Happy to be Sad #6 From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power, and welcome back the “Happy to be Sad,” a series based on the last two weeks of my mom’s life. Grab your coffee and come on in.

I can’t believe I forgot to tell you about something major that happened Wednesday before I left to go home. Remember? So Mom must have heard the nurse talking with me because after she had left, I began to hang up her little jacket and her sweet voice beckoned me. “Kim, I’m scared I’m not going to get better.” That was one of her real lucid moments.

I immediately stopped what I was doing, went and sat down on the bed and grabbed her right hand. “Mom, do you believe in prayer?” “Of course I do,” she said rather indignantly. “Then I’m going to pray with you right now.” So for the first time in my life, I prayed with and for my mom! I keep hearing myself share at the workshop, “Pray for them because you never know when you’re going to pray with them”! I can’t believe I forgot to share that with you. There’s just so much that happened in such a short time and I’m still overwhelmed with missing her.

Anyway, let’s get back to where we left off, which would be Thursday evening. I need to backtrack a little bit here too: I keep remembering things. I guess I don’t want this series to end. My heart’s desire is that it will touch you as much as it’s healing me, and that it will inspire you to love those unlovable and/or difficult people in your life because none of us have tomorrow.

Allow me to backtrack to wheeling her back in from our little venture outside. When we got her back to the room, we helped her stand up from her wheelchair, and I told her I was going to have her walk the 10 or 15 steps to the bed. She looked over at me and pretended to scowl and said, “You’re gonna make me mad.” I smiled when I realized she was kidding. “Good, you go ahead and get mad but get to the bed first. You’ll thank me later when you’re strong enough to get out of here.” I really believed she was getting out of there and was going to go in a board-and-care place that I had already begun checking out.

Anyway, after I told her to get moving, I kissed her on the cheek and she moved forward with George on one side and me on the other holding her up. With each tiny step she took, she counted, and her counting became faster and faster. You would have thought she was winning a thousand bucks to get to the finish line. She was so relieved to be at the bed. I held her up while George got on the other side of the bed and I let her down gently on the big pad that allowed us to move her with a bit more ease. I lifted her to get her centered on the pad correctly and I heard a pop, but didn’t pay attention. We managed to pull her into a comfortable position. She let out a huge sigh of relief as she laid her head back on the pillow.

I went to stand up and I couldn’t, not straight anyway. I ignored the pain while we talked with her for a few minutes as she drifted in and out. When we put her CD on, she drifted in for a while, talked to us about how beautiful the voice was – it was the Celtic worship CD — and when we were certain she was fast asleep, George and I left.

Friday morning, after going to court to fight a traffic ticket – which I wound up giving up because the cop showed up , but they did reduce my fine more than a hundred dollars – I then went to see my chiropractor who said that my lower lumbar had separated from my hip joint. No wonder I couldn’t stand straight and I was in so much pain.

I got home and lay down on the couch to rest for a bit. It turned out to be a very little bit. My phone rang, and thank God I had had the sense to bring it to the couch with me. It was Mom’s nurse. “Kim, your mom hasn’t had a very good night.” Panic and alarm pulled me up and I scooted myself back up against the back of my couch. “What’s wrong?” “I’m just going to be very frank with you. You mom is not doing well and I don’t’ think she has more than a few months to live.”

Now she had my full attention. “What are you talking about? I don’t understand. The physical therapist said she did better yesterday.” I sounded desperate, even to my own ears.

“I think your mom’s lifestyle is catching up with her and she doesn’t have the strength to fight it. She’s not getting enough oxygen, even when she keeps it on. There’s too much scar tissue in her lungs making it almost impossible for any oxygen to make its way to her brain.”

I sat in stunned silence, the sound of my tears holding me captive. “Are you there, Kim?” “Yes,” I muttered. Ty continued. “I’ve already talked with her and so what I’d like to do is to have you talk with hospice so they can help you through this.”

“You mean you told her she only has three to six months to live?” I felt like this lady was pouring ice water all over me. “Yes, I did.”

“What did she say?” “Actually, she was worried about you, and then she said, ‘Well that’s a hell of a thing to tell me.’”

“How long ago did you tell her this?” “Just before I called you.” “Can I talk to her, please?” “Sure.”

I could hear Ty’s heels walking down the hall, and could envision her walking into Mom’s room. “Shirley, your daughter wants to talk with you.” Mom’s weak voice came on the phone. “Hello.”

“Hi, Mommy,” I said. “When are you coming?” she asked. I winced with pain as I tried to get comfortable on my couch. “Well, Mom, I hurt my back so – Mom’s cry interrupted me. “What happened?” the concern in her voice so evident. “I’m okay, Mom. I just pulled it out of whack so I have to be still for about an hour. But I’ll be right there, okay?” “Can you make it sooner than later?” Her plea was like that of a little girl. “I’ll get there as soon as I can, Mom, but it won’t be more than two hours.  I have to call George so he can drive me.” Silence hung over us for seconds and then choking down my sobs, I told her I loved her. “I love you, too.”

Ty came back on the phone and I heard her leave Mom’s room. She asked me what time I thought I’d be down there. My head was spinning as I looked at the clock, thoughts of my mom and hospice practically paralyzing me from thinking. I told her hopefully by 2. She told me she’d wait for me and she also let me know that hospice would be in touch with me sometime within the hour. I thanked her and hung up the phone, completely in a daze.

Well, I’ve kept you long enough today, but thank you so much for staying. I don’t mean to drag this out; I really don’t. I will wrap up with the remainder of the moments that make me happy I’m sad tomorrow.



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One Response to “Happy to be Sad #6 From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power”

  1. Jan Bachelor says:

    What a beautiful and sad time you have shared with all today. Of course we always would like more of the “good time” spent with our family, it’s all the “ugly time” we never want to revisit ever again. The “ugly” seems so very long and the “good” so very short doesn’t it? But, what a blessed ending experience we had the chance to receive! I PRAISE God for that short but everlasting memory and treasure it like it as a precious jewel.

    Bless you my child,
    Love, Nanny-Mom Hugs and Kisses and I will see how it goes for Monday after radio. It could work! Ha