Just like that, she was gone. Novemeber 20th 2016 the worst day of my life. 

The last few posts were very hard for me to write. Reading them back to myself, I can see how much I struggled. I am still grieving. As I wrote this it has barely been four months since my mom has passed. I am still in shock. I still won’t allow myself to fully go to that place where I get too deep because I am afraid of being so sad, and crying so much that I won’t be able to turn it off. From this point on in the story we are pretty much up to current times and everything I’ve been dealing with since her passing, and so once I fully catch up to present days I’m going to start talking about the grieving process and how I’m dealing with that. First though, I must finish the story and tell you all what happened in the days and weeks following her death and how crazy that all was for me. If you read any of this story, thank you. 

It was the morning of November the 20th, 2016 when my mom passed away, at 8:04 in the morning. I was the only one with her besides the nurses, who were complete strangers to me. They both looked at me and expressed their sorrow. I rubbed my mom’s arm and it was still warm. I stared to cry and said, “goodbye mama.”. The other nurse turned to me and said that they would give me a few minutes alone. For a second I panicked as if I were a little kid, that they are leaving me alone with her now lifeless body, but then I realized, this isn’t the scary part. The scary part was what I witnessed for the past month. It was just her body and her spirit had left it. It was still my mom. I thought to myself, she was finally at peace, with no more pain and I was ok. 
I got up out of the chair and paced around,  just looking at her. Her eyes were opened but looking down and I could see there was no life left in them. That is another image that is unfortunately burned into my brain. At the same time it was so scary, it was also peaceful. I found peace in knowing she didn’t have to suffer anymore and I didn’t have to watch her suffer anymore. I have never seen a person suffer in agony like that before and in so many ways. While what my dad went through was horrible, terrible, what I watched my mom go through over the course of that past year and especially in the month before she died, I cannot even find adequate words to describe it. Watching a person suffer like that will really make you question of there is a god because no human being should have to endure that much suffering. I have to believe that there’s a heaven and a place where we go on to bigger and better things because otherwise, it all seems to senseless.
I realized my family would be on their way shortly and so I decided to step out of the room to start making phone calls. I didn’t want everyone just showing up without knowing, and so the first person I called was my brother. He told me he and his wife were heading up to the hospital and would be there shortly. He also said he’d notify my aunt Debbie and Aunt Bea and I figured between them, they’d notify everyone else. I went to walk back to the room and the door was closed so I knocked. They told me to wait a moment and that they were just cleaning her up. In the meantime the on-call doctor came to talk to me. He apologized for the loss and had me sign some papers. He also asked me if I wanted an autopsy in which I declined. I’m actually sorry that I did. At times I question why things took such a drastic turn. Why my brother and his wife stayed away from the hospital for those few days before she died.

By the time I was done discussing things with him, the nurses were done. I walked into the room to see they had closed my moms eyes, neatened up the sheets and folded her arms over her chest, simarlarly to how they do it in the funeral home. They also gathered all of her belongings and put them in bags and piled the bags on the table and chairs. She had accumulated a lot of stuff in her months long stay. As I was in there I could almost here her telling me to grab her phone and her iPad before my brother and his wife got it. I knew my mom was like me and she never deleted her text messages. My brother would’ve been devastated had her read the text messages between me and her. I also knew she talked to a lot of people about what was going on and how much she hated his wife. I couldn’t do that to my mom. Even though she physically isn’t here, I felt like it was wrong. 
I walked downstairs to put them in my car and as I was on my way down my cousin Tina called me. Of all of my cousins her and I used to be the closest. Tina was Aunt Debbie’s daughter and she was an only child. I always felt bad that she didn’t have a sibling and so I sort of stepped into that role for her. We used to talk daily since the time she was a young teen.  After my mom she was probably the next person in my family that I communicated with most, but six months before my mom passed she kind of just cut off communication with me, without any explanations. There was nothing that I could think of off the top of my head that I did that would cause her to just drop me like that. In the same token I also didn’t bother to find out what was wrong. I was too busy caring for my mom. I eventually found out it was because of the letter I wrote to her mom. I was shocked. She is well aware of who her mother is and how she operates. I’ve never seen a mother and daughter at each other’s throats more than her and her mom. If my son ever spoke of me the way she spoke about her mom, I’d be really upset. Besides, I don’t think she was presented with my letter in its full context and so I almost can’t blame her for being angry. If you just read that last letter I wrote, it looks as if I’m just being a mean asshole.  That’s how my aunt operates. 
We stayed on the phone for a while. I hadn’t talked to her the whole time my mom was there except for a few texts in the very beginning, after I had accidentally called her one day. I told her all the crazy shit that was going on with my brother and his wife and how they were non-stop harassing her about seeing an eldercare lawyer and health proxies and her “wishes”. I hoped she’d share it with her mom so maybe she’d have an understanding of what was going on and why I’ve been so upset and angry. 
Eventually I saw my brother and Satan coming up to the hospital with their one and a half year old daughter. I figured I’d give them a few minutes alone with my mom, the. I told Tina I’d call her back. I walked into my mom’s room. My brother and Satan are sitting on the chairs and the baby is running around the room trying to lift up the blankets and stuff on my mom’s bed and Satan’s just sitting there talking and laughing as if she’s not sitting next to my mom’s deceased body. My brother just had this blank stare going on. I thought it was so strange and inappropriate that they even brought their baby. They always seem to find baby sitters when they want to go out to the bar but they can’t find one for now? Satan has a 14 year old daughter who could’ve looked after her. I told them I didn’t think there was any purpose for anyone in our family to come up. There was nothing for anyone to do. She was gone. The hospital was at least a half hour drive or more for the majority of my family. My brother agreed. He then turns to me and says, “oh yeah, by the way, we made an appointment at the funeral home for 3:00 today.” It was around 12:30. I had slept a total of just over 6 hours for the last three days. I hadn’t been sleeping well for long before then. I was dealing with insomnia for a long time. I explained that to him along with the fact I just wanted to go home and see my son and my husband and relax. I felt like I hadn’t seen them in a month. I was hardly ever home. I’d spend 8+ hours at the hospital each day. If I could, I’d bring my son up with me in the early afternoon and my husband would come pick him up around 3:30. Most nights, by time I got home they were both bed. I asked my brother why we couldn’t wait until the following day, like we did when my dad passed. My brother then said to me, probably one of the most fucked up things, he has said so far, “well I mean it’s thanksgiving is this Thursday.”. Was he fucking kidding? I’m sorry our mother’s death has inconvenienced your holiday. I said, “I don’t give a fuck about thanksgiving!” It’s so unimportant. My brother was always like that. He did what was convenient for him without taking anyone else into consideration. While he was at his house at a 50th Birthday party and sleeping in his nice comfy bed, I was sleeping on a shitty old piece of hospital equipment for the past two nights. If the roles were reversed I could guarantee he wouldn’t want to go that day either. 
When all was said and done he and Satan stood up and said they were leaving and they’d see me at 3:30. They just walked out. They didn’t even look at my mom, touch her, kiss her or say goodbye, while her body was still somewhat warm. They didn’t even look at her. I know she couldn’t hear them but it just showed me how emotionally unaffected then were by this. I never once saw my brother’s wife shed a tear. I saw my brother shed a few over the days prior but never when she was around. My girlfriend Kathy who was the nurse said that on that last night while I was at my house picking up my clothes and stuff, she walked in the room and was shocked to see my brother sitting there balling his eyes out, like to the point where he doing that weird breathing thing you do when you cry really hard. Of course Satan wasn’t there that night. It’s so sad that he cannot be vulnerable in front of her or show any weakness. I was happy to hear that had some human emotion left in him. Satan  on the other hand, didn’t seem the least bit upset about my mom’s departure. I know my husband cried. In our 9 years together it was the first time I ever saw him cry. 
They walked out of the room with the baby and their empty stroller and left me there to carry all of my mom’s belongings, all by myself. One of the male nurses there who I became friendly with, came in with a box of coffee for us that he paid for out of his own pocket. I felt bad telling him that no one else was coming. I have to say that the nursing staff at that hospital was phenomenal. I had become friendly with all of the nurses. I almost felt like they were my family for that month. They all treated my mom with kindness and compassion and most importantly, dignity. I felt like I was going to miss seeing them and talking to them everyday. Anyway, the male nurse who got me the coffee also went and got me an extra wide wheel chair to help he carry all the bags and belongings down to my car. It still took me two trips to get everything in my car. After the first trip I called Tina back and talked to her for about 15 minutes or so. When I came back in to get the bag I opened the door to my mom’s room and was startled to see a group of young medical students surrounding her bed. They all turned around kind of shocked to see me standing there and when they did I was able to see they had taped cotton over my mom’s eyes. The doctor, who I assume was their professor, started to apologize profusely about me having to see that. She then explained to me why they were doing that. My mom had obviously signed up to be an organ donor. Because they couldn’t use any of her organs or tissue because of the cancer, they were going to see if her eyes could be donated. The reason they needed to tape cotton to them was because so they could keep them moist. It didn’t bother me at all. In fact I was happy to see that they were going to try. I know that would’ve made her happy. 
I finally got back to my car and started to drive away from the place that had almost felt like home to me for those last few weeks. My 30 day parking pass expired that day and I had to pay for parking. It was bittersweet rolling out of there. I was happy to never have to go back but sad at the same time because I was leaving there alone. I had driven my mom home from there several times that year and now that was it. Never again would I drive her anywhere. It was a hard pill to swallow.
I got home and walked in my front door. My son came running up to me yelling, “mommy!”. My husband too. We all just say there and embraced one another and cried. We all sat down on the couch and I went over everything that had happened that day up until then. I told him I had to go to the funeral home and he agreed it was bullshit that they couldn’t wait. Neither of us could understand why they were so eager to get my mom’s wake over and done with and  on with their lives. 
As I was home I received a phone call from the place that handled donations of the eyes. The woman who answered was very pleasant to deal with. She needed some basic and background information about my mom. I ended up being on the phone with her that by time I got off, it was time for me and my husband to leave to go to the funeral home. 
We pulled up and of course my brother and Satan were already there sitting in the lobby. I needed my husband there too. Satan is very quiet when he’s around. I think she’s a little intimidated by him. It was so uncomfortable with her being there. It was like having a (demonic) stranger in the room sucking up all of the good oxygen. The funeral director was a woman, different than the woman who came up to the hospital. The first part of this meeting was completely redundant. It was exactly what we had accomplished in the hospital. She asked us basic info about my mom and once again my brother was looking at me for the answers. My husband and Satan were quietly sitting in two chairs off to the side. Then me moved on to how many days we wanted the service. At the same time I said, “one” and my brother said “two”. I wasn’t really sure why he wanted to do two, but I just went a long with it. I was much too tired and upset to argue. Then she showed us the book of Mass cards and we picked ones that had assorted pictures of flowers. My mom loved flowers. We decided to have a priest even though my mom wasn’t really all that religious. She still believed in god and I think she would’ve wanted him there for her family’s sake because a lot of my aunts and uncles are religious. 
After we wrapped up all of the details, it was time to talk money and how this was all going to be paid for, that’s when Satan jumped in. She had already apparently done her homework and knew that my mom had three life insurance policies and one of them lapsed. I was in complete shock. My husband and I looked at one another and without saying a word I know he was thinking exactly what I was thinking, “how the fuck does she even know about that shit?”. The funeral director said she’d look further into everything and see what was what.
As the funeral director was tallying the costs, my brother turns to me and says, “after here me and [satan] are heading over to [a local Irish pub]. We figured we would go there between the funeral services.”. I had went along with all their crazy bullshit up until this point but there was no way in hell I was agreeing with this. For the last two days Satan was going around telling my family members that we were going to go back to my mom’s house between the viewings. Whatever family member is was that told me that, thought it was incredibly ballsy for her to offer up my mom’s house. They also though it was a little strange. I also found it funny at she was able to lend her own home to a friend’s sister to have a 50th birthday party in, but she didn’t even offer it up for her husband’s family. Someone must of told them that was weird and so now they picked this Irish pub. I had to laugh when my brother said it, I replied to him by saying, ” [our mother’s Italian maiden name], we are Italian. There’s no way in hell we are going to [local Irish pub]. We will honor her by eating Italian food.”. I could see the smoke rising from Satan’s ears. I know she’s the one who picked that place. She is Irish through and through. St. Patrick’s day is her favorite holiday. I told him to go check out a local Italian restaurant to eat at. I wasn’t going to no pub so I could watch Satan get drunk. No thanks. 
After that it was time to go down to the show room of death, as I like to call it . . I was stunned the fist time I had been down there when we were making my dad’s funeral arrangements. It’s like a little store. The first room you walk into is all filled with urns and all these miscellaneous knick knacks and memorial items. You can really customize your wake. Then as you go through there, you enter a large showroom that’s filled with caskets that are all sitting there with their doors propped open. If there’s anything I learned from watching HBO’s six feet under, it’s that death is a business too, and this room confirmed it. 
We picked our casket and went back in the first room to look at urns since we were going to be cremating my mom. As I started to look around I noticed that not only did they have big urns, they had smaller ones too. There was one urn specifically that reminded me of something my Aunt Debbie would like. That’s when I got the idea. I again remembered my mom in her final days, that she just wanted her family and so I turned to my brother and said, we should get these for our aunt’s and uncle’s this way my mom could be with all of them. My brother agreed it was a good idea and the funeral director told us that during the wake she could pull down my mom’s siblings and our grandmother and they can pick the one’s they like. Since my mom told my aunt Debbie that she wanted her ashes mixed with my dad’s I decided to keep my dad’s urn and just add my mom’s ashes. My brother and Satan of course picked out the most expensive urn on the shelf for their house. God my mom would hate to be sitting on their mantle. 
Another thing that hit me as we were down in that room was that I didn’t remember discussing what two days exactly we would be having my mom’s wake and so I asked out loud. My brother answered, Tuesday and Wednesday. I looked at him like he had five heads. That left us with one day to find a place to go between viewings, get flowers and photos together, etc. etc. Again I had to open my mouth. I was concerned for some of my mom’s family who lived out of state, who may want to come to pay their respects. They’d need more than a day or two to make travel plans, especially given the fact that thanksgiving was that Thursday. I mentioned that to my brother and suggested waiting until the day after thanksgiving, to have the wake. Even though it would be hard, we could e at least have people the option to travel here.  His answer was that he already took Tuesday and Wednesday off from work. God forbid my mother’s death ruin his thanksgiving and his three day weekend. He’d rather waste his 2 days off from work so he could enjoy the rest of his week…..selfish fuck!
We walked out of the funeral home and Satan, still reeling about my “we are Italian” comment, ran straight to their car and didn’t say goodbye to either me or my husband. My brother stayed behind and talked with is for a few minutes. He started spewing plans of what we should do in the following days. The next day, he and Satan were going to order the flowers and go to the Italian restaurant. Then he started to go into this bullshit about just opening up my mom’s house and having an estate sale so we didn’t have to be bothered going through everything. I sat there and just looked at him dumbfounded and wondered, did he even know our mother? She actually used to go to estate sales all of the time because she would sell stuff on eBay. She always used to tell me how sad she thought it was that the family didn’t want to be bothered looking through the deceased’s stuff. She asked me never to do that if she died. I never would anyway. I know my mom was very sentimental, as am I. I want to touch and see everything she held. I want to find little treasures like a letter she wrote or card that she saved. My brother and Satan seemed like they wanted to be in control of everything……everything. 

