As a blogger, there are certain posts you "plan" in your head before they happen.
Then there are other posts that you just never plan on writing.. and you have no idea how to start it, or how to end it or how even to SAY the thing because no words can do it justice and because it seems ridiculous that it's something you even need to say.
On February 27th, at 3:45 in the afternoon, surrounded by her family, my mom passed away.
I've said the words "my mom died" over and over again since that moment...sometimes they come out very factually. They're my new normal. Sometimes I just sit and repeat it silently in my head and it sounds so stupid. Did that all really happen? Two weeks ago today I was sitting at work and everything was fine..and 2 weeks later I'm sitting at work and nothing is fine.
To make a long story short, she was admitted 2 weeks ago with a bladder infection. Something that is relatively common for a person with a permanent catheter. She was actually at the same hospital for the same thing about a month ago. I got the call from my dad Tuesday that they were going back to the hospital, he thought it was another UTI, and I just said "okay" and went about my day. I didn't go to the hospital until Wednesday. The severity of the situation started to set in somewhere in those 24 hours. She was on a respirator this time, because the staff was nervous about her breathing/swallowing abilities.
We were asked if we thought about the possibility of her dying within the year. The answer was no. 3 years? 4 years? 5 years? I think we were prepared for that. Or so we said. That quickly devolved to 6 months..and when pressed by my brother, the doctor said realistically she may not make it more than a few hours after the tube was removed and if she did? We were still looking at a week or 2, max.
You go through some weird stages of acceptance and sadness when you have a mom with a degenerative terminal disease. You KNOW your whole life she will not live a full life, you spend time thinking about what the end will look like. It won't be the M.S. that does it, the M.S. will cause something else to fail. Still, you think you have an idea of how it will go.. my dad, my brother, myself.. we all had different ideas.
After being told this on Thursday, we lived at the hospital for the following week. We left a few times for a few hours, to shower, eat, grab some clothes.. but we otherwise had a routine at the hospital. I slept on the tiny convertible sofa (several nights with M, when he was there), my brother was on the floor, dad was on the recliner next to her bed. We'd wake up early with the sun, and the morning shift of nurses. Get coffee and breakfast in the café downstairs, speculate who would be by to visit that day. Spend time staring out the 10th floor window onto downtown St. Paul. Watch morning rush hour..and then evening rush hour. Grab dinner downstairs or order in. Settle in for the night, which was usually the best time of day. It was quiet, and calm.
I don't know what else to say about it right now.. it was the longest and shortest week of my life.
I'm sure I'll write more about some of this as I work through it all myself. Her services are tomorrow.
I'm not abandoning the blog.. I'm just not sure what my posting will look like the next few weeks. So, bear with me.
I'd be remiss if I didn't say thank you for all the love and support that my family has been extended. It's been overwhelming in the best way possible. I had this idea in my head that people want to be "left alone" when things like this happen, and I've discovered that is almost universally NOT the case. A quick text, an offer of food.. they mean everything. So, thank you.