Wednesday, June 10, 2015


It's hard.

It's raw.

It's unpredictable.

It's necessary.

It seems as though this Spring has been filled with grief for our family.

First, our girls diagnosis of diabetes.

Then, my mom was hospitalized for a second time in 2.5 weeks with recurring pneumonia.

That didn't seem THAT concerning since she's been hospitalized before for similar reasons.

However, things did not turn out as they usually had this time.

I went to Ashtabula, Ohio to see her upon her request. The nurses stated she 'wasn't critical and would most likely go home early the next week."  I was torn initially, due to our girls recent diagnoses and life altering situation.

Yet, mom pressed.  Telling others she didn't think 'it looked good' and 'This is it.  I'm not gonna come out of this one.'

I arrived Saturday to the upbeat woman I knew and loved. Albeit weak and without a voice. She didn't know I was coming so got teary eyed as her face lit up and she hugged me.  "I knew you'd come," she whispered.

I left that night and ate with my dad and brother feeling confident mom would be home soon - once they cleared the pneumonia again.

The next morning, while leisurely enjoying my coffee and chatting with my brother, a call came in.  Dad answered.  A few moments later, the TV went off, lights turned out, and he entered the kitchen.  "We have to get to the hospital.  We should have been there already."  With that, he began to cry.

Rob and I just stared at him. Then one another.

"What happened?  What did they say?"  I asked.

"They want to now our wishes."  He choked out.

With that, we all went into motion. Rob headed out to get the car ready.  I ran to get dressed.  Within minutes we were whisking dad down to the car and heading to the hospital; making calls as we went.

Upon arriving, Mom hugged me and said, "This is the end.  My funeral money is in the envelope......  The life insurance policy is in the....."  I could't believe my ears.  What was happening?  How?  Why?  Yesterday she was fine.  Just a slight case of pneumonia. Antibiotics; steroids; she was going to get better.  Now????

Talking to the nurse, she mentioned bringing in hospice.  Told me the heart doctor had talked about possibly needing to put her on ventilation.  Her oxygen levels were barely 50% despite being given 50% oxygen.  However, her body wasn't really strong enough to withstand such treatment.

It didn't make sense. What was going on?  What happened to the mom I had seen not even 24 hours earlier?

Each time I talked to my mom, I saw a peace in her. She knew all along this was coming.  She was ready.  She wanted to go home.

I wasn't ready to let her go.  "Why? Why are you giving up?" I asked.  She smiled lightly and caressed my face.  I knew the answer.  She was tired.  Weak.  Tattered.  She.   Longed.   For.   Rest.

True rest.

So much happened in the following days.

Decisions were made. Papers filled out.  Words spoken.  Hugs given.  Family meetings were had.

Hope was renewed for the here and now then quickly dashed again as we'd hear different things from different medical staff.

While in ICU mom woke up and held my hand and said, "I really want to see Doug and the kids."

Part of me knew right then.  Yet, part of me wasn't ready to accept the reality.

She wanted to say goodbye.

I called Techno.  Plans were quickly made for all of us to return the next week.

Mom rallied.

On Wednesday, the day I left to retrieve my family, she was pushing herself up in bed and feeding herself ice-cream; something she hadn't done since right after I arrived on the Saturday before.

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