(To be continued in the next post)


Novemeber 19th, 2016 11:30 pm and beyond…. The last talk. 

I was totally sure my brother would be gone by the time I came back. As mad as I had been with him, I still cared about him. I’ve made this analogy before, but seeing someone you love in a relationship with a narcissist, is like losing a family member to drugs. All you can do is sit back and watch them make horrible decision after horrible decision, and there  is absolutely nothing you can do about it. I know my brother, or rather, I “knew” my brother and what kind of person he was. If it was any other girlfriend, I don’t think my brother would’ve left the hospital at all that night. He was gone for four hours. He was well aware of what was going on with my mom and where she was headed. If I were in his shoes, seeing that he had missed the majority of the last three years with her, I would’ve wanted to stay there and soak up every minute of time with her. That goes to show how much control a narcissist has over their victims and how afraid their victims are to go against them. My brother had a choice that night. He could’ve told his wife to entertain her friends on her own and he could’ve chosen to stay at the hospital. I know my brother and I know that one day he is going to be very sorry about the choices he made during this time. I wonder if he spoke to my mom during that time. If he told her he was sorry or told her  he loved her. It makes me sad for him that one day he may see things clearly, but ultimately they are his choices and he is the one who will have to live with them and live with his regrets,….not me. 
My brother left only minutes after I got there and once again, I was alone with my mom during this scary time. There was one saving grace though and that was my nurse friend, Kathy. My mom had been up in that same unit for an entire month now and that whole time Kathy was never actually assigned to be her nurse. Out of the kindness of her heart she checked up on her for me whenever she was working her shift.  It just so ended up though that, that night, Kathy wasn’t even supposed to be there. She was covering for another nurse and she ended up miraculously being assigned to my mom’s room. If there was one thing to be happy about, that was it. I knew Kathy would take extra care of my mom and make sure she was  ok and as comfortable as she could be. 
I was in the room trying to set up the chair I was going to “sleep” in that night. Kathy came in to check up on us. We sat there for a few minutes both just stared at my mom.  We started to discuss how peaceful she looked. Kathy tried to arouse my mom by saying her name but my mom kind of grunted and went back to snoring. The other nurse came in and she and Kathy discussed cleaning my mom up and putting a clean night gown on her. She had been in the same one for several days at this point in time and there was stains and blood on it. Normally I would stay in the room when they cleaned her up but Kathy told me, it was probably best if I left this time. When people are in the condition my mom was in, it wasn’t a pleasant experience and could be quite distressing to the family. I was fine with that and so I took a walk down stairs to get some fresh air. 
When I got outside it had started to rain. I stood there close to the building and suddenly the rain started to really come down and the winds picked up. I saw a wheelchair flying across the street and it crashed into the curb. I remember thinking to myself, this is it. The storm was coming. It just seemed like something out of a Greek mythology tale. Like the sky’s we’re opening up to let my mom come in. The gods were coming to get her. Like the earth was angry for losing such a special person. I started thinking about the advice my cousin Nikki had told me and I knew that tonight was going to be the last chance I had and, so I k ew that this was the night for me to tell her all the things that we forget to say to one another on a day to day basis to the people we love.. Oddly enough though, kind of nervous and also I was scared. Scared that I would get too upset. Scared it was too late and she wouldn’t even hear me. Sacred I would freeze up and not know what to say. 
I went back upstairs and the nurses were finished up and just tidying up the room  I could tell at this point that she was awake. Her eyes were slightly opened. They left the room and it was just her and I,  alone. I closed the door and sat down. I sat there and stared at her for a few minutes. I looked at her arms and the bruises she had from being stuck with so many needles for blood tests and for dialysis. Those were the arms that held me as a baby. Those were the arms that hugged me and comforted me so many times. I wished I could freeze time. I wished I could keep her here forever. I wished she didn’t have to go through all the things she went through. I scanned her over and looked at her hands. I didn’t get many of my mom’s physical features. We could never share shoes because my feet are much larger than hers. We could never share clothes either,but the one thing we’d always swap was rings. Our fingers were the exact same sizes,  every one of them. I thought about my mom taking her rings off so she could roll the meatballs for her Sunday sauce. I realized I never learned how I never even learned how to make the meatballs and now it was too late. I just wanted to take everything in. Her face, her hair, her hands, just everything. 

