Thursday, April 13, 2017

30 Years, Where Did They Go

30 years ago today, the world as I knew it vanished.  With the flip of a few switches on the machines that substituted for your vibrant life, it was over.

Those machines kept your body present until the boys could arrive, but they were not you and I’m certain not what you wanted.


30 years ago, less a week perhaps, I flew to Minneapolis to be with my mom during her surgery and to be with my dad.  She had a blocked carotid, was the diagnosis, needing to be opened.  She was released not more than a few days later.  And the world spun maniacally out of control.


30 years ago minus one day

April 12, 1987, Palm Sunday, I woke to find the house empty, a note on the table

'Mom’s having problems.  Took her to the hospital.  Be back to take you to the airport.'

I was heading back to Ohio after a "successful" surgery (NOT).  But before my flight, Dad and I raced, literally, back to the hospital.  

(I didn't see that airport again until over a year later.)

I sat with you in ER while being checked.  They wanted to insert another invasive scope into your thigh.  Your comment was “this is the shits".  Ah mama, honest and feisty always.  Vocal, outspoken but kindness, but not this time.  You were pissed.

In your private room, I sat with you while they asked to state your name and age often as time passed.  God love you, your answer stayed at 49 as your age.  Always shaving off years...

After consulting with the limited Palm Sunday staff, you had suffered a massive stroke.  Described in detail in an office while you slept and knowing there was no stopping it.  Nothing to do but watch life as I knew it change forever…

After a brief break while you slept, we walked back into your room and you’d lift your hand for me to hold and the other for daddy to hold.  We tried to make "small talk", as we had tried all day.  But always speaking as if you will be better, that we were present and that we love you

Knowing the situation passed critical hours earlier, Dad summoned the boys from IN and CO.  Fly NOW.

As time went on, I held your hand as you remained silent, hooked up to a myriad of machines.  You became unresponsive.  No longer able to speak, no longer able to move.  By the following morning, the scan showed only a spark of activity in your brain.

Those infernal machines sounded piercing noises (at least to me) and we had to leave you then, they said.  Booted out of your room while they attended to you.


30 years ago today 

We gathered the next morning in your room after decisions made.  Quietly, through tears, speaking of our eternal love.  Then the machines went quiet as they were turned off.  And last rites spoken.

I sat huddled in the corner of an aseptic ICU room, shivering and sobbing.  A giant of a heart still beat, but the soul already went to heaven - 30 years ago today.

Your final gifts ~ 2 corneal transplants giving the gift of eyesight.  Kidney transplants freeing a man from dialysis. 

Momma, I have missed you every day for the past 30 years.  I think of you every day, wishing to share my life experiences with you.  I take comfort, sorry comfort, Tommy is with you now.  Knowing one day I will be too.

Thank you for giving me life.  Thank you for the compassion and love you showered upon me.  And thank you for giving me your feisty attitude, your off-center sense of humor, your gift of word and your never give up attitude.

I’ve never stopped missing you, Mom.  Hug Tommy close to you, soul to soul. 

I love you forever.

"A smile, a hug, a laugh.  Her love is her legacy"
Barbara H. Weller
January 8, 1930 - April 13, 1987 


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