Thursday, August 25, 2011

A post I never thought I'd have to write...

"You know Nanny would've just loved Lu!" is the last thing I remember my mother telling me. She said other things, but none stuck like that one. She was referring to my grandmother (her mother) who passed away when I was in high school. I spent every weekend at my grandparents...we watched Golden Girls, did crossword puzzles and drank tea. It was the best part of my childhood and I miss every second of it and her. I knew that my grandmother would've loved Lu, she would've spoiled her rotten and snuggled her endlessly. When my mom said that, I got a weird feeling in my stomach, saddened that my grandma never got to meet Lu and how I wish we'd had more time.

On August 11th, mother died.

I still can't believe it.

My head is in a fog, everything that was important to me now seems irrelevant. The moment my father called to tell me that he'd found my mother dead in her heart skipped a beat and will never return to the calm and trusting rhythm it once held. Everything and I mean everything about my life has changed.

My best friend and mom is dead...the person I called several times a day just to chat...will never talk to me again...will never meet any of my future kids...will never walk through my front door. She is gone.

My mother had been battling a rare form of sarcoma, an aggressive tumour on her face. She'd had a radical surgery, removing bone and skin that required extensive repair. She lived with us last summer while she went through several months of daily radiation, and still she smiled and trudged through it all. She received the all-clear and we were elated. A couple months ago, she began complaining about headaches and tiredness. She worried the cancer had returned but after her last check-up in June she was relieved to find out that everything was still fine.

In July, we went home to visit my parents for a week. My mother was very tired and slept a lot of the week away. This was not uncommon for her to do the last few years or so...she had been through a lot and was still getting her zest back, or so we thought.

The night before my father called to break the news, I talked to my mom on the phone...we chatted about our plans for the next day and how she wanted to come visit us soon. I said "Bye, talk tomorrow" and that was it.

August 11th, Lu and I decided to have a midday nap and called my parents house. No one answered, I told Lu that Grammy was sleeping and to leave a message. We crawled into the big bed and drifted off to sleep...then the phone rang.

Love you always.
My father said my name, followed by "Your mom passed away". I kept repeating "DAD WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!!!" He explained between sobs that he'd gotten home from work, went up to their bedroom to ask my mom if she wanted to eat something for lunch. She didn't reply. He called her name from across the room again...nothing. He slapped her leg with his hand...she was very hard. He looked at her face, her lips were purple....he threw the sheets off of her, she was covered in dark spots...he screamed my mom's name over and over and ran to call an ambulance. She had been gone for over 8 hours.

Now come all of the what-if's. My dad feels tremendous guilt for not asking her if she wanted to get up and have breakfast that morning, he decided to let her sleep in. The coroner came to the house and told my dad that it was her heart. She'd had a heart attack in her sleep...most likely from all of the stress of the last few years. All of the medications and the COPD she had needed puffers for. Her heart just couldn't take it anymore and off she drifted to sleep...forever. My mom was only 56 years old, this is so incredibly wrong.

I'm sitting here typing this and it feels like it's happening to someone else. I walk around like a zombie all day...nothing is important anymore. To say I am devastated, would be a very very serious understatement. The one person I could count on for gone.

I know that I need to keep getting up in the morning for Lu, she needs me to be here and take care of her like my mother took care of me. I hope Lu never knows this pain.