As I was sitting there I suddenly remembered something. There was something I wanted her to have with her. I had gone to her house a few days prior to look for this necklace that she had, that she always wore. When my dad passed back in 2006, she had gone to a jeweler with an idea that she got from a friend. She took his wedding band and had them bend it into a heart shape. They added also added a bail to it so it would hang on the chain, flat. For some reason though, I couldn’t find it. I looked in all of her jewelry boxes and it was nowhere to be found. I found her wedding band but not my dad’s and so I grabbed that. Then I remembered she and I had purchased these necklaces after my dad passed. They  were crosses in which had a little screw at the bottom where you can put some of the ashes. I had been wearing mine for the whole time she was in the hospital. I took the necklace out of my pocket and quietly leaned over and said her name. Her eyes slightly opened up. I told her that I had something that I wanted her to hold close to her. I said to her, “this is the cross with daddy’s ashes, I know know much you have missed him for the last ten years and I want him to be close to you, so I’m going to wrap this around your hand and I want you to hold it.” I gently lifted her hand and wrapped it around and closed her hand on it. She was so weak she couldn’t even hold on to it. I then said, “go be with daddy. It’s ok, he is waiting for you.”. In the days prior my mom had been saying some strange stuff and she had mentioned my dad being there quite a few times. She also told someone she saw hands reaching out of her. That is actually a very common thing for people to do when they are dying. My dad did it too. 

After that, words just came naturally to me. I told her what a good mother she was and how lucky I was that god choose her to be my mother. I told her that if I could be even half as good a mother to mey son as she was to me and my brother, that I’d be ok. I told her how I admired her dedication and how she put her heart into everything she did in life from being an employee to being a wife and mother, and how I was lucky to have her as a role model. I told her how strong she was and how she never gave herself enough credit. My mom always compared herself to her sisters. She would always tell me, “I’m the fat, ugly sister.” I don’t know why she looked down on herself like that and so I reminded her that she always compared herself to them yet she didn’t realize that of all of them she was by far the most beautiful because she had the biggest heart, and like she always used to tell me, “beauty is only skin deep. It’s what’s on the inside that counts”. Beauty means nothing if you have a rotten personality and black heart. 
I was nervous for nothing. The words just came out. Naturally, and I told her everything I wanted to say to her. There was one thing that I know she needed to hear before she left this world and so I promised her that I would try my hardest to fix everything with my family but most importantly my brother.  I think my mom’s biggest fear in this world was leaving it knowing that me and my brother would still be separated and wouldn’t be there for one another. I wanted her to know I’d try. 
 As I was talking to her, her head was leaned away from me facing in the opposite direction. I walked around the bed, then I got real close to her, and I bent down so she could see me in her line of vision. I told her try to look at me. To really try to focus. I saw her eyes straining to move. I promised her I was going to be ok, but I was going to miss her terribly. That was when suddenly I heard a noise come from her mouth. I couldn’t make it out. Her voice was extremely raspy and low. I asked her to say it again and out came three short, one syllable words, “I luh you.”. I looked at her and asked, “did you say I love you?”. She nodded her head once and then she just kept saying it over and over until her voice was no longer able to come out and just her lips were moving. I saw a tear drop from her eye and I started to cry and I told her I loved her too, more than she could ever know. 
I love you wasn’t a phrase that was often said in our home. In the months prior there would be times I’d be with her and my brother would call and every time they hung up she’d say, “I love you.”. She didn’t say those words to me often and I don’t think it’s because she didn’t love me. I think it was just that we didn’t need to say that to one another all of the time. It was pretty obvious by the closeness of our relationship and how we talked to one another multiple times a day, everyday. The week prior to this day was really hard too. I felt like she was angry with me. She was snippy with me and had yelled at me a few times when I was trying to help her. I felt like she was annoyed by me being there and at times, maybe she didn’t want me there. I know now that is a common part of the process of dying. Anger and detachment. It’s something I guess we need to do to separate ourselves from the ones we love. I needed to hear those words at that time and I am so glad I did. It was a beautiful moment in such a horrible situation. I was happy about it but at the same time, completely devastated. I knew that it was the last time I’d ever hear those three words fromher mouth. 
I sat there for a few moments and I could actually see she was finally relaxed. I watched her as she drifted back off into sleep. It was an emotionally intense situation. I needed to get up and take a lap around the building. I walked out the room and ran into Kathy. She told me to come take a break with her as she ate her late night dinner. I sat down in the break room with her and two other nurses. They shared some crazy stories with me and it was nice to forget what I was going though for a minute. I don’t know how those work do what they do. How they leave this shit at the hospital and manage to go home and be wives and mother’s without letting all that sadness affect them. I have a whole new appreciation for nurses. I really admire them and the work they do. It takes a special kind of person to do what they do.

I went back into mom’s room and sat there for a bit. I had probably only slept a total of four hours in the last two nights. It was starting to catch up with me. Kathy came back in and we sat there and talked for a while. I am not going to lie. My mom looked scary. She had her head turned to the side, one eye was wide open while the other was half way shut. Ten years ago I never would’ve imagined myself being able to sit there alone with someone I loved in such horrible condition and looking so scary. It’s an image that I don’t want to remember, but any time I think back to her time at the hospital, that is all I see in my head. I hope in time that vision fades. I do not want to remember my mother like that. 
It was rounding 4:00am and I had set myself up as close to my mom as I could physically be. I wanted to be able to hold her hand and touch her. When my dad was in the hospital my mom slept in that chair every night and held his hand. My mom was the most fiercely loyal woman on theplanet. Her love was truly unconditional. I hated that she had to be in a hospital dying. I wished she could’ve had the privilege to be home on hospice as my dad was, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. My dad was in the hospital a week or so prior to his death. He made the decision to stop all treatment and go on hospice at home. He didn’t want to die in a hospital. My dad accepted his situation and in a strange way, his death gave me a whole new respect for him. He handled it all like a true man, like a father should. He sat all of us down one by one and talked to us about his decision. I will never forget that conversation. He told me he was going to stop treatment because he didn’t want to go through all the bullshit anymore. I told him, “dad although I don’t want to see you go, I understand. It’s YOUR life and I can see that you are tired of fighting.”. Back when my mom’s kidneys failed in the early 90’s, I remember being in the car with my dad one time on the way up to visit my mom in the hospital. My dad said to me, “if I ever get sick like your mother is, just kill me. I don’t ever want to be sick like that. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I don’t know how she does it.”. I remembered him saying that and I told him, and my dad said one of the most meaningful things he had ever said to me, in my life. He said,” [my name] you are the only one who gets me.”. Those words meant a lot to me because I knew he wasn’t just talking about in this situation. He was talking in general terms. Of his four children, my brother, me and two half sisters from a previous marriage, he had very tense relationships with three. I think I was the only one who cut him some slack and understood the reasons as to why he was the way he was.

Anyway, I got off track there but my mom literally stuck right by his side as he was going through the transition of leaving this world and going to another. In the last few days of his life, either me or her were in the room. She hadn’t showered in days. She would only leave the room to get food or go to the bathroom. We were sitting there talking one day and my mom was saying how disgusting she felt and how badly she needed a nice hot shower. I told her to go and that my dad would be fine for a few minutes. We called my brother, who was living in the basement, to come upstairs and stay by his side. My mom turned on the water. At the time I was going through some old pictures of my dad so we could display him at his wake and I had all the albums and stuff laying on my mom’s bed. I left the room that he was in and went into their bedroom. The very second after I closed the door I heard my brother screaming, “he’s gone! He’s gone!”. It was the first time in three to four days that both me and my mom were both out of the room, at the same time. I truly believe he was waiting for a moment like that because he didn’t want us to see him take his last breath. I felt like my mom deserved the same thing. She deserved to leave this world with someone by her side, especially since she was so scared and not ready to die. She never made it to the acceptance stage. She didn’t have enough time. 
I don’t even remember falling asleep that night. The last thing I remember was saying goodnight to my mom and kissing her of the forehead, then laying down and watching a video on my phone. At about 7:30 am I woke up to the sounds of beeping machines and Kathy and another nurse, talking in a dull whisper. I popped my head up and asked what was going on. She told me my mom’s heart rate went up extremely high and she was trying to calm her down. I was trying so hard to stay awake, but it felt almost as if someone was pulling my eye lids down. The previous night when the nurses were in and out of the room I’d pop up and feel wide awake. The first thing I’d do is look at her chest to see if she was still breathing. This time I was fighting to keep my eyes opened and I don’t even remember falling back to sleep. 
At a few minutes after 8:00 I was awoken by someone saying,”sweetie…..sweetie, you need to wake up, this is it…your mom is going.”. I was a bit disoriented and so I looked up at the clock, and then right away realized where I was. My head shot over to the right of me to look at my mom’s chest, as I did all of those other times. I asked the nurse, “she’s not breathing?”. She said, “she just stopped “. As she was talking she grabbed my grabbed my mom’s wrist and held it, then said, “she still has a pulse.”. There was a long pause of silence, as I sat there staring at the nurse holding her wrist. It seemed like minutes, but was probably only a few short seconds. She then jerked back a bit, almost as if she was startled. She slowly put my mom’s arm down and said, “I have to call the doctor.”……..
….and just like that, at 8:04 in the morning on November 20th, 2016, my mom passed away…….

