About a month back, I announced that I was traveling to OKC and asked if any dopers wanted to meet up. I only got one to commit but that was OK. You see NoClueBoy is one of my favorite dopers.
Anyway, this isn’t about meeting him, because I didn’t.
The purpose of my trip was to visit my mom. I hadn’t seen in about 3 years. I hadn’t been ‘home’ since 1999. That time, I was home for my brother’s funeral. He died, quite unexpectedly, from an aneurism. That’s when the blood vessels in the brain goes “Blamo! You be dead! Tom would approve of me using that term, he coined the phrase during an intense game of Risk. He died at work. His friends told us that he simply said “I have a headache” and then collapsed.
But that wasn’t this trip.
My dad passed away in ’82. I spent all day Friday alone with my mom. It had been a while. My mom was apparently turning into that ‘old lady’ on the street that annoys people. I learned that she is on a first name basis with the code enforcement guy as she called him all the time to complain about the neighbors. It was strange sleeping in my old room. As we spent the day together we drove around a bit. We passed an assisted living center. Mom complained that my sister Lori wanted mom to move into one of those places. Lori lives closest to mom, only about a 30 min drive. I told my mom “She only wants you to do that because when you drop dead, she is the one that will have to find you.” Mom laughed at that.
After lunch we went to the cemeteries. Dad and Tom are buried across the street from each other, so it is very convenient. While there, mom showed me around. Pointed out where her friends were, showed the grave of what looks like five siblings who all died on the same day in 1943. We did some other things as well. At home mom told me that if there was anything I wanted to ‘take it now’. I asked if she had made out a will and she said she had but she thought she might change something on it. She did tell me that the silver service was to be Ashley’s. (she’s my neice.)
On Saturday, my sister from Wichita KS had come down with her kids. We had a great time. We all went to see A Prairie Home Companion. If you haven’t seen the movie, well, it’s pretty good. But you should know that Virginia Madsen plays an angel. An angle that comes to ‘take away’ an old man. She does other things as well.
Anyway, we come home and Mom is at mass. She reads at the Saturday evening mass. She gets back and we all go out to dinner. We go to this Mexican place that my sister Susan’s husband Rick likes. (Casino DeMino) We are eating diner and mom suddenly says “I have a headache.”
And then she collapsed.
I picked up cell to call 911 but I realize that I have no idea what address the restaurant is. I can’t even remember that we are on Air Depot. A women at the next table calls and I tell her that mom mother is 75, and what happened. Another woman in the restaurant is there and I think she is a nurse. She appears to know what she is doing as she feels for my mom’s pulse anyway. Mom’s pulse is strong but she is having trouble breathing. The ambulance comes and we head to the hospitable. The doctor tells us what we already know. He thinks it’s an aneurism. A CAT scan later and it is confirmed. I get the nurse to call for a priest. “Do you want a minister? We have one here.” “No, it has to be a priest to administer Last Rites.”
We, my sisters and I sit in the room with her. The doctor tells us that she is brain dead, her heart will wind down. It may take 20 mins or several hours. I call some people, I sit with my mom, and, just like in a movie, I feel the warmth slowly go from her hand.
The priest comes, does the rites. I know mom would have liked that.
My brothers show up. The oldest, feels he is up to bossing everyone around. The other, well, that’s the brother I don’t speak to anymore. I hadn’t seen him since ’99 either. Before that, he was being an ass at my wedding in ’97 which capped off a lifetime of grief he had given me. Still, I’m nice to him. I don’t runaway and he stays on his best behavior.
So I had to cancel having diner with NoClueBoy.