What is in my heart today
Monday, January 02, 2017
The flood.....and mom
I was sitting at a soccer game on Mothers Day when I got the call that Mom was going to the emergency room. She got infections a lot, so I wasn't super alarmed. Things were actually going really well throughout the week and it looked like she was coming home.....and then, 10 minutes after I left her room to go home one day, her heart stopped. She had been dead for a few minutes....and they were able to revive her. This started the unraveling of her journey, but not how you would expect. She got a defriilator put in, etc and spent the next few months in rehab. She was doing great...I mean excellent. She walked further that she had in years. She was stronger. She was great. She promised me she would be home for her 75th bday in August, and she made it. We gave her a wonderful brunch and thankfully, a photographer was there to take the most beautiful pictures we will ever have. I had taken her shopping and she had bought several outfits for the day. The outfit she wore that day is the one I ended up burying her in. It gave me comfort to remember how beautiful she felt when she wore it.
As the summer wore on, her good times were fewer. She would get swollen legs and infections, and then they would resolve. She didn't have good help at home and insisted on doing so much herself. Her constant activity made her weaker.
I had started to pull away from her now that she was home. I had two boys leaving for college. I was really struggling with my new family dynamic- 2 of my 4 out of the house. I was resentful that most of my summer was taken up by my mom and I didn't get any of that time back with the boys. But the truth was, they were busy in their lives and weren't around anyway. I think I just resented that she was not well and I couldn't fix that.
I came home from work most days in tears- the mean girls brought every insecurity I had about myself to the surface. I was trying to juggle two little ones when I worked and that was so hard. I don't make enough money to spend on daycare...so there were days they ended up at home alone and that made me insane.
I seriously felt like I was going to implode. Oh, and the flood- our septic system backed up into the powder room the week after my moms heart event. It leaked through the floors and into the basement. Luckily I was home when it happened, I had the disaster crew come in and clean and rip out the bathroom...and I shut the door. I could not deal with one more thing. So, we had no bathroom downstairs until recently.
My husband knew I was in a bad place, so we decided to take a few days and go to California with friends. It was my moms last week on earth. I regret that I wasn't home. But in a way, I am glad. I was not patient, or friendly or loving. I was tired, broken, and struggling. Thankfully, my kids saw my mom almost every day after school. I even had some great conversations with her when I was sitting, relaxing in the sun. My head and heart were more clear, and we could just talk.
I knew she had been lonely and not feeling good. I knew that, but I also knew I could not be there for her. I have never been in as bad of a place as I was- completely and totally overwhelmed.
We arrived home. Late on Friday of that week. On Sunday, my mom insisted on making dinner for us. It was a long day of soccer and my son had to get back to college, but we had a two hour window, and we spent it around her table. I had to leave during dinner to drive my son to his ride's house, so I wasn't with her long. I noticed how pale and not well she looked, but I figure we would catch up during the week. I do not remember our last goodbye. I had always tried so hard to remember those. But I didn't remember saying goodbye to her that night. On Monday, I had the day off. I did not go see her. I kept telling myself I should, but I never got off the couch. I didn't even call her. I struggle with forgiving myself for that.
Tuesday morning, she went to the Er. I got the call at work and headed over as soon as I could. She had a breathing tube. Her blood pressure was so low. I didn't really understand what had happened. That night, I stayed with her until after midnight. The nurse told me to go home. It would be a long recovery and I would need my strength. I had been here before, and decided this time to listen. In the morning when I called, she was not great but stable. 20 minutes later, my dad called and said she had a horrible infection in her leg and she was being rushed into surgery. I screamed at God in the car. Take her! Stop this suffering!!! This is too much!!! I got to see her before she went into surgery. I was able to see a tear stream down her cheek. I knew what still haunts me- she was aware and she was afraid. It all happened so fast.
After her surgery, they told us there was only a 10% chance she would survive. I am trying hard but cannot forgive myself from putting her through that surgery. It was an awful surgery and she never could have survived it.i should have protected her. If I had not gone home, I would have known how bad it was.
We called my ther brother who was not there. We were all able to be there with her. She had her last rights. We prayed. We said goodbye. In the end, she just took one last, small breath and it was done.
I know you are all going to say I did all I could and all of that...and I am trying to know that. I used to save her messages on my phone so I could hear her when she was gone someday. My daughter had my phone the week I was away, and my messages got deleted. There were a few left. One, asking me to come over and spend time with her, which I had missed and not heard. Another one of her telling me how she hadn't been feeling good and was worried. I am left with those.
There is so much that I wish was different. We had come close to losing her before, and I had always been there with her
It's a lot to process and I will need to get some help with that. I am struggling with my faith. There was no feeling of peace, just finality. I thought my faith would help me feel it
Differently. She was in my dreams last night but I can't remember what she said. I miss her terribly.
I know that everything I did came from love. She knew this too. I also know that in the end, I wasn't there for her like I wish I would have been. Time will help me with this, but I feel it deeply now. I wanted to remember and savor those last moments and I didn't. I can't take anything back or redo. I know all of that. But when I allow myself to fully grieve and feel all these feelings, they are raw. I do fine each day, and I remember her happily. But these deep thoughts are ones I only unpack when I have the time and desire to feel them- like now in my writing.
I will be ok. I know she is better off than she was., and my faith will get stronger.
Thank you for listening and understanding this part of my journey. Xo