(To be continued in my next post)

 November 19th 2016 (early morning and day) 

I had left the hospital and ran to my house to grab some of my stuff so I could sleep there. They had this baby blue, fake leather, recliner chair in my moms room and that was going to be my bed for the night. Aunt Debbie decided she wasn’t going to stay. Instead she was going to go home and sleep and come back early in the morning. It was super late. The nurse set me up with a blanket and pillow and I tried to get settled in, but I just couldn’t fall asleep. I was too nervous. I was just sitting there watching my mom’s chest go up and down as she breathed. She looked very peaceful and if there was anything to be happy about, that was it. I hadn’t seen her completely calm and peaceful in such a long time. Ever since she had her surgery to remove the 8″ cancerous mass and her kidney,  back In February of 2016, it’s like a piece of her soul was left on that operating table. She just wasn’t the same. She seemed detached sometimes and like she was distracted by her own thoughts, or in her own world. Our conversations went from gossiping about who posted what on Facebook, to what new aches and pains or new symptoms she was feeling, which doctors she had to see next, and what prescriptions she needed to refill. I missed the regular bullshit conversations we used to have and I knew at this point we’d never have them again. 
Before she left that night, my cousin Nikki gave me some advice. She told me that she read somewhere that the hearing was the last thing to go and so she told me talk to her and say the things I needed to say to her. I wanted to say things to her but I wanted to do it at a time where she was sort of awake and could hear me. I didn’t want to wake her because she looked so peaceful. I also felt a little uncomfortable talking to her, in that way, with another person in the room.  The nurses were in and out and I just felt it wasn’t the right time to say those kind of thin with complete strangers, and so instead I took my chances and held out for the next day when hopefully she’d be in a private room. Remembering back to when my dad was at the end of his life,and how he was in his final days and hours, I didn’t think my mom was quite there just yet. 
At around 3:30, 4:00 am I tried to fall asleep. The chair was terribly uncomfortable and not made to sleep in. It was old and I think maybe a bit broken because it wouldn’t stay locked into the recline position. Every time I’d move it would start folding in on me. I may have finally dosed off at about 4:30 but I didn’t sleep. Every few minutes something would wake me up. Whether it was the nurses coming in and out all night, the machines beeping because someone bent their arm and occluded their Iv port or people talking loudly in the halls, I kept getting woken up. Both my mom and her roommate were moaning and groaning in their sleep. They had put my mom back on her dulladin drip and so I’d hear her moan and I’d look over to see her fidgeting with the button, trying to press it, and I’d have to get up and press it for her. Every time I was awoken, I would jump up in a panic and then I wouldn’t be able to fall back to sleep. 

I don’t think I got a solid hour in a row of sleep until about 5:30/6:00am Around 7:30am I opened my eyes to see my brother sitting in the other chair, kind of staring at me. I asked him what time it was and he told me, and then he pointed  to the table and tells me that be brought me a cup of coffee. He told me I could go home, (thanks for the permission) and that he’d be there and his wife, Satan would be up there in the afternoon. I actually wanted to go home so I could freshen up, take my pajamas off and out regular clothes on. 

I got home and sat with my husband for a few minutes and told him what had happened during the night. I was exhausted but decided to just push myself to put clothes on and go back up there. I asked my husband if he could bring our son up there to say goodbye to his grandmother, one last time. I got dressed and went right back up there. 

When I got there, the doctor came into the room and asked me and my brother to talk and so he told us that the patient who was in the single room was being discharged and that they were just waiting on housekeeping and they’d move us into that room so we could have private time with my mom. I was so grateful for that. Losing a family member like that is probably one of the most intensely emotional situations you can ever go through. It should be done in private, so the family can feel free to express themselves to the patient. 

My brother told me around 12:00pm that he and his wife had called a representative from the funeral home and that they were going to come there around 3:30. I was really annoyed that he went and did that after asking me for my opinion and me saying no. There he goes being a team player again. I knew this was all Satan’s doing. She is a chronic planner (not sure if that’s even a thing, but it is now) and has to plan every hour of everyday of her life. I was so sorry my mom’s death was impeding on her life. I can say with 110% certainty that she was the one who not only suggested it, but she got in touch with the funeral director and coordinated everything. I can totally see preplanning a funeral for an elderly person or for someone who’s been battling something like dementia or Alzheimer’s before they get to the point where they can no longer express their wishes, but what happened to my mom was kind of unexpected and we knew she only had a matter of days or hours left with her. 
My husband came up shortly after. I met him downstairs in the parking garage. We got in the elevators and made our way up to my mom’s floor. Some of my family had arrived by that point and when we were coming up, they were heading down to grab coffee and snacks from the cafeteria. My husband and I walked into the room thinking we were going to be the only ones in there. My mom was still in the double room at that point. We walk in and the curtain is all the way drawn so we couldn’t see my mom. As we finally get past the curtain we see my brother and Satan are sitting there, at her bedside. They didn’t see us right away and so I look down and I see Satan pulling out this packet of paperwork out of her bag. As soon as she realizes it’s us in the room she, quickly jams the papers back into her purse, which was a Michael Kors tote bag , and she puts her arm over it and pulls it tightly into her body. She’s all nervous and just starts babbling random shit with my brother. My husband whips his head around and looks at me as I do the same. I quietly say, “did you see that? What the fuck was the all about?”, and he replies, “I don’t know but it looked really fucking shady.”. Satan is holding on to her bag for dear life like Ben Stiller, at the end of Meet the Parents, when he’s on the plane with his luggage! 
We couldn’t believe what we both saw. It was clear Satan had some type of document in her possession that she didn’t want anyone, especially us to see. It’s very obvious when someone is being sneaky. Both me and my husband have a pretty good read on these kinds of things. We knew it was something shady. 
Me and my husband went downstairs and into the parking garage so I could have a cigarette and calm down. Once again we were left to speculate as to what was going on. We knew they were up to something and obviously had been formulating some sort of plan, exactly what, we didn’t know. I also started to question my mom and of all the things that happened in the last year, that’s probably the one thing I regret. My last text to her was on Tuesday Nov. 15th and it read, 
“I have to tell you. I feel like something is going on. Like you’re not telling me something. Is there something you need to tell me? I know there’s something going on that I don’t know about. This whole thing with [my brother] and his wife and the camera is completely not making sense to me. Why they were putting cameras in the house??. I just don’t get it.” After that I wrote, “Ok. I’ve made you a priority in my life for the past ten years since daddy has been gone and especially in the last couple of years, months and weeks. I have sacrificed my time with my son and my husband to be there for you. I just want to know what’s going on. That’s all. I just know something is not being said.”

She replied, 

“if you think I would do anything against you you’re out out of you’re miimh [sic].”

I didn’t think my mom would do anything to hurt me, but I knew she was holding back information from me. There were a few things said to me here and there that didn’t make full sense and I was able to tell there was more to it than what she was telling me. I know why she did it and I cannot even be mad. There were a few reasons, one being that she had to make peace with her son, so she can have her own peace, to absolve her of all the guilt she was made to feel because she stood up for herself. A lot of that guilt came from Aunt Bea. She made my mom feel like she was a terrible mother for putting her foot down and demanding respect. Although, she was in denial about her own situation and what my brother was doing, I think deep down inside she knew what was going on and I think she just wanted peace of mind. The other reason was that she didn’t want me to be alone. She knew how badly her death was going to effect me. About a week before she died I was up in her room visiting and out of nowhere she said to me, “[my nickname] I’m sorry.”. I asked her why she was sorry and she told me,” I’m sorry because I feel bad that this is what your life has become.”. I told her, “don’t be sorry for me, I’m fine. Feel sorry for yourself, you are the one who’s going through the hard stuff, not me.” I had to explain to her that there was a difference between “wanting” to be there and “having” to be there. I wanted to be there.
My husband and I were out in the parking garage and the more we talked the more angry we were getting. With everything else that was going on we thought maybe they were going to try to get my incapacitated mother to sign something. Maybe she had already signed something and they were just reviewing it. My husband was vexed and said he would go right up to her and ask him to show him what was in her bag. As badly as I wanted to grab her pocketbook like a mugger in Central Park; it was probably best if I let him handle this one, this time. 
We made our way back up stairs and by the time we got up there the nurses had informed them that the private room was ready for us. My brother and Satan were moving all of her belongings out of the room and transferring them over to the other room. My husband and I entered the empty room where they were and we just sort of stood there quietly. I kind of blocked the doorway and my husband, holding my son, walked a little further in the room. Neither my brother or her made a peep. I watched them carelessly pile my mom’s belongings on the radiator. I looked over at my husband and I could see his mouth opening like he was going to say something but the words wouldn’t come out. Instead I just gestured to him to leave the room and we went back in to my mom’s room. He gave my mom one last kiss on the head and told her he loved her. He then held my son over her to give her a kiss. She didn’t even respond. Seeing my son say goodbye and knowing it was the last time he’d ever see her; well it was the most gut wrenching thing I had ever seen. I will have that vision, along with many others, burned into my memory forever. 
My husband left and by that time almost all of my family was up there. They took over the waiting room once again. They even brought some wine which I totally thought was wrong,  but whatever, to each their own. It was nearing 3:00pm and my brother told me that the woman from the funeral home was running a little late and would be there in a little while. I was already extremely annoyed with him and this wasn’t helping. I just said whatever and decided to go downstairs to blow off some steam. As I head for the elevators, I had to pass the waiting room where I see Aunt Bea coming out. I tried to speed up and walk away, but she walks up to me with this soft spoken voice, as if she were talking to a four year old, and asked me if I minded if my aunt and uncles sat in on the meeting. In reality, her and Uncle Bob wanted to sit in there because Uncle Bob seemed to think he had some type of control over my mom’s estate since Aunt Bea was one of the executors; and she can’t even tell her ass from her elbow when it comes to that kind of shit. She had to include everyone else so it didn’t look to obvious. I don’t remember my exact words but my response went something like this. “I really don’t give a fuck, in fact I don’t give a fuck about any of this fucking bullshit because I think it’s a huge fucking waste of time….do what you want.”. With that, I walked away and got on the elevator. 
I was so angry. Once again no one in my family speaks up. I know I wasn’t alone either. There absolutely were others who thought that it was a huge waste of time and completely fucked up, but no one felt like it was their place to say so. I understand that no one wants to be that person and start drama, but it sucked that no one had my back. It was such an unnecessary thing to do. I was pacing back and forth in the parking garage when I spotted a woman holding a tote bag and she had a little name badge on and I recognized the logo on her badge from the funeral home,  so I followed her inside and ended up on the same elevator as her. I was so annoyed I could literally feel my blood boiling. I got off the elevator and walked down to my moms room to put my stuff down. As I was heading there I round the corner to see Satan walking shoulder to shoulder with the woman from the funeral home. Something about seeing her with this big,  shit eating grin on her face, like she was enjoying the fact that my mom was on her death bed,  really bothered me. I don’t even know what came over me but I walked and stopped right in front of them. Looking down at Satan who’s a few inches shorter than I am, I said, “what the fuck are YOU talking to her for, this is none of your business. It’s my mother.”. I could tell Satan was taken aback for a second and finally she says, “I’m not doing anything!”. That’s always her response.I wasn’t  surprised. I told her good, don’t do anything, this is MY mother. I knew all of this was her doing but she will try to convince me it was my brother’s idea. I wanted her to know she was not going to pull this shit anymore. That she was not going to push me around and control my mother’s funeral. She neededto know not to mistake my tolerance for weakness and my weakness for stupidity. I also wanted her to know she wasn’t welcome in the meeting either.  She turned around and stormed off down the hall. 
I was just so angry that day from everything. These situations are hard enough on their own without the extra bullshit. My mother was still breathing, a few doors down and we are sitting in a hospital waiting area planning her funeral. It just felt wrong and I really wanted no part of it, but I knew if I didn’t go in there, I was going to have no say in anything. I couldn’t seem to calm myself down. My heart was racing a million miles a minute and I could feel my body shaking. I could feel my anger trying to escape my body like the Incredible Hulk. I couldn’t sit down and so I went to the furthest corner of the room and squatted down as my body shook. One by one my mom’s siblings shuffled in. All were there except one. Surprisingly my Uncle Bob didn’t come in. My cousin Nikki was the only cousin there too, and she sayt directly opposite me in the other corner of the room,and we kept looking at each other the whole time, just shaking our heads in disbelief. She was the only one who got it. I found out later that Satan left the hospital all pissy because I had said something to her. Good. It was about time. 

