Last Saturday evening, my sister called me. She asked “are you sitting down?” ( never a good way for a conversation to start) She told me that one of the neighbors had found my mother had died in her sleep. The next 24 hours were numbness, shock, and confusion. We found out the EMT’s were able to start her heart & that she was on a ventilator, (they didn’t realize she had a DNR)
Long and short of it was that they were waiting for us (my brother and I) to travel up to West Virginia & say goodbye, & then turn off the machines.
We left Monday morning & got to the hospital at 4 AM on Tuesday. One everyone was there, my uncles, brother & sister, and I: we said goodbye, stepped out of the room so the could extubate her, and two days before my birthday, her best friend and I were holding her hands when her heart stopped beating for the last time.
Mama & I had a complicated relationship, but I loved her and I know she loved me the best she could. I prefer to remember the good things, that she donated blood and probably saved a lot of lives, that she loved animals and people ( you couldn’t go out in public with her without her either running into either someone she knew or having her strike up a conversation with a complete stranger.) She loved country music, she collected pigs, she had a pretty smile and a quick wit. These are the things I want to remember about her, not the bad things.
Goodbye Mama, I know you did the best you could and I hope you know that I did the same, but no matter what, I always will love you…RIP.