reliving replaying *death details*Sad to be joining this tribe. I apologize in advance for the length. I wont be insulted if you dont read it all ;-)
I didnt know when I started writing this how badly I needed to write it.
Mom was my very best friend. We finished each others sentances, laughed at the same things, have the same voice.. She is the only person I've ever know who honestly knew how to love unconditionally. She was wise, gentle, silly, playful, beautiful, skilled at every homemaking skill imaginable, selfless and always saw in me what I couldnt. She was everything I want to be.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer just as complications in my pregnancy started.
We sat together at the high risk pregnancy wing,staring at the u/s, showing us the girl we both had been waiting for for years.
We cried together when they told me to abort, cried again when they told us she'd be born deformed, and at the labor and delivery room we held hands as I birthed the little girl the drs said wouldnt, couldnt breathe. We sat and waited for silence..
We rejoiced and praised in my girl shocking the medical community, laid together in my bed and marveled over her.
Chemo began and the spiral downwards was excruciating.
She'd sit at my table and cry. She was too weak to dance with my daughter, too weak to hug the boys or play and be silly.
My heart ached to hug her hard, squeeze her to me, feel her heart against mine. And couldnt. She hurt. All over, all the time.
When the phone rang, I considered not answering. That feeling in the pit of my stomach.. "you'd better get here. Moms got pnuemonia"
Hubby hadnt gotten the car stopped when I jumped out in the hospital parking lot.
Distant images of family members grabbing me, crying against me, Aunt telling me my dad had a shrink nearby for me just in case..
Just in case? In case I snapped, right? I know what they've been saying.
Mom and my relationships never been natural. Too close, too intimate, they said.
"They shouldve been able to cut those apron strings long before now."
I knew what they thought and said. I knew they didnt understand.
Nothing ever even the slightest bit improper about mom and I..we just felt like each others half, like our souls were linked.
I marched in, head high but blinded by tears and speechless from this ball of pain in my throat.
Moms 7 siblings, various nieces and nephews, cousins lined the corridor, my grammie at the end, near moms door. Her grief is palatable and she cups my face. "favorite child of my favorite child," and she encloses me in her softness.
My body is convulsing, an unfathomable ache rocking me.
The corridor is longer than it really is..its like the green mile.
Im at the doorway and look in. She got so small. This woman who spanked my butt all the way up the stairs when I said a swear, who'd put her hands on her hips and asked just what I thought I was doing..
It felt just like a scene from a movie. Her lungs were full so her breaths were shallow and gaspy. The oxygen mask kept creeping up her face.
I was so strong and brave. I told her it was ok, to just relax and let go. Heaven had a place prepared just for her.
And then I wasnt. It was like flicking a switch inside me and I was 5 yrs old begging her not to leave me. Im half draped over her, stroking my face with her hand. Dont go mom.please. oh God please I'll die if youleave me. you said you'd fight this and win. you said you would never leave me. Dont you want to dance with Bitsy? (dd nickname)
and then again back to telling her to go.
She was exhausted. Opening her eyes for a second meant she had to sleep for a few minutes.
The nurse comes and is looking at something attached to the bed.
Im cool and detached and the information junky Im known to be.
Its urine, she says. When the output goes down, we know its almost time.
I stare at her and I know. Next to nothing in that bag. I cover it with the blanket b/c mom would be mortified having people see her pee..
I lay across her again and grab her hand. Stroking my face I start singing our songs. The songs she sang to me as a baby, the ones we sang when we did dishes, or went shopping or just needed a break and we'd sit in the car and sing our hearts out.
My brother touches me and it feels like Im waking up. He's so scared and Im so selfish. I hug him and cry and all his says is, "Angel, thats our mom. thats mom. Thats mom"
We're all quiet again. My crying is silent. My shoulders shake and Im so tired.
I hyperventilate, matching my breathing to hers and I realize, less than 1 yr ago her and I were at the hospital, waiting for silence. Waiting for no breathing.
She is looking at me and I just know. She's hurting for me, for us, so badly.
She knows and cant do a thing. Her mama heart is breaking for ours breaking.
She closes her eyes and says very simply, "Im sorry."
My dad babbles on, he feels so helpless, no idea what to say to make her not feel bad.
But I know. I place her hand on my check, my head on her belly and start telling her everything good I can remember. All the indoor picnics and tea parties, baking and camping, the late nights we spent walking. remember whens..
I got this feeling..I dont know what it was or even how it felt now but I grabbed my baby brothers hand and brought him into the corridor.
When I looked in the room, mydad was sitting on one side of her and my grammie on the other, kissing her face, rubbing her head and then it was silent.
I ran outside and just screamed and screamed and screamed. I laid on the sidewalk and let my hubby gather me up into his arms and rock me.
Im going to go crazy. I cant live thru this much hurt. I cant feel all this and stay inside me. I want to run and I struggle, hubby holds me firm and cries with me.
Im calm and rather detached. I accept hugs from the family, politely say thank you for the "if you need anything at all.." and walk stiffly back to her.
I decided Id kiss her goodbye and then leave. hubby said he'd make sure I did.
I kissed her and went to put her hand on me one more time and she was cold.
Suddenly I understood the true meaning of temporary insanity.
I went banshee. I screamed at the nurses, called them horrible names, accusing them of negligence and neglect. Moms in the hospital and you cant even make sure she's warm?! How the hell can you do this job and be so careless and incompetant?!
Oh..it wasnt pretty. Hubby dragged me away and finally got me to look in his eyes and it was over.
Gwendolyn Mae williams 3/14/55-9/2/08
The first few months I leaked tears nonstop. I heard her voice everywhere. (my good God Angel! dont you ever dust? lookit those cobwebs!) and saw her in my house, sitting at the kitchen table waiting to play yatzee. I called her by accident/out of habit twice. I bought her a christmas present w/out even thinking.
By 6 months I still couldnt say her name without crying, had short term memory issues and woke up thinking of her.
Just went by her 2nd yr of being gone. I sing her songs, use her cookbooks and tell the kids her stories and about her.
I still ache as if something inside me was literally cut away. Theres an empty place inside that gnaws.
If I let myself think about it enough I get ragefull.
I talk to her as Im going to sleep, telling her what new thing each child has done.
From the day I got home from the hospital, I held my daughter tight to me and danced with her, sending as much of my mom to my babygirl as I could.
Im mad. mad that the older kids miss her and think of all the plans she had with them. mad that the little ones wont remember her. Mad that Bitsy is missing out on a woman who waited 13yrs for her to be born.
Mad that I didnt soak up all the knowledge mom had. Mad that I cant call her and cry to her About missing her. Mad that her shirts lost her smell and her perfume doesnt smell in the bottle like they did on her.
Mad that she left me and I'll go the rest of my life missing her.
*big deep breath*
Thank you all the opportunity and place for me to let go of some of it.