There was an awkward tension in the air and I know it all had to do with me. I didn’t care. Even the woman from the funeral home looked a little uncomfortable. She started to ask my brother for some basic information and it was actually kind of humorous listening to him struggle to find answers of for the most basic of questions like what was my mom’s job title at her place of employment. I let him make a fool out of himself. This was his show; not mine. The woman then gets to the part where she asks if my mom has a will. I look at my brother who replied “ummmmm, I don’t know.”. I couldn’t believe he was sitting there playing dumb in front of my whole family, me so I couldn’t stop myself  stop myself, out loud I said,”[brother’s name] really? Cmon man, you know she has a will! Stop lying, you snuck into her safe how many times in the last few months??”. He then said, “well…well… well I didn’t know if she had it changed or not.”. I said, “no she never did. She has a will and ir names  her ( I pointed to aunt Debbie) and her (aunt Bea) are the executors. Stop the lying already!”. Aunt Debbie then jumps in and says, “ok this isn’t the time for that.”. I looked up at her and said, “yeah? Well it’s not the time for lying either!”. I was so sick of my brother playing stupid. He knew exactly what he was doing. 

There wasn’t much more we could accomplish there except for discussing her basic info and talking about how many days we were looking to have the wake. It was a huge waste of time, just as i knew it was going to be. We still had to go to the funeral home to finalize things. The same thing could’ve been accomplished in a simple phone call. It really didn’t save us time or do anything else for that matter. We just got the formalities out of the way. All it was was a big old show to make it look like my brother actually gave a shit about my mom. They just wanted to put a show on for the family, at the expense of the precious time my mom had left.
At the end she was about to give us an estimate for the two days of wake service and cremation costs. As she was adding everything up, people started to shuffle p out of the room, leaving just me and my brother there alone. A few seconds after everyone leaves the room, my uncle bob opens the door and comes walking in with his chest puffed out like she’s some type of tuff guy. He didn’t even look at me. Instead he walks right over to my brother, sits down in the seat right next to him and pats him on the back as if to console him. He didn’t look at me at all during the whole rest of the meeting. I fucking hate that asshole. He made it very clear to me that day by doing that. He had chosen a side and clearly, it wasn’t mine.  
It was really nice that my mom had her own room. We could all sit in there and not have to worry about disturbing anyone else. There was a very somber tone in the room. I wonder to this day if my mom was at all conscious while everyone was there and if she heard everyone’s voices and knew we were all there. I do not remember if she even opened her eyes, while everyone was there. The more she slept, the closer I knew she was to leaving us. I realized that night that my mom was the unique one out of her whole family. When you come from a large family where the siblings’ ages span over a decade, their tends to be little cliques in within the family unit. The older siblings tend to be closer with one another and the youngest seem to stick together too. My mom was closest with Aunt Debbie and Aunt Bea but kept a special relationship with each and every one of her siblings and each and everyone of them valued that and valued her and the things she for them. She made everyone feel special in their own way. 

She always made sure to periodically call all of them to see how they were. I don’t think the rest of them call each other as much as my mom called all of them. I know she’s my mom and people are not going to talk negatively about her,  but I have heard each one of them talk about others but I never heard anyone talking negatively about my mom. In fact, it seems she really stood out. I was told by almost all my Aunts and Uncles stories about how she’d go out of her way to make everyone feel special. For instance her youngest sister would always tell me how of all the sisters, my mom always treated her the best. She would always buy her stuff when she was a kid. Being that she was so much younger, when  my mom was was a manager at a store  she’d bring my aunt to work with her all of the time and pay her to work for the day. She’d also buy her things she needed like new shoes,  help her with her homework and pay her to do chores like fold her laundry, so she can have a little pocket money to buy candy and stuff. My aunt told me that my mom was the only one who did that. My mom was the one that everyone used to turn to for advice and her opinion was always respected. I’m proud to say that she taught me to treat people with the same care and kindness.
My heart really broke for my grandmother. She didn’t leave my moms side for the entire two days. She just sat there staring at her, saying, “that’s my baby.”. . I really feel like she got lost in all of this. I’m not saying my aunts and uncle’s don’t care about her. They all do a great deal, but I think sometimes they just write her off as this old lady who can’t hear that good and they’re so wrapped up in their own god damned feelings about things, that no one really sat with her and comforted her or discussed how she felt about everything. I made it a point to sit down next to her (as did my cousin Nikki) and really ask her how she was feeling about everything and how she was holding up. . I couldn’t imagine what was going through her head having just found out how really sick my mom was. I sat down next to her and just held her hand. Here it was three generations of women and one who going well before her time. 
It was around 6:00-7:00 in the evening when my brother stood up and announced he was going to go home for a little bit but he’d be back. Had he left it at that, I wouldn’t have thought much of it but he goes on to tell whoever else was in the room at the time that he has a party going on at his house! Apparently his wife had offered their house up for a friend’s, sister’s 50th birthday party. He goes on to make this lame excuse that they couldn’t cancel it because they didn’t have any way of getting in touch with all of the people. He then buried himself by saying they were all invited via Facebook. Maybe it’s just me but I found it kind of ridiculous that he’d even entertain a party while his mom was in the hospital dying, and if these people were “friends”, you’d think they’d understand what was going on and move their party elsewhere. 
It wasn’t until about 11:00pm that he ended up coming back. By that time my family started leaving. I had to go home too, to grab clothes for another long night……

(To be continued in my next post…..)

Novemeber 18, 2016 the beginning of the end….(part b) 

My brother got up to the hospital shortly after talking to him. We paged the doctor and he was there within minutes (which is highly unusual). He explained the same things he had told me, to my brother, and thankfully my brother agreed with my “choice.” It wasn’t really much of a choice though. It was really the only option we had. 
He explained to us that it could be hours or days until she actually passed. About a week prior to this there was a woman in my mom’s  room who was clearly at the end of her life. She was older than my mom by many years and I could tell she was in her last days. She was sleeping non-stop and when the nurses would come in, she would start screaming at them, telling them to leave her alone and to not touch her anymore. This anger and agitation is a very common part of the process. Anyway, this poor woman had no visitors for days until her sons finally showed up. They moved her into a private room where she passed away peacefully. I asked the doctor if it was possible we could do the same for my mom and he told me he’d try his best to get us that room. 
Although I saw this coming from a mile away, I was still in complete shock. There were no questions anymore. No hope. My mother and best friend was going to die. People say it’s “easier” sometimes when you know before hand. They say you can prepare yourself. In a wa yes, but in reality, nothing can ever prepare you for losing someone. In a way it’s almost harder because while you know it’s going to happen, you don’t know when and so you are stuck in a constant t state of anxiety. I knew this was coming since the day I heard she had a rare and aggressive form of cancer. I read many articles about cancer in immunocompromised patients and what the survival rates were and statistically, they were not good. I knew it would be a while but not knowing how or when was what made it so hard for me. Losing my mom was my biggest fear not just for that month or year but for my whole life. Since the day I was born I had this connection to her where I never wanted to let her go. My mom used to tell me this story all of the time about how no one could hold me except her, when I was a baby. My aunts used to get mad because they wanted to hold me but every time my mom would hand me to one of them I would scream bloody murder until they gave me back over to my mom. One time her and Aunt Debbie decided they’d try to fool me and so they went into another room and switched shirts. Aunt Debbie picked me up but her face was turned away. She said right away I knew something was wrong and so I kept trying to pull Aunt Debbie’s face toward me. Finally she gave in and and turned her head and as soon as I did, I started to scream for my mom! No one can ever take her place. 

It was my husband’s 40th birthday that day and it killed me when  I had to call him and tell him the worst news I’ve ever delivered to another human being. My husband had a really good relationship ship with my mom. He was better to her than her own son was. He always called to check on on her and sometimes he’d go over there on Saturday mornings while I was still sleeping, so she could see our son. I knew this news was going to hurt him too. I asked him to come up and if he could bring my son so he could see her in hopes that maybe she’d remember it. 
The night before, when I was up at the hospital, I was trying to clean up my mom’s room. I was just fidgety and didn’t know what to do with myself. I just wanted to keep her awake and talking to me so I kept asking her questions what she wants to do with this or that. She wasn’t really responding much except for “yes’s” or “no’s”. She was sleepy and she was kind of trying to talk, but she was kind of going in and out. I asked her, “what is it ma? What do you want?” She looked at me and said, “I just want my family.” and so I remembered her saying that to me and I knew that meant she wanted me to get them there. 
One by one my aunts; uncle’s and cousins all started to pour into the hospital. All 5 of her siblings were there with their husbands or wives (except for Aunt Debbie who is twice divorced) and a lot of my 12 cousins, also came. They set up shop in the waiting room where my brother and I had just sat down with the social worker, the day prior. Everyone took turns going in and out of my mom’s room to visit with her. It was sort of overwhelming. Everyone was crying and in shock. I don’t think anyone realized how bad she really was and later I found out why. They were being misinformed by my brother and his wife. 
Satan told us she had to leave to go to the doctor and it was nice not having to see her around for a little while. My brother was actually spending some time with my mother. He hadn’t been up there in days. I could see in his face that there was a lot going on in his head. My brother was very quiet that day. I wondered exactly what it was, that was  going through his head or if he even cared. I wondered if he had any regrets that he hardly saw her or acted like she existed for almost three years. That in and of itself just made me sad. I loved my brother, but I just hated who he had become. It still hurt me to know he was going to have to live with all that regret for all the fighting they had done. Prior to Satan my brother had a very good and very close relationship with our mom. He would keep in regular contact with her and make sure to visit her at least once a week. It was sad to me that he let someone else spoil that. 

