I am Dianne Elizabeth and I reside in Peabody, MA. I work as Marketing Coordinator for Rigaku/USA. The company sells x-ray machines to the scientific industry for analytical elemental analysis. Part-time I work in an assisted living facility in Danvers, MA as a resident care manager on the alzheimer's unit. I also work as a certified home health aide and certified nursing assistant on various assignments with home health cases and nursing homes. I enjoy working all three of my jobs. The photograph depicts Carolyn Elizabeth, my niece, who was named after my mother who died of a cerebral hemorrhage from a brain aneurysm in 1987. She is pictured here with her second cousin and my mother's nephew, Jason. These two beautiful kids are loved very much in our family.
On this very day in November of 1987 my sister was blow drying her hair in the bathroom. Out in the kitchen, my mother was trying to get the garage to fix her blazer which they now had for a month. My sister heard a loud bang in the kitchen and went to see what it was. My mother was on the floor. Her instant reaction was that she had a heart attack. She got down on her knees and tried to do CPR. My mother must have been semi-conscious because she pushed her away. My sister ran next door to my grandmother's. Of course she was panic stricken and couldn't talk by the time she got there. My grandmother calmed her and told her she couldn't help her because she couldn't understand what she was saying. She finally blurted out that she thought my mother was having a heart attack. My uncle was upstairs. My grandmother called him down and he went back to the house with my sister while my grandmother called the ambulance.
When the ambulance arrived they drilled my sister about what medications or drugs my mother may have taken. She said none. My sister called me at work and said, "Get home Ma's sick and she's being taken to the hospital!" I let out a squeal of some sort when she said that and my co-workers became immediately alerted that something was wrong. I told them that my mother was being taken to the hospital and I had to leave immediately. They wanted to drive me home so I wouldn't run the risk of getting in an accident driving too fast. I drove so fast my grandfather thought that I was going to come in his bedroom as I rounded the corner. My grandfather was a quadraplegic in a wheelchair. He started to cry when I came in his room and said they thought she had a heart attack. He told me what hospital they took her to and I hugged him and told him we'd call him as soon as we knew anything.
When I arrived at the hospital my sister grabbed a hold of me. She was crying and so full of grief. We contacted our father by car phone and told him what was going on and he was on his way.
When he arrived they told us we could see her. She was on the gurney thrashing around. Her eyes were looking up into her head. We kept calling her name.. she never responded. They finally did a test and we found that she had a brain hemorrhage. They informed us that she had a 1 in 10 chance of surviving. I remember my uncle holding me and crying when I told them what they had said. We stayed at the hospital until they got her settled in ICU, visited her one last time and went home to try and rest. The next day I called work and told them what had happened. They were very supportive to my needs and have never forgotten them for it. My mother was in a coma and her chances of survival did not look good. We spent many hours in the ICU waiting room. Taking turns to be with her and call her name. My uncle worked the night shift so he visited her every morning. One morning he called to tell me he had visited her and I asked how she was and he told me she said "I Love You" I was so happy I cried. My sister and I rushed to her side and found her awake she knew how old my sister Susan was (18) and she knew how old I was (21) she wanted to know where her rings were and we told her they were safe and they were with us. After a few days the hospital informed us she was stable enough to be moved to another facility where they had equipment and personnel to treat her.
We were informed from the new facility that she had an aneurysm. It was in the front of her brain in the blood vessels that control her main motor function. Surgery would be scheduled for December 8th (her 41st birthday).
The surgery was a success. She talked to her brother's little boy Jason (her nephew - he was around 5). She was in a regular room now, sitting up, starting to eat soft foods. She still had to be restrained in bed because she couldn't move her legs on command and she tried to take the bandage off her head so her wrists were restrained as well. One evening, a janitor came running down the hall to say a patient was on the floor. That patient, as it turned out, was my Mother. As far as we know they just put her in bed and never ran any tests to see if she was hurt or had hurt her head.
On December 13th her cousin went to visit her. During this visit my mother wrote Newburyport, funeral and Hannakah on a piece of paper. She asked my mother what it meant but never got an answer. We finally did get an answer to that question though. On December 15 at 5:00 on the eve of Hannakah, my mother died. The funeral would now be planned. I remember that evening like I am looking through a cloud of smoke at another person. I walked in the rain with my neighbor that night and told him my mother had died. (She was like a mother to him.)
My mother died 10 days before Christmas. I can not explain how that Christmas was. I don't even think I remember it.
My life from that day on changed drastically. I think that my father died right along with my mother for he never was the same again. I will forever feel an empty place and a heavy feeling in my heart always. Anyone who has ever lost their mother knows this feeling that I speak of. It has been 9 years since I have lost my mother. I'm a different person now. It took me a long time to get over the anger of her death and the consequences that affected my life. I felt cheated. Last year this feeling started to change when my cousin, Jason, her nephew told me how lucky I was because I got to spend more time with her than he did and that he doesn't truly remember her. Which is so true.
In February of 1994 my sister announced that her and her husband where having a baby. The due date December 15th. She asked what I thought that if it turned out to be a girl if she named it after my mother and how the rest of the family might feel. So I asked them. They thought it would be very nice. On November 30th my sister gave birth to a baby girl - Carolyn Elizabeth. Surprisingly she came 2 weeks early. I was the first to hold her after her Mom and Dad and she still had white stuff all over her. I cried when I had learned it was a girl. A baby girl to be named after my mother. My grandmother and my uncle cried too. She was special and she was named after someone we loved very much. I know my mother would have been so happy and would be very proud of my sister. I now share a special feeling with my mother. The feeling of overwhelming love for her nephew as I now do for my niece. This Saturday Carolyn will be 2 years old. I am also a certified nursing assistant now and work in a nursing home as wells as a home health aide taking care of people in their homes. I am thinking of becoming a nurse. I have lots of love to give and I enjoy giving love, special attention, and care to people who need it.
I now feel that for whatever reason my mother died (no known cause was officially found) that I wouldn't have wanted her to live without the dignity and quality of life that she may have been deprived of if her recovery hadn't been a good one. I know for certain that that is just what she would have felt too.
But Mom I just want you to know that you are loved and missed by all your family and friends more than we could ever say. Your mother, brother, nephew, and many friends that I could never list them all. We still talk about you all the time. Your granddaughter is named after you. She even resembles you when you were a baby and she knows who her Grandma is!
(Dianna Aldrich currently is unavailabe for discussions, comments, or questions.)
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