20 Seconds In Heaven

This 20 seconds in heaven story was written by one of our readers: Natalie Dosstter, (NM).

My mom with a smile on her face

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“Our Father who art in heaven “… My Mom has started praying The Lord’s Prayer since she was brought to the hospital from the behavioral center.

She was sent to the behavior center from the assisted living home. Two months earlier she had been living at home, living by herself, the way she preferred it. My dad passed away about five years earlier, and it isn’t that we weren’t worried about her, but after my son Anthony and his family had moved in with her in her two-story four-bedroom home, my mom had made it very clear that she wanted to be alone. Period.

Mom and dad on their wedding day

My parents had moved on to five acres of land in the south valley of town. And when my dad took my mom to see the property she said “ Johnnie! You bought an arroyo!” She was not very happy with this new toy. And not happy at all that they were moving to this property.

My Dad was not happy unless he had something to work on or tinker with. So with that being said, he bought the shell of a two-story home. He pulled it home on his own, with my son Anthony by his side.

My parents were basically my children’s parents also. They helped me raise my kids and loved them probably more than they loved their own kids. Anthony was my dad’s buddy: they went everywhere together. It really was country living, which to a boy is super exciting.

Our family

So, of course, when my dad passed away Anthony felt he needed to take care of my mom. That lasted a whole five months. My mom was not happy that my dad had left her, (of no fault of his own: he had cancer, that he did not tell any of us about. He was very good at keeping secrets that way.) or happy that people were living with her, or happy that she was left to live.

While my mom was at her home, she was getting very weak, and one day when I was visiting she asked that I call an ambulance. She must have been concerned if she asked me to call for help because she would rather eat glass then call for help.

At the hospital, they informed us that she was losing blood, and would have to have a blood transfusion. The day after the transfusion she suffered a stroke. She was not able to go back home by herself, so we were told she would have to go to assisted living.

My mother was given a hallucinogenic drug at the hospital, which of course, made her hallucinate so after she had an altercation with a nurse she was sent to a behavior center.

We were told that it would be the best thing for her so that she can have her drugs regulated and hopefully not be aggressive. They had said it would only take about a week, but my mom seemed to be getting worse instead of better. My sister asked when we could bring my mom home, (my niece and her husband Julio had decided to move in and take care of her), but they would never give my sister a release date.

We received a call stating that my mom was taken to the emergency room because while one of the nurses was bathing my mom felt that there was something wrong with her arm.

Now that was actually a blessing in disguise. My mom had broken her arm a few years earlier, and since she didn’t wear a cast or splint, her arm never healed correctly. So, from the hospital, we kidnapped our mom and took her home. She was so excited when we turned onto her street! Although my mom did suffer dementia from the stroke she had in the hospital, she knew she was going home.

As I was helping my mom get out of the car, I noticed that she was not able to turn and get her legs out of the car. Julio, my niece’s husband had to lift her out of the car.

Since I now was forty-five minutes from my mom’s house, I started back to my old schedule of just seeing her twice a week. When I was visiting, I tried to assist her in getting from her wheelchair to the toilet, but she could not stand at all, which was odd because she was walking when she had gone to the behavior center.

I asked my sister if she noticed that her leg wasn’t moving very well, and she said that she felt it was her restless leg syndrome. I told her that she should take her to have her leg X-rayed. My mom not only had a fractured pelvic bone but a fractured knee!

At the hospital, mom has had to have surgery on her hip and knee. And then she contracted C-Diff while at the hospital. I’ve noticed that when a male nurse comes in to help, she would yell “get the **ll away from me you son of a **tch!” And then start saying the Lord’s Prayer.

I’ve been spending the nights at the hospital with her, I don’t want her to feel alone or afraid. She hasn’t opened her eyes since the surgery, although she is talking and in good spirits.

My mom’s body is starting to reject the medications that she is receiving from two different iv’s. The doctors have asked us if we would like to send my mom to a facility with hospice, but we would like her to be home so we could be with her twenty-four seven. I told mom that we were taking her home, and I asked her if she was glad to be going home. She said: “no not really”. So I asked her why? And she said: “because I’m a coward”.

We took her home. She was hyperventilating. She had stopped eating while she was at the hospital, which is an indicator that your body is giving in. A nurse came to the house to check on her and said that it wouldn’t be long, so if anyone wanted to say goodbye they should come soon.

My brother was driving in from California. My husband was at our house babysitting my grandkids. I told my son and daughter and husband to try to get here by five-thirty.
Anthony and his daughter arrived at my mom’s at the same time. So it was Anthony, Ariana, and me in the room with mom.

Since momma had gone into the hospital for her injuries, we would have to continually reassure her that we were there and we wouldn’t let anybody hurt her. Anthony told her: “I’m here grandma”.

I started patting on her shoulder: not hard, but not so soft to where she wouldn’t feel it; just a comforting pat. Then I said: “we’re here mom, don’t worry, We won’t let anyone hurt you. I know you’re tired, and if you want to go to sleep, you can, because we’re gonna be right here watching over you”.

For some reason, that I’m not sure of, I said: “I’ll go with you, I’ll protect you, so don’t worry, because I’ll be with you forever and I won’t let anyone hurt you”. And then my mom’s breathing became very shallow, and she was gone…

20 Seconds In Heaven

That night I went to sleep, and I dreamt that she and I were about five years old, and we were running through a field. I started running towards myself in the dream, and my mom was running toward a man who was wearing a hat. He was very well dressed, and I felt that it was my grandpa. He was always dressed very nicely, with creases on his pants, and a kerchief in his pocket.

I turned to watch my mom, and as she was running, she started hopping. It looked so funny that I started laughing. I woke myself up laughing! Before I reached myself, in that twenty-second moment before waking up laughing, I had the most magnificently exciting feeling! It wasn’t a feeling that I could ever explain, not like giving birth to your first child, or watching your first grandchild being born: it was much much greater than that or anything, and it wasn’t a feeling inside of me: it was in the air at this place that my mom is. And it wasn’t a beautiful place: just a normal looking field, but the air-filled you with this ecstatical wonderment!!!

I am truly blessed to travel with my mom and to be reassured that she was finally having all of the joy that she was wanting for so long.

You might like this book too: 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life

20 seconds in heaven - a touching goodbye story - Pinterest image

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