Another difficult part of that day was when my grandmother arrived. She was about to get the shock of her life. My grandmother had no idea that my mom even had cancer. My mother elected not to tell her. I thought it was a very bad choice and she was doing my 89 year old grandmother a disservice. When I asked her why she didn’t want my grandmother to know, my mom told me that Aunt Bea had decided that it would be best that at 89 years old, she didn’t have to worry!  Aunt Bea thinks she’s the mother. How fucking dare she make that decision for her and for my mom. That is not her story. I was really disappointed in my mom. They think they were protecting her but all they were doing was hurting her. I tried to put myself in her shoes and think which I’d be more upset about, knowing my daughter had cancer and being able to mentally prepare myself and making sure I talk to her and spend as much time as possible with her, or not knowing she had cancer for an entire year and then finding out when is too late. I sorted avoided my grandmother for the last few months when things started to slowly decline because if I was talking to her, and she asked me any questions, I was NOT going lie to her and like I felt about Aunt Bea, it was not my story to tell. Many of the nurses in the hospital had this same talk with my mom. They would ask if her mother knew what was going on and my mom would say no and then the nurses would all say the same thing, that my mom was doing her a disservice. By this time I think my mom had lied so long she felt too bad having to explain herself. 
My husband left and went home to watch my son. I really wished he could stay because I could’ve used someone to be on my side. I felt like I was virtually alone. The whole time my mom was in the hospital, out of five of my aunts, only one reached out to me and that was my mom’s youngest sister. Of all my cousins, the only ones who checked in on me was my oldest cousin Nikki. She was the only one who consistently called me. My aunt Bea and my aunt Debbie weren’t being mean but they were kind of ignoring me and giving me the cold shoulder. Likewise, I was kind of avoiding them. I was avoiding almost everyone. My cousin Nikki was by my side the whole time and I could never thank her enough for treating me kindly, having some compassion and understanding. She actually listened to me vent and actually tried to empathize with me. No one else wanted to hear anything I had to say and that really sucked because I think if they knew the story they’d understand why I was the way I was at that time. 
In the late afternoon I was in the waiting room with some of my family. Aunt Bea, uncle Bob a few others were in my mom’s room. Satan came back from her Doctors appointment. She walks in and my aunt Debbie asks her how her doctors appointment was and suddenly she pulls this sheet of paper out of her purse and starts reading it to everyone. Her reason for going to the doctor was because she had an upper respiratory infection. Anyway, she starts reading off what the doctor prescribed to her, antibiotics, a cough syrup and……. oxycodone (aka Vicodin or Percocet) . My aunt D yells out, “oxycodone? What kind of doctor is prescribing you oxycodone for an upper respiratory infection?”. Satan says, “I guess this doctor.”. “My aunt D says jokingly, “Damn wish my doctor would do that!”. Satan made a comment that she had bottles and bottles of it at home. It sounded highly suspicious to me. This was not the first time she had made mention about having pills. She had mentioned it a few times to different people and I personally think she has an addiction to them. 
My mom was mostly unresponsive that day. This may sound strange but it was kind of relieving to see her sleeping. I felt as if anytime she was awake she was suffering, whether it was from physical pain, or mental and emotional pain, and it was hard to watch her going through any of that. She was comfortable and that was all that mattered. They had put her back on the pain pump and told us we could press it every hour for her. She held on tightly to that thing. There were a few times when she popped her head up and said hello to people but it was almost as if she were in a dream like state because she was so heavily medicated.  I was told that every time she woke up and I wasn’t in the room the first thing she’d do is look for me and ask where I was. She also woke up for my husband and my son which made me so happy yet unbelievably sad knowing that it was the last time she’d probably say his name or be able to acknowledge his presence. She was able to recognize faces and that gave me a weird peace too. I was glad she knew her family was by her side, like she wanted. 
Later that night I was in the room sitting on her bed and she opened her eyes and looked around the room. Someone asked her how she felt and she said “good but it’s scaring me that everyone is here.”. I said to her, “Everyone is here because they love you.”. I stated to cry and then She looked over at me and said, “[my nickname] you’re scaring me.”. I was trying to choke back my tears. I didn’t want to scare her but I knew she wanted her family around. I still to this day don’t know if it was right that I didn’t tell her she was dying. I was always honest with my mom. We had a very honest relationship. I just didn’t see what good it was going to do her at that point. I think she knew. I think she knew all along and didn’t want to tell me because she didn’t want to scare me either. That’s something I am always going to wonder about. 

The doctor came back to me and my brother to check up and see how we were all doing. He told me that he was reserving the private room for us. The patient that was in there was supposed to be discharged at some point the next day. He asked how I was doing and I didn’t even know how to answer him. He then said to me, “you did an amazing job caring for your mom.” He leaned in and gave me A huge hug. It felt good to hear that from someone because there were many times that I questioned if I was doing the right thing or everything I could do. I knew I was never going to get that validation from my brother or my two aunts who were supposedly closest to my mom and so, to hear it from a professional and someone who deals with this stuff all of the time, it really helped.
When the doctor walked away my brother asked me if we could talk privately. I really didn’t have much to say to him but I agreed. We walked down the hall and he turns to me and says, “tell me what you think, me and [Satan] were thinking of calling someone from the funeral home to come down here tomorrow so we can start making arrangements.”. I just looked at him for a moment, in complete shock and then I asked, “Why?” and reminded him, “She’s still here.”. He tried to sell me the idea by telling me that he wanted her to get into this specific funeral home because my dad’s wake was there and the holidays were coming up. I hated having to argue but I thought it was a TERRIBLE idea and completely unnecessary. Why waste an hour talking to some funeral director when we can spend that hour with her? Besides, there was absolutely no need to pre-plan her funeral. Had she died in a car accident or something we would’ve had to go after the accident and plan it. If we couldn’t get her in the same funeral home, oh well. There’s 100 others around. I didn’t want to get into it but I told him I didn’t think it was necessary and he seemed rather annoyed that I didn’t agree with him. I explained that I didn’t believe it was going to save us any time afterwards. We would still have to go there and pick out Mass cards and a casket, etc. They couldn’t bring their showroom to the hospital. I told him I didn’t want to argue and I didn’t think it was a good idea and and I just walked away. 
I really don’t know what all of this stupid bullshit was about. It was all a show, for him and his wife, to make it seem like they were being helpful and actually gave a shit about my mom. To me however, it was insulting. Where was he when she had her surgery and went home barely able to walk? Where was he when she fell at 11:30 at night and needed an ambulance? Where was he when she was up for three days straight because she was in so much pain? Where was she when she was at the emergency room in horrible pain? Where was he for any of it? He showed up when it was convenient for him and did the bare minimum just to keep himself from looking like a complete heartless asshole. Now all of the sudden he wants to come in, in the 11th inning and be the here by doing completely uncecessary bullshit? If I were him I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything but sit there and soak up every last minute that I had with her. 

It was getting late, almost midnight. I decided to “sleep” at the hospital. My aunt Debbie said she was going to stay too. I was kind of happy in a way. I thought it would give us some time to talk and hopefully fix things between us. Since I hadn’t spoken to her in months I didn’t tell her all of the crazy shit that was going on. Plus, it would be nice to have somewhere to talk. I’m not going to lie either, I was scared being alone and  knowing my mom could’ve died at any moment.

I went into my moms room and some family members were starting to leave. I had to run back to my house which was only a short four miles away and get some comfortable clothes to wear and my contact lens case. I sat down on the foot of my mom’s bed. My Aunt Bea was seated on the other side. People were walking in and out of the room for the entire day and I felt bad for the elderly woman who shared a room with my mom. It’s hard enough to sleep in the hospital as it is. I mean you really don’t sleep. There’s always nurses coming in to take your vitals or people screaming, announcements over the loudspeaker, carts rolling down the hallway, nurses talking really loud, janitorial staff cleaning, other patients yelling, etc. I expressed my concern for the old woman. I said I felt bad that there was so much activity going in and out and that she was probably tired and wanted to get some rest. Aunt Bea heard me and I thought she’d also try to empathize and say “what if that was my mother?”. No, instead she waves her hand and says, “Oh fuck her!!” and then proceeds to stick her middle finger up towards the curtain that divided the room in half. I know this sounds silly and isn’t really a big deal, but when she did that, it really bothered me and really made me think. Small moments like that could really show you a person’s true character. Over the last few months of my mom’s life I really started to see everyone’s character much more clearly than I ever did before, my Aunt Bea especially. If you didn’t know her the way I do, you’d be shocked by her doing that. Aunt Bea is always the first one to send you a birthday card or call you to wish you a happy birthday. She will compliment you and praise you and make you feel special but behind your back she will mother fuck you, to no end. I started to see who she really was long before this day and believe it or not, Facebook is what exposed her. I just started to notice how incredibly fake she was. She’s an ass kisser. She’s a phony and she’s a manipulator. Her whole life is based on worrying about how she’s perceived by others and looking perfect,  and so she goes above and beyond to manufacture this imagine of a loving, caring, honest, thoughtful, god fearing, empathic Saint; but in actuality, that’s not who she is at all. She’s quite the opposite of everything she portrays herself to be. She’s a very ugly person.

