No not you, my lovely followers. I will explain what is going on in a minute. First, I want to tell you guys that this post will be an emotional one. You might cry. I will probably be crying along with you. I apologize ahead of time for making you cry. But can I make one thing clear? What I’m about to share, I’ve accepted whole heartedly. Please do not say your sorry. Because to be honest I don’t know how react or what to say, other than thank you. And I don’t feel like that’s adequate enough for the situation. But I am ok with cyber hugs!
About a month ago, my mother had her first stroke. The carotid artery on the left side was 80% blocked. The doctors could leave the blockage alone and she would definitely have another stroke. If they went in and cleared the blockage, there was a chance she would have another stroke. So, they went ahead with the surgery. A side effect of the surgery was headaches because her brain wasn’t used to getting that much blood. No big deal, she dealt with headaches before.
Friday, April 18, she had a headache so bad it made her throw up. So, she went to lay down and take a nap. After that, she was never really responsive. She was taken to the hospital at 5:30 that afternoon. At that point I was on my way to church for an Easter service. We were on the bike, so I didn’t feel my phone vibrate. When we got to the church, I had missed calls and voicemails from my mom’s husband (techinically fiancé because they weren’t married yet). He said that my mom was back in the hospital. I couldn’t do anything from three hours away and didn’t have the gas to rush down there. So we went to the service. My grandpa called me as I was walking out the doors at 9. In a shaky voice, he told me that I needed to get to Little Rock as soon as possible. I knew why, but for some odd reason, I needed to hear it. My mother wasn’t doing good. She wasn’t responsive at all. She was in the emergency room but they would be moving her to ICU soon. At the word ICU, I almost collapsed in the parking lot.
Ladies and gents, that was the fastest ride on that bike I have ever been on. It was a little scary. Mostly because I kept fogging up the visor of my helmet trying not to cry. I had called my dad before we got on the bike and my dad told me exactly what I needed to hear to get me through the next five days. He told me “you need to cowboy up“. Which is his way of saying “get ready, things are about to get really f***ing rough”. (He knows first hand having lost a parent himself, but that’s another story.) So we got home, packed in about 10 minutes, and hightailed it to the state capitol.
We got to the hospital at about midnight. When we walked in my grandfather sat me down in the front entrance to explain to me what had happened with my mother. She had had another stroke earlier in the day. When she got to the hospital, a surgeon said that they could remove part of her skull to relieve the pressure on her brain and remove part of the bleed in her brain. This would give her a 50/50 chance. While trying to decide if they were going to do the surgery, she had another stroke. At this point, if she survived, she would never be able to talk again. The mother that I had talked to the day before was no longer there. She would have to do months of rehab and live in a nursing home the rest of her life, which would have pissed her off to no end. When I went back to see her, she was on a ventilator to keep her from choking on anything. She was also on numerous fluids and antibiotics.
At about 2:30 that morning, we left the hospital to get a few hours of sleep. My few, I mean 3. Maybe. That morning we ran a test to see if there was any brain function what so ever. We wanted to be extremely sure there was nothing there before we made any decisions. We didn’t want to second guess ourselves. At 12:20 Saturday, April 19, 2014, two days after my 22nd birthday and one day after my oldest son’s 4th birthday, my mother was pronounced brain dead. After that, it was up to the doctor on how to proceed. There was nothing more we could to. We would have 24 to 36 hours to day our goodbyes before a place called Aurora took over. Aurora would be the people in charge of donating her organs and tissues.
At 22 years old, 6 days after my birthday, I buried my mother. To everyone, I was strong and on top of everything. To my husband, I was coping until I was alone with him and could break down. I’m not a public crier. I had my break downs in the privacy of my car with my husband. I handled the funeral arrangements, shopping for an outfit for the funeral, doing my mother’s hair and make up so that she looked like my mother, and the funeral with surprising strength. My husband and family are extremely proud of me. I am extremely proud of myself.
I will always miss my mommy. I will always morn her loss. Our relationship might not have been the best, but she is still my mommy and I love her. Today, it’s rough. Little things keep setting me off. Saturday it was the word sinew. Today, it was a Rhode Island license plate. I’m hoping that eventually it will get easier. I’m sure it will always hurt, I’m sure I will always miss her. I know I will always lover her.