2 weeks ago was the last time I got to hold her soft hands and feel her squeeze them back. Mom made it pretty clear that she knew it was close so I took that long drive alone to visit with her that day. About a week earlier I had visited her in the hospital (for a bad case of the shingles) and she was her usual perky, lively self...giving he** to the hospital staff. My sister and I laughed about that because, as we knew, if she was grumpy she was doing alright. But just a week later at home her condition had changed dramatically. She was too weak to stand and could barely sit up or eat. My younger sister, who had some medical training and lived very near her, had been her caregiver through that time. She'd explained to me about Mom's cancer taking over with a vengeance...the chemo drugs hadn't been working this time. Mom was a fighter and this was her third time with lymphoma (and a detestable medical system). She'd been turned away for Cancer Treatment because they "didn't like her insurance"!!! She was 81 at the time and not ready to give up. She'd beaten breast cancer and lymphoma twice before! So, on that Thursday I sat with her and held her hand and spoke sweetly and made her laugh again. I got to take care of her. That night I drove back home after promising to be back on Saturday. The last words we said to each other were "I love you". That Saturday was a full day and I didn't arrive until 10 at night. And so I didn't disturb the household so late I went to my sisters house instead; sis was going to Mom's overnight with the message that I'd be there first thing in the morning. Mom passed away that night, shortly after that. I didn't get to be with her again after all. But that night I found myself at her bedside, holding that hand and begging... "Mommy, wake up! Mommy come back to me!"
When she didn't squeeze back I knew she was truly gone. The nicest person I'll ever know and the woman who had given me life was gone. I'm so lost without her. I don't have any of her things to remind me or comfort me (her husband and I don't get along) and it's kinda killing me inside. Being the oldest of her children I feel like the "keeper of the family memories" but I don't have access to that stuff. I'm so alone. She wanted her legacy to be her children reunited and close again, but they don't return my phone calls. My grief is so deep that I ended up fighting off pneumonia, which makes me too weak to do anything.
Her funeral service was on Halloween day 10/31/2013.
I'm not alone in my house but I do spend most of my time in bed crying. I can't put two thoughts together. Mostly I've been into distraction...TV, kids, even thinking of incorporating the Day of the Dead into my processes. I've lost a lot of people along the way and it seems like a good way to honor them. BUT I know it's just a distraction from having to know that I'll never again pick up that phone and hear my loving mother's voice. We'll never laugh so hard at greeting cards again. We'll never empathize again...share jokes again, share our happiness and sorrows again. She was my best friend for life. She was on my side. Who's going to do that now? I told her once when I was a kid..."I'll never be as nice as you, Mom." No one is.
This is not eloquent nor does it in any way express all there is, but I'm thankful to get it down here.