique experience of seeing Mother go from her vibrant self to complete peacefullness. May she rest in peace, and may the family members once again get together to honor her.
Tom Lee, Marionville MO
#3 son of Bob and Mary Lou Lee
AS for Anon 8:51, I have plenty of the stuff that comes out of the south side of a northbound cow to .......... Never mind, I'll let it go without saying.

JL said...

Please accept my somewhat belated condolences. My prayers and good thoughts go out to you and your family at this difficult time.

VotingMom said...

Beautiful tribute to a life well spent by a woman well loved!

GrieseGal said...

Jim- so sorry to hear about your mother. I appreciate the update. I'd pretty much lost track of her after your father passed. Prayers for all, and we will be looking for the date of the funeral mass. God Bless.