September 07, 2009

Her Last Supper.

I had a really rough year in 2008. It was one filled with things I truly didn't think I would experience until I was a bit older (I say that like I'm 12, but honestly even at age 32 *cough* 29 forever, I still don't feel ready for some of this). In early 2008, my ex-boyfriend was killed in a motorcycle accident. It was an extreme shock to me and all his friends. He and I were not on speaking terms at the time, we had been broken up for nearly 4 years - there was an issue of money owed and other petty things we had between us. It's a classic case of if you knew then what you knew now would you act differently? If he was still alive today, would we be talking - honestly I doubt we would. For my own sanity I wish I would have dropped my bullheaded ways (I'm extremely stubborn sometimes) and just gotten over the issues we had for the sake of peace of mind and well being. But I didn't. I've made my peace with him with in my own mind, and prayers, and from mutual friends have found that there was not hate, or discust toward me, from him, only fond memories of good times, not the bad. Which is how I think most things in life should be left, if possible. I also dealt with the loss of one of my best friends' father. He was like a second dad to me and I often joked and called him Dad #2. It was hard enough losing him, it was harder seeing my dear friend go through this. I can't imagine not having my father with me - I don't want to even entertain the thought. I soon found out the pain she was feeling when my mother passed away in April 2008. She was one of the most wonderful women in the world. We had our issues, but like I said, if I had known then what I know now, things should have been different and could have been. She was my world, issues or not I love her with all my heart.  She passed due to complications of the beginning stages of leukemia. She battled lung cancer for many years and won the battle, but this was a new issue for her and she wasn't strong enough. I miss her everyday - and it's taken me until now to be able to post this blog... so here goes.

I got the call early in the morning, around 3 AM my time. It was my mother's boyfriend telling me I needed to get to North Carolina and I needed to get there fast. My mother was unconcious and in the ICU on life support. She had taken a turn for the worst. I quickly got out of bed and started making arrangements for a flight from Alabama to Jacksonville, NC for the next day. I never thought any of this would happen, life support? Are you serious? I soon learned my mother had a Do Not Resuscitate order in her living will, hardest news to hear, let me tell you. I wasn't ready to let her go - not like this! It's difficult to see someone you love so frail. All I could think was how I wanted to fix her nails, and her toes and her hair - she'd be so embarassed to be without that little bit of glamour there at the hospital. There she was my strong mother, helpless. She could hear us, but was sedated due to the breathing tube. It was a rough few days - I prepared to say good-bye a million times that weekend. I feared leaving the hospital in Wilmington, NC to go home to sleep for fear I'd miss saying good-bye. By the end of the week, things started to change... she got better, and she was able to breathe without the machine, sit up in bed, eat some jello and drink herself, watch television etc (Last tv show my mother and I watched together was Keeping Up With The Kardashians - apparently she and I like all the same GOOD and BAD television). It was a third chance (her second was getting a clean bill of health from the lung cancer). They soon moved her from ICU to the regular floor and I was able to sit and talk with my mother. She was smiling and looking out the window and so happy to see my boyfriend and I. A huge difference from what she was only days before. If I had known that was the last time I would have seen my mother alive, I would have stayed longer... instead I felt the need to get back home to Alabama, and get back to work. She told me to go - that she'd be fine, and I know she and I both believed she would. I wish I had stayed longer, shared one more meaningful conversation, but I didn't. A few days after being released from the hospital, mom went down hill again. She returned to ICU and there was nothing they could do. I got the phone call and had to tell my mother, on the phone that I loved her, that it was OK, she had done the best job she ever could, she didn't have to be strong anymore if she didn't want to. She meant the world to me and I told her so. Her boyfriend said she nodded with her breathing tube in her mouth and that she loved me too. And that was all she wrote. My mom passed away without me there, not truly alone, but not the way I wanted her to go. I wanted to be there with her. Even right now this is hard to type but I need to get it out. I swear there is a touching and wonderful ending to this blog, if you're still with me, have faith.

In talking with my mom's boyfriend, he told me when my mom returned home she was able to eat some solid foods. A night or two before I left, I had made dinner for him, my boyfriend and myself after a long day at the hospital. He was shocked to see me cook - my mom always said how I didn't know how to do anything domestic. Cleaning was about the only thing, and laundry I had mastered, cooking not so much. He said my mom would be so excited and proud and hated that she wasn't there to see it. I told him that he'd need to save the left overs and freeze them so she could enjoy the soup I had made for dinner. He did just that. The second night my mom was able to come home from the hospital, he fixed her my soup. She was thankful it was warm, and felt good on her throat. She was extremely sore and hoarse from the breathing tube. It was difficult to talk on the phone since she could only whisper - again I wish I was there with her and not on the phone during this time. Shortly after my mom was back in the hospital. This meal truly was her last real supper. I'm happy that before my mother's passing she got to eat something I prepared and she loved it. The only other thing she had eaten that I made for her was Christmas cookies the year before. I made all my favorites that she made for me as a kid - and surprised her, she was floored and so impressed that I didn't burn any of the cookies - and truthfully, I didn't! Even if I did do you think I would have sent them to her burnt, NO!!! I think she'd be proud to see how much I've grown, and how well I make a house look like a home. I'll never be as amazing as my mother was, but I hope to get as close as I can. She was one hell of a woman, and I will always be extremely grateful to be her daughter.

The soup I made was a variation of Taco Soup that I grabbed from with some flair from Rachel Ray as well. I'm sad that Rachel taught me how to cook when I was unemployed vs. learning tricks from my mother as a child. I will have to be sure to get my kids in the kitchen - you know when I actually have some. The recipe I will list in the next blog for you if you are interested in this great treat for a cool night! And excellent for freezing. Stay Tuned.
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Misty said...

Just stumbled upon your blog and this is such a touching post. I had a rough year in 2007 because I lost my Daddy. I know how you feel. It is awful! I have always been such a Daddy's girl and I still miss him every second of every day! I am now going to follow your blog. Feel free to check mine out

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daretobedomestic said...

Thank you for your kind words and I'm sorry beyond words for your loss. It's never easy, ever. Thank you for following. I'll be checking out your blog as well!

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia said...

This is really touching. I don't have a close relationship with my Mom...I just cant. I honestly believe she does not like me. And thats ok. We only get along while I'm pregnant (so twice in 34 yrs)
This was very lovely to read. You have to know that no matter what, what you had with her was priceless.

Anastasia said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm sitting here crying at work. ;)

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