this isn't goodbye, My love will follow you, stay with you, baby you're never alone.
Its taken me 17 days to get the courage to come onto my blog and post about my mother's passing. Most everyone knows that God gained another angel the day before Mother's Day, Saturday, May 11th, 2013. She passed away without being in pain and honestly it was beautiful. The days leading up to that, however, were anything but. I don't know how many times I have said out loud and on Facebook that "this is the hardest thing I have ever done". Anything prior to Mom's last twelve days literally pales in comparison. I found out just how strong I was and at some times just how weak as well. There were two different times that I had to just step out of the room because it was all too intense in my head, and there's NO WAY I was going to let her see me fall apart even though she was 'sleeping'. I held it together, I gave her the morphine liquids, I gave her the shots after she could no longer swallow, every hour. On the hour. I stayed up for three nights straight because that's what she would have done for me. She would have done more. Sh has done more. She has made me who I am today and passed along the strength and the will for me to get through her last days. No doubt in my mind that she built a foundation for me that I am forever grateful for.
This post could get to be very long, boring, tedious, and just downright depressing if I decided to divulge all the details. I think out of respect of our family, only the necessary details will be given. I am happy to tell our story of how cancer stole my mother to anyone who would like to listen up close and personal, though. Maybe it will help someone cope, or to prepare for one of their loved one's impending illnesses. I will guarantee you my Mother's story is a powerful one, not to be easily forgotten. When previously I said she was a fighter, that was an understatement compared to her last days. There came a point about 48 hours before she passed that the Hospice nurses threw up their hands and said "I don't know what to tell you except she has THE strongest heart and fight in her that we have ever seen". And they have seen a lot.
Mom put a roast in the oven on Wednesday, May 1st, got sleepy and decided to lay down after we had exhausted her with a family visit that day, and she never again got up to walk. She had a couple lucid moments where she knew who she was and who was surrounding her, but for the most part, sleep. She just slept. Friday she woke up to her hospice nurse, told her she loved her, and asked to see her brothers, her grandkids, and the pastor. We flew into action, getting everyone there, pulling the kids out of school, and she was lucid and speaking three or four words. For about three amazing hours, she was awake. Smiling. Being loved. She knew where she was headed and she wanted to say goodbye, she wanted to say hello, she was preparing for where she was going. After about three hours, she closed her eyes again to sleep. Never again would she be awake long enough to carry on full conversations, but she would open her eyes every once in awhile when new visitors came and would speak their names.
After the tenth day started, I knew her tiny body was giving in, and even her heart. I held her hand. I stayed bedside for ten days waiting for HER and God to decide when the time was right. I stroked her hair, we gave her shots of morphine and we waited. And waited. As soon as she started to slow her breathing, I knew it was time. It didn't take her long to just slow her breathing and never take another breath. No gasping for air, no scary noises, just peaceful slow breathing. I swear to you it was one of the most beautiful acts I have ever witnessed. After her struggling and sleeping and moaning in pain for TEN days with no food or water, finally her fight was over. I was not relieved that she passed, I was relieved that she was no longer struggling. It was her time. She did it her way. I believe that she passed on the day before Mother's day so that I could go home to my kids. She did it for me and for them. I had not seen my kids for four days prior to her passing and my heart was hearting for her, and hurting missing them. She knew that. She felt that. She knew it was time.
Her last words to me three days before......Love you, too. Barely mumbling it out, but I knew what she said. Perfect words from a perfect woman who left behind a legacy no one can touch. Memories that will be forever in my heart, in photographs, and embedded in our family's minds. She will not soon be forgotten, nor will I ever stop crying over the loss of my mother. With days going by, it gets harder, only because I was in 'fight mode', protection mode, mother mode for ten days making sure she was not in pain and rolling her in her bed every two hours to make her comfortable. I am slowly letting go of the fear I had built up for those ten days, but I think there is a long road ahead of me.
I have so many stories to share and so many memories for another time and another entry on this blog. I am not done with this blog by any means just because she is gone. She was and IS my hero and I will love and honor and write about her always.