I hoped to get to y’all sooner. But that didn’t happen. What did happen was hard to write about. The words circled like carrion over my heart. The whispers told me to write to you. I just couldn’t do it yet. I knew if I didn’t start somewhere, I’d never get this out. So here goes.
My Mom died.
January 29th. The day after her birthday. She made it to seventy-one. One person thought she was around my age. She had that Peter Pan thing going on. Lord knows how old they thought I was. I’m sure there was some confusion as to why this “kid” was asking so many questions and taking notes during rounds. I get it from my mamma. She was the family record keeper…
She suffered a massive bleed from a rare condition called Amyloidosis. Leave it to Mom to be different. She went slowly and quickly. I had about two weeks in the tundra of the ICU to say goodbye. During staggered moments of consciousness I could see her trying to make sense of the tubes and the sounds. It was a far cry from the quality of life she enjoyed. Not being independent was something she never wanted. When it was time to make the decision, we (my brother and I) let her go. Mom went out in true fashion. She did it her way. She took her sweet time. Doctors thought it would take longer. They didn’t know her like I did. She psyched us out like five times. From the outside looking in I’m sure the scene looked like something out of a dark comedy. We watched her chest rise and fall as if viewing a chess match. That last breath was so quiet. Not ragged and heavy like the others. She looked like she was sleeping.
For me she was gone the moment she was rushed to the local hospital. Unable to speak or move, she looked at me with lost little girl eyes. That powerhouse of a woman who was gentle and fierce was no more. The last words I heard my mom say the day of her stoke were, “thank you God”, sounding like a mantra and a plea. I knew something was off, just wasn’t sure how derailed my life would be before I made that call to 911.
One things’s for sure, Mom got the star treatment at both hospitals. The level of care and warmness was unprecedented to me. I’m not used to people being that nice. I think it was a runoff of the Mommy effect. She was the type of person you wanted to be good to because she radiated kindness even in her deteriorating state.
I miss her. I miss her smile and her rib-crushing hugs. Decades of her optimism echo back as I face the new challenges ahead. In the next installment I’ll get into some of that. For now, I just wanted y’all to know what’s been going on because we’re cool and I thought you should know. Pray for me (if that’s your thing). Lift up good thoughts for me and my brother. We really need them. Mom, she’s fine. She finally has the grand home she wanted. She’s probably telling the angels how to properly clean house.
That’s my girl. Love her for life!
p.s. shout out to the Stories Family for the forever blooms in the featured image!