Saturday, June 09, 2012

June 8, 2012

My brother Andrew was coming to get me yesterday morning about 10 to go see our mom. We got a text from Judy (mom's nurse and basically companion for the past 7 years) that mom was unresponsive and breathing funny.

We drove out there and I was sad to see my mom. Short, sharp breaths and in one night she had aged even more, she looked like ... I don't know, but she started to not look like mom. No more mumbling but her face and body changed when we walked in, she knew we were there, no doubt. Her eyes still relatively expressive.

Judy was crying and showed me mom's feet, as people get closer to death their feet get cold and blue, because their hearts aren't pumping as hard. Judy told me the nurses around there give that about 24 hours when that happens.

About right after we got there the hospice nurse came in. She checked mom, Andrew and I could not get over how silly it seemed to be taking mom's blood pressure. Alas, the hospice lady took us out to the hallway, explained mom had entered a new, new phase and it could be hours to days.

Days. And she said knowing mom, it really could be days.

My heart sank. I really had a hard time with this particular stage here. Andrew and I immediately started making plans for covering the weekend, I told him I couldn't go back that day. That I didn't want to see mom like this, but I could come Saturday and watch over her. Andrew insisted that was okay.

A few more days, with mom like this and getting even more lost in there. It was the first time I didn't want to be there anymore. Judy promised she did want to be there, she wanted to be there for all of it, she wanted to be there for mom's death, Andrew and I were relieved, we really didn't, so it was really nice to have Judy there.

Mom's psychiatrist came, she loves him. LOVES him. More than us, I'm sure. He left, we went back in. Andrew and I decided to go because he had to come back later in the day. I kissed mom, told her I was going to see the world, told her I was going to take care of all of us, told her I loved her, and walked out.

Andrew and I are in the car driving away and I'm asking him if it's okay that I didn't want to go back today, he's insisting it's okay, we're doing what we need to do...

phone rings.

Its Judy.

Mom's gone.

Andrew and I pull over in a parking lot, 5 minutes from mom's nursing home.

And a wave of release pours over me so huge I can't even express. Totally surreal, sitting in a parking lot.

We had braced ourselves for a long and suffering weekend.

And mom, mom didn't make us do it. When we just couldn't come back one more time, couldn't watch her fade again, she waited until we left the room and died holding Judy's hand.

She gave each of us exactly what we wanted. My mom died perfectly.

And there have been MANY tears, so many, yesterday was just leaking water...but they are tears of release and peace and 8 years of wondering when this day would be.

I made phone calls I didn't want to make, cried some more, saw that stupid Snow White movie and marvelled at my mom. I thanked her over and over for not making me see more, I thanked her for dying well and quickly when it mattered the most. I felt release (relief is just not the right word) that she didn't have to suffer and that she died with dignity and love.

My father has been dead since I was 18 years old. I know Dad was waiting for Mom. I know it. 

I have a tour this morning, I went on a run this morning and did some yoga. I'm hanging with my husband this afternoon in the sunshine.

I know I will run the gamut of feelings, but today, today I feel powerful, strong, lighter and a gajillion other things, but this is by far the most peaceful I have felt about my mom in 8 years.

Enjoy the beautiful day.


wafelenbak said...

You're a rockstar, Hixx.
Blessings to you and your family.

Mental P Mama said...

Love and light to you all.

Melisa Wells said...

Big hugs to you, City Half. Just big hugs.

Mark Henderson said...

Love and hugs and all the support Megan and I can give your family.

smussyolay said...

all my love, always, VIS. let me know if i can do anything.

BigHig said...

You are loved. God bless.

Kate said...

Keeping you and your family in my heart, Hixx. Love and peace to all of you.

Erin Shea said...

Oh Hixx. Love you muchly.