On mother’s Day, around 12:05 am on May 8, 2002; I received a call from the ICU doctor. He told me that I needed to come into the hospital. My mother was rushed to the ICU ward the day before, and it was not looking good. My daughter and I had just gone to bed after cleaning downstairs. I quickly threw on clothes, and out the door, I went. The hospital was about 15 minutes away, and I made it without issues. Why would I have any? It was early morning, and not too many people were on the road.
Outside of the main entrance, I noticed a woman on the phone talking to someone. She was waiting for me. She was the ICU nurse; the doors were locked; however, she buzzed me inside and quickly followed me to the guard’s desk, where I handed my ID. The nurse told the guard that I did not have time to wait for him and that she would take my visitor’s pass. She explained that I needed to get to my mom. Looking up, I saw a doctor watching us. I figured he was the ICU doctor I’d talked to on Friday evening and twice on Saturday. I stepped into the elevator and was upstairs, where the ICU doctor met me. Yes, he was the same compassionate doctor that had talked to my brother and me. He ushered me into my mother’s room, and I did my best to maintain my composure. My mom was hooked up to tubes and on life support. I instantly called my brother and daughter. My daughter was with my father, so we could all spend time with our mother/wife/grandmom.
The next few hours passed by in a blur. My brother tried to get me to leave to go home and get some rest; however, I refused since I knew this would be the last time I saw her in this world, and I knew she was already gone. The ICU doctor was kind enough to let us share stories and spend time with her one last time. He popped in briefly, saw me laughing, heard the voices on the phone, and said, “This is good; you’re sharing stories with her.” When I was finally ready to leave (knowing she had already passed), the ICU doctor confirmed what I already knew. He asked would I like to see my mother without the tubes, and I told him yes. The nurses removed the tubes, and I looked at my mom one last time. My mom passed away at the age of 76 years of age. It wasn’t cancer that got her, her tumors had been reduced by 30%, and the blockage was gone. She was released within a few weeks to go into rehab before she came home. What got her was septic shock. So yes… her death came as a massive shock to all who knew her. My mother was a Christian, so she believed that her true life begins after death. A life that never ends and where there is no pain or suffering. As a Christian, I share that belief and know that I will see her again someday. However, that does not take the pain away since I’d love to see her again today.
I wish I could say that I’ve had time to grieve; however, that hasn’t happened yet. Life still goes on. My father is still bedridden, and now, I have to make sure everything is transferred to my father. My mother and dad were terrific stewards, so my father did not have to worry about his care plan. I oversee all his accounts, pay bills, and purchase items needed, just as I started doing shortly before my mother went into the hospital a little over three months ago.
I do hope that I have time to grieve soon. But, most times, it still feels odd that my mother is gone. So, mom, I’ll miss you always; Until we meet again.