My mother died Saturday May 10th. She was surrounded by the people she loved best. I wrote these in the final days of her life.
My mother is dying.
She lies in a hospital bed in the bedroom she has filled with antique glassware, old jewelry, pictures, her favorite things that she has collected for at least 40 years.
The doctor gives her 6 months.I donít think she will survive 2.How do I prepare for this?
How do I give up the person who; for more years than I care to admit; has taken care of me, kissed my boo-boos, snuck me her credit card to go buy clothes, made me love thunderstorms by dancing around during them, [I found out later she was terrified of them but never wanted me to be], fed me, clothed me, changed the color of my bedroom once a year, drove me crazy at times, called to tell me it was raining outside, woke me up every morning of my at-home life singing to me, called to tell me it was hot and I needed sunscreen, slipped me money, nursed the broken heart of first love, has been my champion, my biggest fan, my hero, my friend, my mother..
My mother has always loved her family.She spent her life taking care of us.She spent her life worrying about us.She spent her life teaching us.She spent her life loving us.If this was one of us, she would be fighting for us.I want to fight for her, but I don’t know how.Now she lays shriveled in a hospital bed not even knowing exactly where she is most of the time.
I try to keep some normalcy in our lives, especially in Keis. But I cry often. I cry almost every night around 7:00 which is the time my mom would call me to say, “Goodnight sweetheart” I crave those words that I will never hear again from her. I cry for the grandmother that Keilee never got to know, I cry for the pain she is in, I cry for all the times I got frustrated at her, I cry for the guilt I feel for not making her go to the doctor earlier and I pray. I pray for strength, I pray for peace, I pray for mercy, I pray for miracles..
How will I survive waking up at 3:00 am and knowing she isn’t here? I am not ready to live in a world where my mother isn’t…
5.8.08 11:00 PM
Waiting for you to die…
With every breath you take I wonder, is this the last?
A bedside vigil…
Holding your hand…
Rubbing your beautiful face…
Laughing with my brother over a memory…
Sobbing quietly in the pillow…
What a strange time…
Watching the person who gave me life…
Slowly leaving this world.
I am strong, I can do this. I am filled with peace. I am calm.
Wait! No, don’t leave me! Please don’t make me live in a world without you, I can’t survive this!
At night I dream that the phone is ringing and it is my daddy telling me you’re gone. I jerk awake and listen to the silence.
I want you to die peacefully, I imagine you taking a long, slow breath; a smile coming across your face and that’s the end.
I don’t want this ragged, gasping for air. I can’t bear it. I can’t just sit and watch you struggle. How do people do this?
My daddy is falling to pieces; he can’t handle the pain of sitting with you.He retreats to the den.I crawl up next to you, not in the big antique bed that you have always slept in, but in a small hospital bed.I talk to you.I tell you I love you.I tell you thank you for being my mother.I tell you I will be all right.Of all the things I say, I know this is what you need to hear, because you have taken care of me all of my life.You would hold on forever if you think I need you.
Go sweet mother, go and run and dance with the angels. Laugh and twirl like you did with me so many times. Be at peace. We will be together again. I love you so very much.