by Soul sister
Ok so I am addicted...
| I am a professional student. I am 43 and still in school. I actually got my Masters Degree in 1996 and swore off college forever!! But oh no!! The other part of me wanted to go back for an add-on certification to my Masters. I have been back in school for two years now and have one more semester. But I am so stressed out right now because i am taking two classes- one of those being an internship and I am working full time with a family. AM IINSANE OR WHAT?? If I make it through April I will be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I have so many papers and projects due for college and for work!!!!!
In other news, I am glad that yesterday I had a little time with my 10 year old. We spent some time just the two of us walking along the river and taking pictures. We were actually working on a project for his class. But he told me in the sweetest voice that he was having a great day learning about history with his MOM!!! I thought how I need to enjoy these moments with him before he hits the TWEEN ATTITUDE!! Hopefully, he won't have it too bad. He is such a calm, laid back type of kid. In fact a complete stranger told me yesterday how well behaved he was in a store. I had left him at the photo center to pick up photos as they shot out of the machine. I went over to another ailse and got some merchadise. THe store clerk is the one that told me how good he was and that she didn't even know he was there because he was so good. His teacher tells me that all the time. I am proud of him. His brother is good too. I hope they stay that way when they grow up. I want them to be great men.
I think of my Mom a lot. It is hard to believe that it has been 4 months since we lost her.
She fought until the end. She had been sick all week and Daddy met me with her at the Emergency room on a Sat. I will never forget meeting them at the truck with a wheelchair and she was all dressed up and had that make-up on. She rarely went anywhere without her make-up. She just smiled at me as I met them. I knew she felt bad though. Over the days the cogestive heart failure on top of her Pulmumary Hypertension just did not improve. Our cousin is her heart doctor and came to check on her and told us she did not have much longer and we should let her go home with Hospice. My family was so upset. Mama had fought having Hospice brought in a year ago. She felt like that meant we were all giiving up on her. I was the one who had to tell her because no one else in the family would do it. It was the hardest thing for me. She got mad at me and told me to shut up. She hardly ever spoke harshe words to me like that ever. She kept telling me I didn't knwo what I was doing. She blamed me because i was the strong one. She barely spoke to me for a couple of days and it broke my heart. But the two days later while she was still in the hospital she softened up and told me she was just upset and nervous about everything. I think she realized there was nothing anyone could do but make her comfortable. That night I watched her grab my Daddy's hand and hold it. I felt like she was accepting things then.
At home my sister and I took turns being there with my Dad and brother day and night. We had her with us for six days after she was released from the hospital. She got weaker each day. My husband was out of town so I stayed most of the nights with her ( My kids too) Mom wore a pump that gave her the medicine that kept her alive for over a year. It was a difficult pump to change out and she was shaky the last few times she changed it. The last time she changed it -- it took me and my brother and sister to help her. BUt she insisted in doing most of the work because she always thought we would do it wrong. THat day as we finished the bandages she looked up and said, "THAT IS THE LAST TIME I WILL CHANGE THAT THING> " At the time I did not realize the significance of her words, but I think she did.
Mom got to where she couldn't swallow well but still wanted to eat. I think it was part of her fight because she knew that one of the last stages of dying is refusing food.
In those days I have a few memories. She didn't talk much and would murmer. I would say what and she would do that exasperated thing she always did that I wasn't listening to her. I believe it was a couple of days before she died that we were in room and thought she was asleep and were talking about phones. She calls out " Charge!!!" It wasn't until after she died that we figured out she was telling us to charge her cell phone for my Dad.
I walked in on Friday and she had been asleep and she just smiled and waved. But it was a weird wave almost as if she was waving to someone else like an angel or something. I can't explain it.
Because of Hospice, Daddy and Jeff were putting in improvements such as a a smoke detector. Well, Daddy also had picked up a new kitchen sink that he and Mom had been thinking of putting in. They installed it the day before she died. I told her about it and she asked if it was white. That was what she wanted. I told her yes and she just smiled.
Daddy had been kind of sickly with a virus while she was in the hospital and then was having some reflux problems. She worried about him but still managed to fuss about him, "THat man always got to be sicker than me!!"
