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Weaving Life Together Reboot

January 29, 2016
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I wrote this post originally in May 2012 after my mom passed away on Mother’s Day that year. For some reason I never posted it, but since I’m getting this blog going again, I figure I’ll start with this one.

 

I’m starting to think I should change the name of this blog to Weaving Death Together.

My mom passed away on Sunday. I’m still in shock. She had been in the hospital since early April due to complications to remove a blood clot in her leg (apparently there’s a problem with the contrast dye having a tendency to shut down kidneys… dialysis was no fun for Mom). But we were making plans for her transfer to a skilled nursing facility with the goal of going back home in about 3 weeks. So it was quite a shock to walk into the hospital on Saturday and see her having so much trouble breathing that it led to a coma. I was so glad I could be there to comfort her, but the look of panic in her eyes will haunt me. Her friend of 40+ years, Gloria, was there, too. My heart breaks for her to know that she has lost such a dear friend.

Dad and my brother came to the hospital right away, and my parents friends, Larry and Carolyn joined us soon after.  I called her friends and relatives on my cell and held the phone to Mom’s ear so she could hear them tell her good-bye. She’d straighten her arm or squeeze my hand when she heard each special voice.

I won’t go into the battle we had with the hospital to remove the bi-PAP machine; that is for another day. Suffice it to say that hospital procedure needs to be changed if only one doctor can sign a form and noone else. And my not-idle threat of calling the local news media if we didn’t have action within 45 minutes (afer waiting 6 hours) didn’t hurt either. The doctor met the deadline.

It was a long afternoon and night, and my dear friend, Julie, texted in the evening to ask if I needed anything. (It’s good to have a girlfriend close when your mommy is dying.) CHOCOLATE was the one and only response. She was on it and arrived with the treasures for all of us. Dad and my brother left to get some sleep and others were gone, too. Julie stayed with me and we called the 24/7 prayer tower at Silent Unity in Missouri. We put them on speaker phone and the 3 of us prayed with Mom. It was beautiful.

Mom's favorite picture of herself. She told the hospital staff that this is how she saw herself and not to treat her like "an old lady."

Mom’s favorite picture of herself. She told the hospital staff that this is how she saw herself and not to treat her like “an old lady.”

Around 4 a.m. I asked the nurses how Mom was doing and they said that, based on her breathing, she may pass around 7 a.m. I set my phone alarm for 5:30, but woke before it to call Dad and Keith and ask them to come back to the hospital. They arrived soon after and she passed peacefully at 8:37 a.m. after the final dose of “comfort care” morphine. (Mom loved morphine from her first stay in the hospital 6 years ago when complications from a stent and infection required her left leg to be amputated. She said she wanted a t-shirt that said “Give me my morphine.”)

 

The funny thing is, the thing that has always brought comfort to me (yarn, knitting and weaving) are virtually unavailable to me right now. It’s impossible to knit when you’re holding the hand of a loved one who’s dying and I can’t do the math to figure out how to wind the warp for my next project. It’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other right now. Making plans for the memorial/wake on Sunday, notify everyone, comfort my father, deal with the mortuary and assorted paperwork are about all I can handle right now. Thank goodness I have an understanding boss and work colleagues who told me to take the time I needed.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Janice Heather permalink
    January 29, 2016 11:26 am

    Hi Holly-this is a beautifully-written piece and a tribute to your mom. She is still with you and is undoubtedly smiling and so proud of you!

    >

  2. January 29, 2016 5:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing your heart in your post. Such difficult moments to go through, and yet profoundly human and touching at the same time. I’m so glad that I could be there with you for part of that, and that I could bring some momentary comfort.

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