Friday, August 23, 2013

My Mom

My mom had been sick for sometime.  I think that our family was partially in denial that such a strong woman could be sick and partially we didn't really know how sick she was.  She would tell us little snippets of information but she had a way of doing it where it didn't seem all that bad. 

March 2013
In March of this year I went to the doctor with my mom.  Hearing from a doctor how sick she was actually made me sick.  At that point my mom had COPD and stage 4 emphysema, there is no cure for that. The doctor explained that there were not many treatment options, actually our only option left was hospice. With our focus shifting from prolonging life to making sure she was as comfortable as possible during the transition.
 We left the doctors office and she asked me how I was feeling, and I responded with "I'm fucking angry".  That was the truth, I was angry.   I wrote about how I felt cheated and angry previously, you can find that post here Cheated and Angry. 

Over the next few months we talked a lot about what was going to happen and I watched the strongest woman I know get sicker and sicker. We joked about death and other things that many people would find not appropriate for the situation  (and I am totally fine with this). We debated about ghosts vs. spirits, heaven and other random topics. What was coming still wasn't "real".

In May I stopped by my parents house on my way to a mud run and my mom asked me "do you want to be here when I die?"  I responded with "Are you serious? What kind of question is that?" and we left it at that for a few days.  My mom had expressed that she didn't want anyone to be around when she passed, and I then expressed how I didn't think I could live with myself if I wasn't there.  But in the back of my head it still wasn't real. 

June and July she continued to decline.  We talked almost everyday on the phone and I came out to see her.  She was dying and there was nothing I could do but standby and watch.  She had asked me several months ago to put together a slide show for at her memorial.  I agreed, then she said she wanted me to do it before she died, so she would know what we were watching. I was in shock and I told her exactly how morbid I thought that was.  I put it off as long as I could, I think in my mind if I did it, it was real. My mom was going to die.

I kept coming up with reasons why not to do it and why she couldn't die "yet".  We talked about death candidly.  I expressed my anger, hurt and fear.  Then we sat down and started listening to songs.  She picked out ones she liked and decided which ones she wanted in her slideshow.  I finally finished the "rough" draft of the slide show in July.  We watched it together, and I cried.  She told me there was no reason to cry, as she would be waiting for me in heaven.

My mom took a turn for the worse at the beginning of August, a few days after she celebrated 36 years being married to my dad.  I got the call and immediately rushed to her.  For the next few weeks, it was up and down.  We knew she was dying, and we struggled to be ok with it.  I spent every moment I could with her and it never felt like enough.  I was exhausted, upset and I was still angry.  I knew it was close to the end and she tried to remain strong for us right up until the end.

On August 21, 2013 at 9:40pm my mom passed away. She died peacefully at home with my dad, her brother and myself by her side.  

Over the past few months, I became closer to my mom then I had been in a lot of years.  I will forever be thankful for that.  There is nothing as precious as time.  Hug your loved ones and don't let a day go by that they don't know how much you care.


So life has gotten in the way...or not really. I have just not had the heart to write.

I hope to change that over the course of the next few months and have some topics already in mind.  For example, I have a few race reviews.  Also, a few product reviews.  And there will probably be some more posts about death and dying, as this is how I am going to heal and get through the loss of my mom.