It’s funny how life is, isn’t it? You toddle along thinking things are going pretty well. Maybe you bought a house, maybe your kids are doing well in school for once. Maybe you managed to save some money for some of the renovations on the house you need. Maybe you saved enough money for a good vacation. Then…something…happens. Something happened last month. We managed to save money for another Disney vaca as well as still have a budget planned for the rest of the year to redo our bathrooms. Everything seemed to be going find.
Then my mom died.
I can say it wasn’t too much of a shock. She had been sick for some time and in and out of the ICU since January at least with pneumonia. While we were worried, we didn’t worry a lot as she didn’t seem unusually sick. She had a hard time breathing, but then again she had COPD. When my sister left the ICU that Friday before she was ok. Then at some point the following Sunday she went downhill fast. V called me that night and told me things were going wrong. Tuesday hubs and I decided to make the 800 mile drive to Tennessee to. Wednesday night we got in and mom was barely awake, on a B-PAP and struggling to take a breath.
Thursday we missed the doctor to talk to him, no change in her condition. Friday all three of us girls went in to talk to the doctor, to see our options, to see if there was hope. There she was, sitting up in bed arguing with the nurse about taking meds. Sometime in the night she got better…well enough to wean her off all the IVs. We saw this as a good sign, but we were still wary. Hubs and I saw here that Friday night, she was better than that morning. I had an inkling of hope. We left the next morning having to get back to our kids.
Saturday was better than Friday.
Sunday she was weaned off all IVs and demanded Captain D’s. My sister, V complied and with Doc’s approval got her a meal of fish and hush puppies from Captain D’s.
I spoke with V that night about getting momma a tablet enabled with Netflix to watch Bones and Supernatural on. She said she would set it up for her. I made plans to order one the next morning after I called the hospital to confirm they had WiFi.
The next morning, Monday, I got my kids to school. Grabbed my phone, my laptop and settled into the couch to start the day’s errand phone calls. With the hospital number in my hand I began to flip through the TV stations to something I wanted to watch while I waited on the phone.
Before I could call, my sister called hysterical.
The nurses called her and told her to get to the hospital. There had been a change. They wouldn’t tell her over the phone.
I counseled patience and calm and just see what was going on. I told her to call me back when she found out what happened.
She called back 30 minutes later.
Momma’s heart and stopped.
She passed away that morning.
V had to do all the heavy lifting, so to speak. I could do nothing but sit here and wish I was home-my only consolation was my mother had seen all three of us girls together that Friday before.
Nothing can prepare you for the death of a parent. You know it will happen. Even if they are sick, you know. However, when they do die, it is like nothing you can explain. Something that had been there all these years is suddenly gone.
The next week and half saw us in Disney World for my son’s birthday. It was bitter sweet as all I kept thinking about is what momma and I did the first time we went. Momma had donated her body to science. She didn’t want a funeral and we wouldn’t get her remains back for at least a year. Four days after getting home from Disney, I took a plane to Tennessee. We decided we needed a Memorial, a ritual for closure.
It was small and intimate with a few cousins and a few friends. It was what we needed. I don’t think we could have dealt with something more formal.
It is hard thinking she isn’t there. It is strange that all of a sudden I feel the need to call her more often then I used too, but not being able to. I also find myself thinking more about my own children, how will they handle it when I am gone.
The Buddhists say that everyone that is ever in your life is a teacher. I began to wonder what my mom taught me (other than the usual things).
My mom taught me perseverance. She never gave up.
My mom taught me determination. She never let anyone nay-say her.
My mom taught me stubbornness. Once she made up her mind, that is how it was going to be.
All of those lessons have served me well in my adult life. I persevered when I felt it wasn’t worth continuing. I was determined not to let anyone tell me what I can or can’t do. I am stubborn enough to stand my ground and not let someone push me around.
My mom is gone, but I can say that her legacy lives on.