Saluting My Mother (9/26/58 – 6/15/10)

This is a blog post that I never wanted to write. I have started this post over and over again…never to finish, never to post. My mother, Barbara, passed away in the wee hours of the morning on June 15, 2010….3 days after her and my dad’s 28th wedding anniversary. It’s been almost a month since she has been gone and my life has been surreal ever since. I write this post as a form of healing, since I have not spoken in great detail to too many people about the events of the past 2 months.

Mother’s Day weekend 2010….I went to visit my parents all weekend. It was first time I had spent extended time at home since Christmas. Work schedule was extra crazy so I was just happy to be able to go home. My mom was really depressed that whole weekend. She was so weak that she had not been able to go to church. She had lost the use of her right arm. She was talking about her upcoming doctor’s appointment to see what they could do about that. I just remember feeling sad because she slept almost the whole time I was there. Was just confused because she never wanted to talk to me on the phone and wasn’t really up to spending time with me while I was home. The very next Sunday I get a call in the wee hours of the morning….my mom. She was going to the emergency room. Something wasn’t right and she just wanted to talk to me all the way there. (45 minute trip) Something just went all over me during that conversation and I just started crying. My mom, being her usual feisty self, made me put my boyfriend on the phone to make him calm me down, lol. She made me go to work and not even come over there until after I got off. She found out once she got there that the cancer had spread. There was a lesion on her brain and her doctors didn’t think that there was anything else that they could do. All treatments for the past year were not working. Her main oncologist wanted to keep trying. Mom chose to cut her losses and enjoy whatever time she had left. She stayed in the hospital for a week until she could get placed into hospice care. This was May 16, 2010.

There wasn’t a time table placed on how long she had. She seemed so much better without all that chemo. She perked up and was the healthiest I have seen her in past year…..all except for that arm. I was under the impression that she would eventually come home against all odds. She planned EVERYTHING. Funeral was planned in about 2 days….told to me and my brother every single detail. My dad wasn’t trying to hear any of that. I was driving back and forth almost everyday just to spend time….lay eyes on her.

About a week or so before she passed she just stopped eating. Slept a lot more. Talked a lot less. I had started going about twice a week by then. Being in hospitals freak me out and it was making me weary. That last week I just kept putting off going. The whole family was there together that last day. She just looked as if she was suffering. It broke my heart because it seemed like she was struggling to live. I kept thinking to myself, “I don’t know how many times I can come over here and see her like this.” She was non-responsive that whole time. The brightest spot of the day was when I came in and said “hey Mama!”. She opened her eyes and looked at me for a minute and closed them. They said it was the most she had done all day.

I couldn’t sleep at all that night after I got back home. Jay (the boyfriend) stayed up with me until I went to sleep….which was a little after 4 a.m. according to him. My dad called me right before 7 and told me that she died….a little after 4 a.m.!

I am so thankful for the time that I have shared with my mom. Almost 27 years of my life. I wish that she could be here for all of the milestones that you really need your mother for…..my wedding, my first child. I just hope that I can take all that she taught me and become that woman that she wanted me to be. And on that note…..I must sign off.

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