I’m kind of numb tonight, more wounded than numb, broken hearted. Mom had an episode last night about 4am when I got up there, stayed until she rested and went to sleep, about 5:30am, the walked home. She was talking normal after I gave her something for pain and something to calm her nerves. It only took a little of each, mush less than normal. We adjusted her pillows and fluffed them, repositioned her in the bed, covered her up. Mom ask me to stay so I did until she went to sleep. Megan stood watch the rest of the night and said she slept well. She had a very rough night until then, after that she had a good night. Denise went up there right before 7am and sent Megan to bed.
I had come back home and went back to bed, mom’s BP was good and her heart was beating about 72, all was great. At 10:15 Denise called and woke me up, she was saying to come up there, mom was breathing funny. She called a second time before I could get out the door, I could hear the panic in her voice which is unusual for Denise. I put my teeth in, pants and shirt on and was up there by 10:30. Denise was standing there in a panic, she was crying and saying she couldn’t find a pulse. Mom had died right before I got there, just minutes before. She looked peaceful on my face, still warm, she had sweated in her sleep. Denise said it came on suddenly, no strained or laboring, she just breathed shallow for a few minutes, then stopped.
I didn’t take it with the strength I thought I would, neither did she or Megan. I am lost. I don’t remember crying this hard, ever. Mom is out of pain, yet that doesn’t ease the pain of her passing. I know there are no goodbyes but this certainly feels like one. I called the Hospice nurse, then Tina, Misty, and Annie... by then I was pretty much all to pieces. Denise called and talked on the phone after that. The Hospice nurse came down and talked with us, she called the Funeral Home for us and hugged us. So thank you goes out to Jean Knight of UT Hospice for being so helpful and kind today and throughout this. Johnny from Farrar Funeral Home came to get mom's body, he offered to wait until we left the room to take her from the bed to the board for transport. I stayed.
We went to the Funeral home at 4pm to start getting everything arranged, but mom had told Johnny most of what she wanted already. I told him whatever mom said is what mom gets. Johnny was helpful and nice, mom loved him. I managed to hold it together until all that went by, even when the preacher came by, thought I unraveled a bit then. 3 other people from the church came by, didn't know them, but they were nice. After everybody had left and Denise was inside, Megan was home, I went on the back porch and went to pieces. Denise was inside in pieces while Megan was home, so we all hid. Everything changes now...
Mom was born and lived in the Great Depression as a child, born in 1928. She was upbeat and smart, remained that way the whole time through. Like JFK, she lived her life under something that still stands out today to me. "Some see things as they are and ask why. I see things as they could be and ask why not." She got her GED in her 50s, then went to Vocational School to train for office work, then onto Real Estate school to be a Realtor. In her 70s she went after her Broker License, then onto opening her own company, American Homes & Realty Inc. I worked there with her after I left UPS until the Throat Cancer. Mom had planned on me taking it over one day, I already had paid to study for my Broker when the throat cancer hit. I ended up not being able to go back into the business. Imagine at her age those accomplishments. Some said mom was greedy since she kept on working, but she wasn't. Mom made tons of money yet died in debt, not from bad anything, but from giving it out. She could not enjoy having anything if she saw someone who didn't have but needed.
Mom took me in at 6 months old and her and dad raised me as their own, yet my biological parents still had a part in my life. Technically my grandmother, but completely my mother. She never practiced tough love but rather unconditional love. She believed in me even when I didn't. She saw the good in everybody and held no grudges. I was made better not by her words but by her and dad's examples. I am broken right now yet I know I have been blessed by God allowing me to be in the company of such great people, and still am, my wife and kids. Mom lived her life like dad, to an old Cherokee proverb without probably even knowing it. "When you were born the world rejoiced and you cried. Live your life so that when you die the world cries and you rejoice." I know mom is with dad now and everything is great. Surely Heaven is brighter by her addition, while the world is a bit darker by her passing.