This is where I was a couple of nights ago. It seems like a lifetime ago. My mom passed away in the early morning hours at the hospital.
In a few hours I will see her one more time in this life-It’s a double edged sword-I’m looking forward to seeing her because Imiss her- but I dread it because it’s the final time .
Mom hadn’t been admitted to a hospital probably since I was born- but she visited many who were, and cared for those who were ill.
It started with a backache, something you put an ointment on, take an aspirin for and forget about it. Only hers didn’t go away.It was like that for a few weeks, finally her left leg went out on her and she fell- Dad was upset – and I talked to her on the phone as she told me- I was concerned; Dad was going to take her to the emergency room and We all thought it was just a pinched nerve, a disc that slipped; anything but what it really was- a tumor was discovered pressing against her spine- and thus causing not only her pain, but nerve impairment as well.
The doctors ran high contrast MRI’s and found other traces as well, but localized. It wasn’t cureable- but was treatable. Mom asked us what we thought she should do- and we wanted her to do what she thought best for her- that we’d be in support of whatever decision was made.
She decided to fight for her life- and so she did!
Family was there with her all the way, I was there all night once when she wasn’t able to hardly move and in pain- and it ripped my heart out; but I tried to reassure her and comfort her in that time of need , to let her know that hope was still there for her.
She seemed to be getting stronger, but as Chemo often does, it weakened her imune system and blood counts fell, and thus; in the end she wasn’t able to beat her illness.
The last night I was there , I relieved my father for a while since he was there almost round the clock , I was with her and she raised her hands up to me and we hugged ( she had been too weak to even lift her arms before that ). She felt my face, my head, looked into my eyes and waved goodbye to me. I asked her if she was worried and she nodded her head “yes” that she was….. and because I didn’t want her to think all was hopeless, I tried to reassure her that she was improving everyday, and she would gain back her strength-but looking back – I guess she knew what I didn’t want to. She held onto my hand as tight as she could- with tears in her eyes, she tried to tell me she loved me.
I was her “cheerleader” and health advocate that night. The hour was late, and she being tired, drifted off to sleep, resigned to it looking back I think….that when she closed her eyes; it would be for the last time.
she seemed so peaceful…and no longer in pain, that I decided to let her rest, and talked with the nurse- who was so attentive to my Mom- I felt safe leaving her in their care for the rest of the night.
My dad received the call right before I did- about 3:30-3:43 ( my call came at 3:43- It’s etched in my memory) the nurse said that mom isn’t doing well, and that she was unresponsive; and to come right away.
I was first there, and the Doctors who were on duty at the time Mom was admitted , were there that night to give me support as I entered the room- mom had passed right before I had got there; Dad came in right behind me- it was over. The BiPap forced air mask had been removed and the IV’s taken out. She looked restful; at peace like she lay sleeping.
**follow up** The family gathering was held on November 20th, saturday- the attendence was high, our family was proud that she had touched so many lives- those who came, offered their support of course- but also had stories rich with how Mom had been there for them, touched their lives, made a difference.
I’m grateful that she didn’t have to suffer long…not that I wished her away so soon.
My only regret was that I felt like there was much more that she wanted to say; for us to know- I would have given anything to know her thoughts- as she had a hard time speaking at the last.
I do know that she was proud of her family, loved us all and was well thought of. She still had dreams and things she wanted to do- but she led a life well lived….and in the end; what more can we aspire to…
Rest in peace Mom- love you bunches