It's been 8 weeks since my beloved Mother left us. On January 29, 2001, I came home from work and pressed the play button on my answering machine to hear the message you pray you will never get, "This is your Dad, call me as soon as you get home, it's your mother." The next 4 messages were hang-ups and the last was a message from my Dad telling me the number to the hospital. I immediately knew something was very wrong because I could hear my Dad crying on the phone. As far as I, my brother, and sister were concerned, my Dad never cries.
I called the hospital and my Dad answered the phone in her room, he said that my Mom just died, she had a massive brain aneurysm. What in the hell was he talking about, my Mom was not suppose to die, we still had a lot of things to do together. My sister then got on the phone and confirmed that she had died 15 minutes earlier.
My sister was with her when it happened. They were together with my 15 month old niece at the doctor's office. My niece had a fever and needed an exam. My mom was holding her in her arms when she coughed once and said "Oh, that hurts. I'm dizzy, I think I'm having an aneurysm." At that point my sister said she looked like she stroked and the nurse put her in a wheel chair. An ambulance immediately took her to the local hospital. They did a scan and found that the aneurysm burst and was massive, there was nothing they could do. As she lay there, being assisted in her breathing, my sister and Dad got a second and third opinion that confirmed nothing could be done. They also assured them that my Mom was not in pain. So my Dad made the calls to relatives, friends and her children, me in Texas, and my brother in Nevada, as they sit in the hospital room in Montana.
She went quickly, and we all think that's the way she wanted it. She never wanted anyone to take care of her in old age. She was 57 and we all think she left us about 20 years too early. I think at this point, it gets harder each day because I miss her more and count the days I last talked to her. I'm 29 and I worry that I am going to forget things about her. I once looked forward to having children of my own, but now it's different, now my mom won't be there. My mom won't be there for a lot of things we do together as a family, and that really sucks, I don't know how else to put it.
The day before she died, my Dad said she had a really bad headache and he rubbed her head and shoulders for her (they were married 37 years). The next morning she felt fine as she played with my niece and visited with my Dad on his lunch break. My Dad said she had a good day and spent it doing what she loved, caring for her grandchild.
I am thankful that my Mom wasn't alone when she coughed that one last time, and that she didn't suffer in her passing. I am thankful for the life she has given me and my siblings. At her memorial, there were hundreds of people in attendance, all with wonderful things to say about my Mom. I often forget that she was more than my Mom and friend, she was a wife, sister, daughter, grandmother, aunt, cousin, friend, and colleague. She was so much to so many. And for those things I am thankful.
To all who read this or who have had a similar experience, it's hard to find comfort now. I hope with time, my tears turn to smiles of remembrance.
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