Today is a sad day for me. For those of you reading this, I want to warn you that the next few days will be a little bit heavy since the anniversary of my Mom's passing is on the 8th. I will apologize to my sisters and brothers who may read this, for you I am strong but I am not a tank (thank you Resa for the awful description!). I remember this day last year like it was yesterday. After Abby went to bed, my sister and I went to Walmart for my Mom. She wanted us to pick up flowers for my aunt's birthday on the 4th. My sister and I are terrible decision makers and we really didn't want to disappoint my Mom so it took forever to find something decent.
When we finally got home, my Mom looked at us and said, "Thank God, I've had to pee for an hour!" We felt awful but we had to laugh because my other sister was home and all she had to do was yell for help... but nope she patiently waited for us, crazy lady!
That night was a good night. We hung out in her room. My sister died my hair. We laughed. She gave me a blanket she had in her closet with a snowman on it. She gave me one of those things that take the dead skin off your feet. I yelled at her for giving me all of her stuff. She told me it was because she loved me.
I went to bed and woke up bright and early but not with the baby. My Mom was sitting on the chair in living room next to the couch I was sleeping on calling my name. I looked at her surprised. She was having such a hard time moving around and that chair wasn't comfy for her anymore. She said she was in pain, a lot of pain. She had been up all night but didn't want to wake me. She thought the baby was waking up so she wanted help before I had to take care of Abby. I got her morphine and helped her into bed and put oxygen on her. She kept apologizing but in a very no nonsense way I told her to get sleep and she'll feel better. I also told her to wake me whenever she was needed to, that's what I'm here for.
How she was able to get around with her walker so quietly, not even waking my sister who was sleeping in her room, is beyond me. One thing my Mom taught me is that where this is a will, there is a way.
When she woke up, I understood how she managed. She looked at me, tears in her eyes, and said that she thought she was going to die that night. I sat down and held her and assured her as she was telling me how scared she was that she can wake me up anytime. I told her that she didn't have to be scared alone. Her biggest fear, one of my brothers or sisters having to watch her die or find her after. So, I made the last promise I ever made to my Mom... I would not let that happen.
The 4th of July is tomorrow (or today depending on when you're reading this) and I am forcing myself to enjoy the day. My Mom always celebrated the 4th as did her Mom. Growing up we had huge family parties at my Grandmother's. Patriotism, laughter, food, family, fun and fireworks. I want Abby to love the holiday too and I know that if I don't celebrate this year then I will lose sight of everything the holiday stands for. Hopefully, my Mom, Grandmother and all those who have passed on are up there celebrating tomorrow too... my Mom drinking Amaretto and my Grandmother dressed as the Statue of Liberty (wish I had a copy of that picture to share with all of you, she was a hoot!).
I'll be thinking of my Mom and how embarrassed she was that she had to take a nap on my uncle's couch in the middle of the party (she said, "Oh, your uncle is going to LOVE this"). But, I'll also be thinking of how happy she was when she woke up. She had more life in her. She wanted to stay for fireworks. She had fun. I hope that as the years go on that those memories will be stronger than all the others.