With many friends who have lost their mamas, I love you. This was written 1/31/2017, mom’s fifth anniversary of her passing.
I received the phone call shortly after 8:00pm.
“Sis, I’m at the hospital with mom. She’s in ER. Heart attack.”
“I’m on my way, brotha.”
On my down, a drive spanning 10 miles, a parking lot appeared and it was time to enter.
Mom was conscious. In PAIN. Excruciating, adulterated PAIN. Massive coronary attack.
She saw me enter the room. In an almost apologetic tone, in between audible groans “I’m trying to be a good patient.”
Stroking her silver hair, I told her I was right there with her; the helpless reality, knowing there was nothing I could do to alleviate her physical pain.
I remember someone on the hospital staff sticking some clipboard in my face.
“Your mom needs to sign this release.”
My brain asked, “Are you f*cking kidding me? My mother is having a massive heart attack!”
The haze of this particular memory is thick, though somewhere along the line, hospital needed a credit card for a $50 charge.
To my then-husband:
“I need our credit card.”
Some sort of argument a minute or two and whatever needed to be paid complete.
In the meantime, no relief for mom.
“Where’s _____(my daughter)? She needs to be here?
And with that, her dad took off, making the drive from Orange County to LA to pick up our kid at college. I remain grateful for that.
By the time my girl arrived at the hospital, her Nana had been sedated, as doc and company did what they could to place a stent.
Wasn’t gonna happen. Clogged arteries had taken a toll on her precious heart.
A few more hours pass as mom lay in her ICU room. By 2:30am-ish, in a tiny room down the hallway, in what seemed like a muddled dream, the words “I’m afraid she’s not going to make it” were heard, though not clearly absorbed.
Those hours, the ones before the nurses would disassemble her breathing machinery, were spent holding her hands; me on one side, my girl, the other. By then, my brother had gone home to rest a bit and bring back mom’s DNR and living trust to the hospital.
Slowly, a soft sunrise filled her window overlooking the harbor; the glorious scattering of lightness appeared.
“It’s almost time.”
Family gathered, our time to say so long. No machines. Peaceful, yet shallow breaths, my thoughts of how beautiful her skin looked. At seventy-seven, I took in all of her; face, being, living self, as to remember the beautiful soul who was my mother. Knowing it was almost over, those moments spent, the gratitude for being with her, my Jersey girl was gone.
To be with one you love immensely when they pass is an honor and a privilege.
“See ya at the beach, Mama. Be at peace.”
Life has never been the same since. Losing a parent, no matter what age, is cause for reflection. I rejoice life because of mom. What a privilege it was and how proud I am to be her daughter. 💜
We’ll find each other soon. 💜