The day before she died she was in a semi-conscious state-- although we really didn't realize it at the time. That morning she had been awake and my sister and I bathed her and joked around with her. I think we tired her out though. But we dressed her in her pretty blue pajama top and I told her how pretty she looked. In the hosptal she had kept that make-up bag in the bed with her and kept the make-up on. But she didnt' need it. She was a prissy little thing and often told me I needed to put on more blush or more lipstick. She told me in the hospital I needed a hair cut.
She fell asleep around 11 and slept all day. My siblings and i changed her pump as she slept. The preacher came over as he often did and the whole family stood around her bed and prayed. She woke up and held her head up and during the prayer she looked around the room at each face-- almost like a child would. Then she closed her eyes again. That night she woke up and talked to me a lot. I can not remember all of our conversation. I told her we had changed her pump and she was surprised. She said she had heard me trying to wake her up all day-- but she couldn't wake up. I told her about all the visitors and phone calls. She told me she was hungry and I fed her a late supper. ( I think this was the night she had the late supper)
That night she talked in her sleep all night. I think she was talking to angels. She stated that she lived in Russell County and kept saying yes, yes like she was answering questions. But I would think she wouldn't have to answer those questions. I woke her up and asked her if she was dreaming and she looked at me like I was crazy for waking her up and went back to sleep. The next day she couldn't swallow but still wanted her medicine. and food. I gave her eggs and grits. She nearly choked on her medicine. She felt nausea so I gave her a liquid medicine to help her with that. My sister called and asked if maybe we should give her some morphine and I said she was resting good. I am glad I did not give her any morphine because it made her sick the one time I did. She fell asleep around 9:30 or 10. My cousin came around 11:30. We went into another room around 12 so Mom could rest. She had been asleep the whole time. I had gone in several times and pulled up up in the bed. She often slid down and needed to be half way up to breathe properly. She didn't wake up but cried out like a baby would that morning. I thought that was strange and told her, " I know-- I know-- I am too rough."
She wore an oxygen mask so Daddy and I kept going in and checking on her to make sure her mask was on. I think I checked on her about 15-20 before she died. Dad had been in the room five minutes before I found her. My cousin was about to walk out the door to visit a relative across the road. Hospice had arrived to deliver some oxygen. I went to check on Mom and realized she wasn't breathing. I called my cousin in. She was so warm and it was hard to tell if she was really gone. I guess it was just a surreal thing. THe oxygen guy walked in and my cousin said- "Ask him" His eyes got so big and I said to him, "IT is ok she is gone." THen he and my cousin went to get my Dad. I called my sister and she was on the phone when Dad walked in adn I said, "She is gone Daddy" We all cried out then.
By the time my brother and sister and the rest of the family got there-- her color was gone and she didn't look as peaceful as she did when I first found her. It was hard for them to see her. When Hospice came-- I pulled the needles of her pump out!!
When the funeral home came to get her-- her bed was still warm.
I wrote all this down because I wanted to remember her last days. She was spunky right up to the end. My sister and I took care of her and i am so glad. We actually had a nurse coming to meet with us that afternoon if she had not died. WE were going to get a third hand to help us out. I think part of Mom going so soon after she figured out that the medicine wasn't helping her was that she always said she didn't want to burden her family. She was at the point where we had started putting a diaper on her. We were having to help her move in the bed and everything. She didn't know about us gettin g a nurse. BUt she worried about us not getting rest all week because we were round the clock taking care of her. BUT i wouldn't trade those moments for anything. Her doctors had thought she had 3 more months. I am surprised how hard it has been. She was sick for 4 years and we knew it was coming. But it is still so hard. I still have such raw emotion and cry a lot. She was my best friend-- the rock of our whole family. Dad has been pitiful without her but is getting better. She was beautiful in the funeral home. We only let family view her because she always said she didn't want everyone gawking over her.
She looked so young and healthy. She was smiling. Before they closed the casket, my dad said, "This will be the last tme we see her" It broke my heart.
We are there for Daddy a lot now. I think we are closer than ever. Mom always did a lot of the talking. Now he does. He has always been so quiet. I used to call every day and talke to MOm. Now I talk to Daddy. He had always been one to stay on one project after another and has still done so. I can hear mom now fussing at him. " THat man-- what is he doing now-- tearing up creation:? " She fussed at him alot but they had a love of over 50 years. She was only 74 when she died. She had four older siblings. No one expected her to be one of the first to go,