Aunt Bea made my mom feel like shit. She gave my mom her kidney, and then I guess to her, that meant that she had the right to treat my mom less than human. I believe a lot of it was out of jealousy. My mom had a lot of traits and ways about her that I believe my Aunt wanted. My mom was smart, intelligent, and well read. She was independent and did everything for herself. She didn’t depend on my dad to do it for her.  She was a dedicated worker and was recognized for it. She was an amazing mother, who until three years ago, had really good relationships with both my brother and myself. Aunt Bea possessed none of those skills. She would always say things to me like “oh, well your mother is so smart, she reads all those books and she can figure anything out…she’s good like that. I have hardly read any books.“. It goes to show how stupid she really is because reading books didn’t make my mom smarter than her. My mom was smarter because she took interest in things other than herself. If she didn’t know how to do something, she’d try to figure out another way. She listened to other people speak and absorbed information, and yes, she read books too. That’s what made her smarter. Reading a book didn’t make her any smarter. 

I am an empath by nature. A lot of my crying that day was because I was feeling the pain of everyone around me. I would look at my grandmother and think, “Wow. She is 90 years old. She lived through so much.”.  Born in the mid 1920’s, she has seen everything from the Great Depression to the Vietnam war, to the gulf war, to Iraq and 9/11. She watched people much younger than her by many years, die off one by one. My grandfather and all four of his siblings have passed on and she outlived all of them and now here she is, at 90 years old and she is losing her baby. Her and my mom had a very special bond and I think it’s because of all of the siblings, my mom took on the most of her traits. It hurt me to know that. It doesn’t matter how old you are or your child is, you should not die before your child. I’d look at her and just think about how hard this must be for her and I’d cry. 

As for my aunt Debbie, her and my mom were the closest of the two sisters. They were the only ones who were single and lived independently. When my dad died, my aunt Debbie would call my mom up in the morning before work and they’d stay on the phone until it was time to leave. They’d then get in their cars and talk to one another while they were driving in. They did this every morning for the last ten years. If my aunt Debbie bought something, she’d call my mom up and tell her about it and a few days later, she’d have the same thing. They drove the same truck and all, just different colors. At the hospital that day, I could physically feel her pain. 
I left the hospital and a few more people hung out until I got back. I knew it was going to be a long night….


Novemeber 18th, 2016 (part one) 

I had only slept for a few brief hours and it was the morning of November 18th 2016. That day was my husband’s birthday and not only was it his birthday but it was his 40th. I always wanted to throw a huge party for him but that year it was obviously impossible. I didn’t even get him a gift because I didn’t even have the time to think about it. 
At 8:30am I was awoken by the sound of my phone ringing. My phone is usually kept on silent but for that past month I actually put the ringer on because I was so worried about my mom. I picked up my phone, which was facedown on my bed, and flipped it over. I was shocked to see my mom’s name and picture on the screen. It had been a while since I’d seen her number pop up on my screen. She was unable to use her phone when she first went into the hospital, and then, she was having trouble seeing. For a second I got excited thinking maybe taking her off the antidepressant had actually helped her. I answer, and on the other end I hear a voice say my name, and it was a voice I didn’t recognize. Then I hear, “it’s [Satan].”. I was even more shocked that it was her on my mom’s phone. Until this day, I do not know why she used my mom’s phone to call me that morning, and not her own. She told me I needed to come down to the hospital ASAP, and that my mom was in really bad shape. I told her that she was in really bad shape when I left the night prior. They hadn’t been there in days and so since the last time they were there, things sort of started to take a turn. She said that the doctors said that they needed to bring her for a few tests. Apparently she had another cardiac episode the previous night and her heart rate went extremely high, again. 
I wasted no time. I hung up and called my husband right away. I was crying and telling him I had to get there asap. He left work and came home to watch my son while I was up at the hospital. I got there and my brother and Satan are in the room with their baby. My mom was just sleeping. I was wondering why they were there that early in the morning. It was really strange. Satan was wearing this ugly, navy blue, grandma dress with navy blue stockings. I didn’t know why she was so dressed up. I was there for all of about ten minutes when they told me that they had to leave to go get some Medicare papers or something, and that they’d be back shortly. My mom was sleeping and pretty much non-responsive.  Her breathing was very labored and heavy, and you could hear a gurgling sound coming from her chest. It was a sound reminiscent of my dad when he was sick. 
I stayed with her as they brought her down to get a cat scan of her chest and abdomen, and a sonogram of her heart. I remember going down for the cat scan and I was just looking down this long, thin corridor at my mom, in her bed, just laying there, not having any idea that she left her room or was being taken down for a test. She was just sleeping. I felt like everything I knew and was fearing for the past few weeks was coming true. I paced down the hallway crying and talking to god inside my head, asking why it was that she had to go through all of this. I had just been down in that area a few weeks prior when she got the radiation. It felt like I knew that hospital like the back of my hand. I had been to just about every testing area in there except for the heart center,  which was where she had to go next. My brother called me while I was waiting for her second test to be done. He had gone back to work and said he’d be back during his lunch break. I told him I was really scared. That she really didn’t look well. He really offered me I comfort except to say, “yeah, well….we’ll see.”.

Her second test was finished and I headed back up to her hospital room. The doctor came in shortly after and asked if I could step out into the hall with him. Of course I did. He explained to me that what he was going to share with me, wasn’t the best news. It was quite obvious that something was very wrong and from what I had observed that day and in the days prior, I knew my mom had taken a turn for the worst. I just didn’t know why or what was causing it. He told me he looked at the test results and the good news was that she didn’t have a heart attack. The bad news was that they found out she had perforation in her bowels, something until that day, I had never heard of before. Basically this meant that somewhere in intestines or colon there was a a small opening or tear. They are not sure what causes these kinds of things but it could’ve been from a number of things like, the chemo drugs, the radiation or possibly the cancer itself. He then went on to explain to me that when this happens (and it is common in cancer patients, especially those with stomach or colon cancer) the intestines leak toxins into your bloodstream and you become septic (blood poisoned). The abdomen also fills up with air which would explain why my mom was having a pain in her stomach, and why it looked so distended in the days prior. It also causes breathing problems and an extremely elevated heart rate, which explained the two cardiac events she had the day before. He went on to tell me that in a healthy individual if it’s caught in time, there’s a chance of survival. They normally would do an exploratory surgery to find the hole and repair it if possible, but given all the things my mom had going on between her stage 4 cancer, the fact that she had no kidney function, and the state she was in at the time, they did not believe she would make it through the surgery. He also explained that there are cases where they don’t do surgery because some can close up on their own but it’s extremely rare, and with someone on the amount of steroids and other immunosuppressives, healing takes much longer. Exposing my mom to infection was far too risky with her compromised immune system. In healthy, younger individuals with a small perforation, survival is possible. If an otherwise healthy person didn’t have surgery, then they are then prescribed antibiotics to fight off the infections. He said, again,  when it came to my mom, her immune system was so low there’s no way she’d ever be able to fight off sepsis, even with antibiotics. She had been immunocompromised for 25 years. After a transplant, they put you on immunosuppressive drugs. These drugs keep the immune response of the body under control so the body doesn’t see the transplanted organ as a foreign invader and attack it. 
After he explained all of that, he explained to me that the best option for her, given her circumstances and how bad of physical shape she was in, and how far her cancer had advanced that we could go into what they called “comfort care”. Basically what that means is that you’re going to stop all treatments, like dialysis and chemotherapy drugs, etc. The goal is to make her comfortable (i.e.; oxygen, pain killers, etc) and leave her be until she naturally leaves this earth. 

He told me that given the state she was in, it was pretty safe to say she that she was incapacitated and unable to speak or make decisions on her own behalf, and so as her healthcare proxy, I would have to make this horrible “choice”. I asked him if I could call my brother before making any decisions, and he said, “of course, yes.”. I told him that I believe we should just put her on comfort care, but I wanted my brother to be involved in that as well. I then asked in his professional opinion what would he do if it were his mother? He told me that the comfort care would be the most humane, choice. I agreed. I just hoped my brother was on the same page as us. 
The doctor was so nice about it. It’s strange because both me and my mom didn’t exactly care for this particular doctor over the course of the past few weeks,  but that day, the way he explained this horrible news to me, it completely changed the way I felt about him. He delivered the news with empathy and compassion and I really appreciated it…..

(To be continued in my next post)

Novemeber 17th, 2016….

