Pictured above: (1) Mom looking very young and attractive with her whole life ahead of her…career girl, (2) Mom with her Mom, Dad and Sister Lillian on a family trip…always a mama’s girl, (3) Mom a week ago looking happy and healthy.
I can hardly believe or accept the natural progression of life…doesn’t seem fair somehow.
Well, it’s a new day and one that I wasn’t looking forward to. Mom passed away this past Sunday, September 28th. She is finally with her Mother, having a clear head with no suffering. No more dementia, no more Parkinson’s disease and no more leukemia. Finally free.
I hadn’t been posting in the past month because there just wasn’t any time to do so with the stresses of the situation, so I did post an update earlier today so there was natural progression of what was happening. That being said…
Last week was her final week and it was a hard one. The Friday before was the last day that she could stand or walk…she was too weak by Monday and was totally bed ridden, although she wasn’t aware of not being able to walk or stand. She would try to get up all night, every night, scooting down to the end of the full bed rails where there is a space to get out of bed. One night I actually slept at the end of the bed so she couldn’t do that. Vladimir spent the rest of the nights, holding her hand until Wednesday when she went into a semi-asleep stage. She no longer appeared awake or speaking. She hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink in days. When her mind was awake, her eyes were still closed, but she could definitely hear what you were saying. While awake, her hand would flail around from the Parkinson’s disease, and would be still while sleeping.
After my alarm went off Friday morning at 5am, I just had this nagging feeling, like I shouldn’t go to work that day…but me being me, of course I went as to not rock the boat. I wasn’t there 2 hours when I got a text from Cardine that her breathing was heavy. That was it…I was out of there within 5 minutes…like a blur.
Called the hospice nurse to come and was hoping that she would be there before I got home. She wasn’t, so we waited…when she got there, she noticed that we had her dressed in layers and was completely overheated. We had been told by the doctor that she was extremely anemic and should be kept warm. What nobody told us, was that when the body is at the end of life, it sweats profusely, which was the case with Mom.
She instructed us to take off the layers, cut a t-shirt as if it was a hospital gown, take off the blanket and just use a sheet. Open the windows and put on a fan, which of course we did. She cooled off after a sponge bath and all seemed to be well…all except that she still no longer was 100% conscious. The nurse took her vitals and told me that her pulse was extremely high and her body was working very hard to sustain her. She told me that she though it would only be a couple of days. The thought of that scared me to death.
That night while sitting in the room with Cardine, Mom all of a sudden started calling clear as a bell, Mom…Mom…very slowly but very clear. Cardine and I both looked at each other knowing exactly what was happening….her Mom had finally come to get her just as she had with Mom’s father, my grandfather.
Saturday came and everything seemed status quo…but still there was that awful black cloud hanging overhead that something could happen at any time. I stayed close to home even though Ashley, the Saturday aide came. I wanted to see her through to the end and was very grateful that I wasn’t at work. Not sure that I would ever feel the same about working if I was there when it happened.
Got through Saturday like a champ and hoped that we could go on for a few more days. Sunday came and I noticed that her skin was appearing yellow and I knew that wasn’t a good sign. Her liver had stopped cleaning the toxins in her body. I sat with her doing little things like looking through old photos for this blog, etc. The whole time I was searching through the old photos, I was talking with her about her younger life, working in Manhattan at all the important positions that she held, which I know was a very happy and important part of her life. I spoke about the places that we have lived and the things that occurred back in the day…the good things! Told her that I loved her…
At 2:30 pm the hospice aide came…first time, as I am usually alone with her on Sunday. I now wish I could have been alone with her this day…but they sent someone and that was it. She wasn’t there 30 minutes and Mom went into a very heavy breathing pattern accompanied by a moaning sound…almost sounding like Mom…Mom…Mom. By 3:20 I watched her take her last breadth. It was the saddest day of my life. For her, she was finally no longer suffering and with her Mother once again. The Mother who she has been searching for over the past few years.
Rest in Peace Mom. I love you!