Friday, July 18, 2008

shortly after 11:30PM, one year ago today...

It was a bit after 11:30pm and Suzi and I were sitting in the living room catching up on all the stories Doug had to tell after being gone for a week with the guys on vacation to Myrtle Beach. If you know Doug at all, Mr. resident comedian, you can only imagine the laughter that ensued. The phone started to ring, mid-story, and a bit perplexed, we all got quiet and looked at one another not sure what to think about the phone ringing at such a late hour. Doug answered the phone with a stern, yet apprehensive “hello.” He had a look of confusion and uneasiness came over his face. He tossed the phone my way saying, “it’s Dale. Mumbling. I can’t understand him.” I quickly took the phone and said “hello?”

I don’t think I could have ever been prepared to hear that voice on the other end. He was barely audible. Very shaken & crying hysterically. All I managed to make of the conversation is.... “It’s your mom. Get here now. CPR.”

I was shaking uncontrollably, unable to form a cohesive thought. Then in a matter of minutes, I could feel my body shift into autopilot with a full-fledged fight or flight response. I had Suzi drive me to mom's house. The whole way there I felt like I was in a horrible dream and I remember trying to talk myself out of believing the worse case scenario. As we turned the corner on her street, I caught a glimpse of the squad lights. I remember’s gonna be okay, Tania. In my logic, I thought, if it was too bad they would surely be gone by now and on their way to the hospital with her. As we pulled closer, I practically threw myself out of the her SUV, before it came to a stop only to see the neighbor waving me back and hollering my way.... “Hurry. Get to the ER, Tania. They just left with your mom. She’s in bad shape.”

In that 5-minute ride to the hospital, I fell apart. Not knowing what was happening with my mom and having absolutely no control over anything was more than I was prepared to handle that night. I was so exhausted from single parenting for the week while Doug was gone. When we arrived at the parking area at the hospital, I was so disoriented and hadn’t a clue how to even get into the ER. They had done a lot of reconstruction since I had been there last and all I found were locked entrances and barricaded entryways. I wanted with all my might to just wake myself up from this nightmare.

After finally making my way into the ER waiting room, I felt overcome with emotion. The bright lights and the dozens of people all staring my way paralyzed me. Then, the man in the blue coat came to me. A clergyman. He grabbed my hand and ushered me back into a room to meet the other family that made it there before me. Having attended Nursing school and having watched more than my share of emergency medicine shows on the television, I should have known what this gesture meant, but I failed to recognize it.

It was only a matter of moments before a young woman walked through the door and into the counseling room. I don’t remember the exact words she said, but I do remember how hard she struggled to look me in the eyes, as she had to tell me “we tried 10 different drugs and she didn’t respond to any of them. she was pronounced shortly after midnight." It was as if someone punched me in the solar plexus and knocked the wind out of me. I was no longer leaning against the door. My legs buckled underneath me; my whole body collapsed to the floor.

My mom is dead. 50 years old.
This can’t be.
This can’t be.
How can that be?
I thought my mom was supposed to be invincible.

It is now 1 year later later, I still can’t believe it.
My mom is gone.


Related Posts with Thumbnails