I said goodbye to my mother today. Just 8 days ago she was having a terrific day, although of course “a terrific day” is all relative when a person has stage 4 cancer.
This photo is from 2 years ago, when she was 70 years young. She looks nothing like this today. Today she is skeletal-thin and frail.
She went into the hospital on Friday night after being cared for nearly ’round-the-clock by my younger brother & SIL since Wednesday morning. Mom was in a great deal of pain — something she always insisted she had very little of, although we suspected she was just good at repressing it.
This morning my brother called from the hospital, told me the current situation (no more machines, just oxygen and a morphine drip), and then gave me about a minute to talk to Mom on the phone. She was so weak that one minute was her limit for talking. She was so weak it was difficult to understand her — the weakness prevents her from forming words clearly and she sounds like a stroke patient — but she did try to talk.
I told her I loved her and that I take comfort in knowing she will soon be with her mom and dad and ~M~ (her husband who died 13 years ago). I said I was sorry I couldn’t be there with her now (although honestly? I’m a little bit relieved that I’m not there. It would be so very hard. I’m obviously a big chicken) and that I loved her very much (true). And then she told me that she loved me. I’m glad I could understand those words.
So that is that. I’ve been given a gift, that one last time to say “I love you.” So many people don’t have that opportunity. I”m grateful to have been given that gift.
Now I wait for the phone call that tells me she has passed from this life.
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