Two weeks ago today is when my world began to change. My Mom was placed on life support, I could talk to her, she could listen and nod her head, and even point at letters on a chart to spell words, but the machine was doing nearly all of the breathing for her. The truth was, without that breathing machine my Mom would not have been alive the 10 days she was after that.
For the past month or so my Mom had not been feeling well, and local doctors thought she had pneumonia. After being transported, the hospital where my Mom had her lung transplant 3 years before found out days after she was admitted that her lung was rejecting. This began a series of treatments which did not stop the rejection of my Mom's lung. Looking at the XRay, we could see my Mom's original lung, but the one that was transplanted (on the other side) was not even visible on the XRay. While we prayed for and believed in a miracle, we knew that unless that happened then my Mom would no longer be with us on this Earth. I'm a firm believer that if it is a person's time to be called from this Earth, then there is nothing anyone can do, God is God, He makes that decision!
Over the course of 10 days, my Mom had to be sedated quite a lot. Me, my husband, our daughter, and my brother and his wife would sit by my Mom's bedside watching her sleep and silently praying. Our son and one of my nephew's was waiting and hoping out in the waiting room. Churches were praying, a prayer cloth was sent and pinned to my Mom's gown, Pastors/Chaplains came and prayed, but it was still my Mom's time to leave this Earth.
I knew the day that my Mom was going to have the machine removed would probably be the last day of her here on this Earth. What I didn't expect, but will forever be grateful for is that on her last day, she would be awake and alert while still on the machine. She had been sleeping several days, only waking up every now and then and she wasn't usually alert from all of the sedation/medications as she continued on the ventilator. As I walked in my Mom's room that Friday morning, the day she left this Earth, she was still on the ventilator, but she looked straight at me. As I moved around the room, her eyes followed me. So I stood by her bed and she nodded and shook her head to what I said to her...she was responding to what I had to say. I got to tell her once again she was a great Mom, and I got to tell her that I loved her. While God's plan wasn't to keep her on this Earth, He at least allowed me the opportunity to have one last conversation with my Mom (and He allowed me to realize that this was my last conversation with her while on this Earth, so I made the most of it). What I didn't know, is that my husband took a picture of my Mom and I during our last conversation together. I don't know if I ever will really share this picture for a lot of people to see, as my Mom was still on the ventilator and she had so many things hooked to her and I don't think that's really how she would want to be remembered. I, however, will treasure that picture, and I think she would want me to. It was our last real conversation. I had no clue the camera was on us, I was caught up in conversation with my Mother, and that picture means more than words could ever say.
Anyhow, my Mom died peacefully on the 20th. She died in her sleep while my brother held and kissed her hand with her last breath. My Mom was and will forever be remembered as a great woman. There have been so many people contact me (some of who I don't even know), telling me how my Mother had touched their lives in some way.
We had a full house during the funeral services. This further proves how many lives my Mom touched and how loved she truly was (and still is). She left behind great memories for so many people!
This morning I got up expecting my Mom's phone call (as we always talk every morning), but the phone never rang. That is something else I will have to get used to. Her not being around during the holidays will be just another reminder of her not being here.
I keep reminding myself that she is no longer suffering though. In Heaven my Mom will be able to breathe the way that she should and the way she deserves to breathe. Mom has struggled for years with her health, and a part of me wanted to be selfish and keep her on this Earth, but she has never been selfish when it has come to my care and well being, and it was my turn to not be selfish, it was my turn to let her rest. This means I have to say good-bye for awhile, but one day, I will see my Mom in Heaven, and I'll never have to tell her good-bye again.
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