I think this is going to become my new best time to blog. E.A.R.L.Y. in the mornings. But what am I talking about? I haven't made any specific time lately my time to blog! But, I'm trying hard. Really. I am.
You know that Gib wakes up in, what I consider, the middle of the night to go to work. I've not been able to go back to sleep after he leaves between 4:30 and 5:00. And I can no longer just rest comfortably in bed until it's time to get up. I have a terrible pain in the side of my right leg that is worse than any sciatica I've ever had. I'm seeing a chiropractor, but it's not helping. Yet. The only thing I can do is get up, and it eventually eases but never completely goes away.
So, here I am. Bright and early in the blog world!
Gib scanned a picture of Dumplin' for me yesterday, and again, I PROMISE I'm going to write more about him and my pregnancy thus far. However, today has a more "heavy" hold on me...
Today, my mom has been in heaven for three years. On one hand it seems like yesterday. But mainly it seems like an eternity since she left this earth. And I miss her terribly...
I don't have to "think" about what the day is. I just "know". Last night, I woke up from falling asleep with Jessica. It was 11:35pm. I remember so clearly that, at that time, her breathing was becoming more shallow. Her breaths much farther apart. Her groaning louder. And I felt so helpless. All I could do was sit and hold her hand. And I was so glad that I could be there to do that. As hard as it was, I would have chosen to be no where other than her bedside. In fact, I hardly left her side that night. I knew it would be her last, and I wanted to be there as she took her last breath. My mom, though a Christian, was very superstitious. I do believe she heard us talking in her room and knew that it was a Friday the 13th. I don't think she wanted to die on that particular day. She fought it hard, and she took her last breath at 12:13am on April 14th.
She had been admitted to the hospital the early to middle part of March with pneumonia. She had a mild heart attack during her stay. I went to bathe her one day, and I remember her asking me when Dr. L (her oncologist) was coming to see her. I told her that he wasn't going to and she was extremely puzzled. There was nothing else he could do. Her lung cancer had progressed rapidly and her body couldn't tolerate more chemo. I wanted SO badly to tell her the end was near, but my stepfather and brother asked me not to. They felt that if she knew, she would just give up right away. I respected their wishes. And she might not have fought as hard as she did. But I do wish she had known. There were conversations that I would have loved have with her...things that only we could talk about if she was aware that her time was short.
I remember bringing her home from that hospital stay. We had a hospital bed delivered to her room to make getting up easier, oxygen was set up in the next room with a very long cord to reach her. The hospice nurse met us there to do the admission paperwork. I was helping her get off the potty and as she stood, she hugged me, crying, and said, "I never thought I'd get this bad". It truly broke my heart. I told her we were all there to help her and we would get her through. Having said all of that, I think she knew her time was limited but not so short. She told me several times she believed she still had six months to live. She really only had about 4 weeks. She died just 12 days before her 70th birthday for which she had planned a BIG party at my house! It just wasn't meant to be.
Those weeks at home were tough. My stepdad left for work early in the morning and she was alone until I could get to her. I would get Jessica to school, rush home to do laundry or a little housework, get Emma Grace to school and head to her house. I would leave to get Emma Grace and go right back. My sweet friend next door, Nicole, would get Jessica off the bus, and I would stay until my stepdad got home. As much as Jessica loved being next door, there was one night that Jessica broke down and told me she wanted me to get her off the bus. I did my best, but it didn't always work that way. I was in survival mode. Literally.
The last week of her life she rapidly declined. On the Tuesday morning before her death, my stepdad called and said she was in a lot of pain. Hospice sent a crisis nurse to her home which was a huge blessing. They started her on oral Morphine that day and she rested much easier. My mom told me to bring the girls over after school that day because she wanted to see them. I promised that I would. When Jessica got home, she pitched a fit to play with Sidney next door instead of going to see Granny. I guess it was the stress and sadness that I was feeling, but I grabbed her by the arms and very firmly said, "Your Granny isn't going to be here much longer! You can play with Sidney any time. Granny specifically asked to see you today and we're going whether you like it or not!". She got over her "fit" and off we went.
The girls climbed up on the bed with mom. She loved on them and they on her. It was such a special time. It was the last time, too.
That very same night, I had to teach a childbirth class, and it didn't end until 10pm. It was about an hour away from home, but my brother was still at my mom's house, so I decided to go on over. It was about 11:15 when I got there and she was groggy from the morphine. But she was still talking. When it was time to go, we said our "I love you's".
Sometime during the night, we believe she had a stroke. She was unconscious from then on. I remember not knowing this the next day when I took Emma Grace with me to visit. I was shocked and devastated. As we sat on the other bed in her room, Emma Grace, who had just turned four, asked me why Granny wouldn't wake up. I had no choice but to tell her that Granny had gotten more sick and would go be with Jesus soon. She was in my lap, turned her little head and with the most serious expression said, "No mommy, Granny needs to stay here with us!"
Emma Grace still talks about her Granny to this day. Especially about Granny and Grady being together. I think it makes her feel better that Grady has her with him. The first thing she said when we told them Grady had died was, "Mommy, Grady can be Granny's baby in heaven". Yes, he is.
Gib took a couple of days off of work when mom got worse. It was such a blessing that I didn't have to worry about taking care of them and mom at the same time. I had not been home, so when they found me in my bed the next morning, the girls knew she had lost her battle. They came in to talk to me and it was so hard to explain death to them. Emma Grace asked me if Granny flew to heaven. It is a hard thing to describe the separation of your soul and your physical body. It comforted them to know that Granny was healthy and well in heaven. Jessica said, "You mean she can run if she wants to?" Yep, she can!
As you can tell, my heart is heavy and sad today. My mom wasn't the easiest person to get along with. She often brought me down in our conversations, and I'm so sad to admit that because of this, I stopped calling her every day like I once did. But, oh, to have the privilege to call her again and hear her voice would be amazing! Even if she was depressing and critical at times. So, if your Momma is still here with you, please call her today. Even if you don't want to. Because I promise that when you can't, you'll wish you could...
"I love you Momma! And I miss you more than words can say! T"
I wrote this post one year ago. So, amidst my sadness today, I'm going to write ten things I'm thankful for...
1. I'm thankful that the dentist's office called me with a cancellation to get my teeth cleaned this morning...and that it is Wednesday and my dentist of choice is in the office today.
2. I'm thankful for the beautiful weather we've had lately, although I could certainly do without all the pollen!
3. I'm thankful that I was able to change my doctor's appointment from today to Friday because I also have a bereavement meeting that day. Saves me gas, time and money!
4. I'm thankful that most people who have heard that I'm pregnant again have been sweet and positive and that I've only had a couple of negative responses.
5. I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to have lunch with my girls at their schools today.
6. I'm thankful for my husband who works so hard to provide for our family and takes such great care of me and our girls.
7. I'm thankful for Jessica and Emma Grace. For the joy and love they bring to me each and every day. For the opportunity to be their mom and try to show them the unconditional love I have for them in my heart.
8. I'm thankful to be pregnant again and for the hope that this new little life brings.
9. I'm thankful for Grady and his short life. For the things that his life and death have taught me. For the ways that I've been able to help others because of his life in me.
10. And most of all, I'm thankful for the God in whom I believe. For His faithfulness, truth, promises and sovereignty even when I feel that things are out of control. For without Him, I honestly and truly don't know where I would be today.
If you've endured this very long post, thank you! God bless!