It was Thursday the 17th of November and my brother and I were due up at the hospital around 12:00pm to meet with the social worker. I had no choice but to bring my son with me to the meeting. My husband had just started working with a new company in his union, that week and he couldn’t really take off. Going up to the hospital during that time of day was crazy. It would take at least ten minutes to find parking because the whole garage was so packed. The elevators also took forever. There were crowds of people waiting and the elevators were packed in like sardine cans. 
I walked up to the crowd of people waiting and we stood in the back. Suddenly my son spotted my brother standing in the crowd. I had no desire to be near him unless totally necessary. My son was calling his name and I kept trying to quiet him down. My brother didn’t even turn his head and look. The elevator came,but he was waiting for the same one and so I let everyone else go in and waited for the next one which took almost 5-7 minutes. We got upstairs and headed down the circular hallway to my mom’s room. Both buildings from the outside looked like tall, cylindrical octagons. The hallways went around in a circle and the rooms were on the outer edges with the nurses stations in the center. As I made my way around I saw my brother was standing in the hall. He didn’t say a word to me when I stopped right next to him and peaked in the room. I figured they were changing my mom’s  diaper, but when I got a better look I saw some machine in there and a bunch of doctors and nurses. I walked in to see what was going on. I didn’t give a fuck. I never waited in the hall. That was my mother in there. I wanted to know everything that was happening. 
I walked in and one of the doctors started talking to me. They said my mom had some type of event cardiac event. Her heart rate was sky high. They said there was a possibility that she had a minor heart attack She was stable though, but just kind of seemed out of it. She just looked really scared. They told us they had to do an EKG. She was supposed to be a part of our meeting with the social worker but at that point it didn’t look like she was going to be able to participat,  and the social worker directed us to go to the waiting room down the hall and she’d join us in a few minutes. It was totally awkward sitting in a room, alone with my brother. I hadn’t been in a room with him for any length of time since the palliative care meeting on Halloween. I felt like I was sitting in the room with a complete stranger. He wouldn’t even look up except for every few seconds when my son would make noise. He was zoned into his phone. 
The social worker came in and eventually we started the meeting. Like many of the others before, I recorded this one on my phone. I listened to it before writing this post and so many things came flooding back, for instance, the week prior was the day I had the conversation about hospice. I held it in the whole weekend thinking we were going to meet with the social worker Monday morning, but she cancelled it. The word hospice played and played in my head the entire week. Every time my mom’s friends or whoever would call, I’d sit there listening to her tell them her plans for the future which consisted of going to the rehab center for a little bit, then moving in with me and my husband and going back to work. (She worked from home). It broke my heart. 
From the first time I spoke to the social worker and even a few weeks before then. I was trying to tell my mom to quit her job and go on Medicare and try to apply for  Medicaid. She had saved all her money from her settlement (from a malpractice suit) but she was so scared to touch it. Now was the time for quitting her job and using that money to live off of. It was her money and she went through HELL to get it. I’m 100% sure she would’ve taken her health and not having kidney failure, over her doctor’s insurance money. No matter how much I’d say it, it fell on deaf ears. I was happy that she was still motivated and had a will to live, but her goals were unrealistic (as far as working goes).
The Social worker basically discussed what her plan would be. From her point of view there was nothing medically keeping her there. They got her pain under control and she was stabilized. At the same time they could not release her without having a safe plan in place. My head was reeling through the whole meeting because I was a little confused. That past week they were recommending hospice but still making a plan for a rehab. She explained that they did so based exclusively on her dialysis treatments. Prior to my convo about hospice, she hadn’t been able to sit up in a chair for more than an hour. In order for her to go to outpatient dialysis she had to be able to sit up and support her “trunk” for at least four hours. That Monday she did it and so now dialysis and rehab were an option, once again. 
Basically said, the whole purpose of the meeting was to, discuss how we were going to get her out of the hospital and preserve her quality of life in a way that also provides the most comfort. We discussed things like rehabs and nursing facilities, insurance and what’s going to be covered and not covered, applying for Medicaid and Medicare, and things to that nature. My mom’s case was very medically involved and so a lot of places just lacked the ability to meet her medical needs. Others weren’t covered by her insurance. It was very complicated and she was telling us how to advocate for her. 
My brother didn’t disappoint though. As usual he had to steer the ship into the iceberg. We started speaking about the chemo drugs she took and how that works as far as rehabs administering them. That lead us to her telling is how they’d re-evaluate her to see if they’re working. They weren’t going to change the fact that she was terminal, but they could prolong her life for a while longer. I said, “yeah, like we don’t know how long……..I don’t want to know how long. I don’t think she wants to know how long”. I was basing that off the fact she started crying immediately when my brother asked the SAME fucking thing in the oncologists office, one time. My mom was extremely scared and in complete denial. I had seen the reactions she had to some of the stuff the doctors told us. I can say with 101% certainty that she didn’t want to hear how long she had left, and anyway, no one could ever actually know that. I didn’t see how it was conducive to her quality of life. Of course my brother had to argue and say, “I think at some point, she may need to know how much time she has left cause……so she can make some decisions…”. Of course, he is only thinking of himself.  I spoke up again and said, “I don’t think she needs to know that.”. He goes on to give us a hypothetical, ” If it gets to the point where say, the doctors tell her she has something like six months to live……” and the social worker cuts him off and says, “She may want to get somethings in order,  she may want to make certain decisions..”,  and my brother gives her a very enthusiastic, “EXACTLY!”. 

The social worker then went on to explain to my brother, that while it may be beneficial to some, my mom wanted to bury her head in the sand at that point time. She didn’t want to hear it, and if she wasn’t ready to hear it, we were better off not telling her. You can hear the disappointment in my brother’s voice after she says that to him. It’s like he was all excited to tell her. 

Throughout my mother’s entire hospital stay, every time I was in the room with him or even over the phone with him, while having discussions about what the plan was for her, for when she left the hospital, he had to bring up her getting her affairs in order in some way, he did it over the phone with me during the second week she was there. He did it at the palliative care meeting. He even mentioned it to my husband a few times in conversation.  I matter what, her “affairs” always seemed to be his top priority. 

Whether it was about bringing her to an eldercare attorney, talking about healthcare proxies a million times, giving her lawyer recommendations, whatever it was clear from the very beginning that was all he cared about. When we had these meetings he’d come with his pen and paper and have a few general questions (that had he been around more in the past year he’d have answers to) and he’d ask them, but no matter what, it was inevitable her “affairs” came up. I never understood what his big concern was. She had a will that CLEARLY stated everything was split 50/50 between me and him. What more did he want? What more was there to get in order? 
The meeting ended and we went back to her room. The doctors and nurses were finishing up whatever they were doing. My brother left and I stuck around. I explained to that they were still looking for rehabs. Even though the social worker seemed to be making plans for my mom to go to a rehab or something similar, and it seemed like there was some hope, I just couldn’t deny what I was seeing with my own eyes. 

I remembered at end when my dad was sick, like I mentioned before, he had this glazed over look in his eyes. It is hard to explain. It looked sort of like his eyes were just black, like they carried no light in there, and it seemed like they were never really focused on anything in particular, even the TV. They are detached. Normally people make eye contact when they talk to you or you talk to them and that didn’t happen. There’s no movement except for the occasional blink. 
I tried to talk myself out of it but that was exactly what I was seeing in my mom’s eyes that last week. Aside from all of the medical issues she had, something just wasn’t right. She slept a lot that day and I just sat there kind of staring at her. She didn’t want to eat which was HIGHLY unusual for my Italian-American mother. She loved food! She hadn’t been eating well for the past month or so but she was entirely skipping meals for the days prior and I don’t believe she ate anything that day either.  

I spoke to the doctor in the late evening and he informed me that they thought my mother may have had a minor heart attack earlier that day but they weren’t 100% sure. I helped her get her teeth out and got her ready for bed, even though she was sleeping pretty much the whole entire time I was there. 
I really  didn’t feel right leaving the hospital that night. I called my husband on my way home, as I did every night, and I told him that something just didn’t feel right, and that I didn’t think my mom was going to make it much longer. When I got home I was just so upset. I had held it together pretty well the whole time which I NEVER thought I’d be able to do, but that night I finally broke down. I laid on my couch in the fetal position and balled my eyes out. I hadn’t cried like that in years. I cried for hours until I eventually fell asleep on the couch. My husband woke me up shortly after, when he was leaving for work around 5:00am and told me to go upstairs in our bed. At about 8:30 in the morning, my phone rang…….

(To be continued in my next post) 

A sticky mess….

The next day was Wed the 16th. I got there around 2:30-3:00 that afternoon. I had my son with me but only for a short time. After their breakup, my mom was still very friendly with my brother’s ex-fiancé’s mother. In fact we went to dinner with her about two weeks before she ended up back in the hospital. I hadn’t told her my mom was back in the hospital because her brother had just passed away around the same, and I thought it would be too much for her to handle. I told her husband who works in a restaurant that I frequently go to, and I figured he would tell her when the time was right. Once he did, she texted me and I told her what was going on and she asked if she could come see my mom at a time when it was unlikely Satan would be there. I told her they hadn’t been there for about four days now but her best bet was coming during work hours. My brother got off at 6:00pm. 
I made plans to meet up with her in the parking lot and so I did. We walked up into the room and to my shock and surprise my aunt Debbie and Aunt Bea were there. I wasn’t expecting to see them considering it was during work hours and they both had jobs. There was a real strange vibe when we walked in. Instead of sitting in the two chairs next at my mom’s bed side, they were leaned up against the wall on the opposite side of the room. I really didn’t want to be in there, but I couldn’t leave Donna (the ex-fiancé’s mother ) there alone. Sure enough though within a few minutes my husband called me and told me he was downstairs to pick up our son. 
I took a little extra time talking to my husband, hoping my aunts would leave, but when I went back up, they were still there. It was super awkward in the room, but I felt obligated to stay. As I said, it was weird to see them there during work hours, and even more weird there without my uncle Bob, who always drove them out here. They hadn’t been there in days. Why all of the sudden did they decide to take off during the day and come? 
There was obvious tension in the air and so Donna made a good buffer for that. They ended up leaving shortly after and then it was just me, my mom and Donna. Donna is an interesting person. She’s really funny and outspoken, but not in a rude way. Usually when my mom and I were with her we’d talk non-stop and laugh until our bellies hurt. Donna always had a way about her that just kind of lightened the mood and lifted you up. That day however, I felt like my mom was completely detached, and she almost seemed annoyed that donna was even there. She hardly looked at Donna or paid her any attention, even after my aunts left. She was just staring straight ahead watching the TV which was tuned to Fox News. The more I observed her lack of interactions, the more I realized that something was majorly wrong. 
I tried to talk myself out of it but from that Monday on, I was recognizing something in my mom that I remembered seeing in my dad at the end of his life. He had that same glazed over look in his eyes and it scared the shit out of me. My mom was very agitated and while I was trying to help her pick out dinner, she was holding the menu upside down and just kind of blankly staring at it, but she was trying to convince me that she was reading it just fine. When I tried to help her turn it around, she snapped at me. We fixed the menu and as I was trying to help her read her choices, she snapped at me again to leave her alone. I watched her as she sat there holding the menu and eventually falling asleep with it in her hands. She didn’t eat all day and she didn’t order dinner that night either. It troubled me. 
Donna didn’t stay too long. When she finally left, I looked at my mom who had dozed off to sleep. I felt bad waking her but I wanted to get her dentures out so she’d be comfortable for the night. She pulled out the bottom one and put it in a container like we did every night. When she went to get the tops I saw she was really struggling, and so I asked if she needed help. She snapped at me again and said she didn’t need help. Usually the tops ones slipped right off because she didn’t use the adhesive on the tops. She only used it on the bottom. She was pulling and pulling and they wouldn’t come out. She didn’t even look as if she had the strength to get them out but finally after struggling for a few minutes, she managed to get them out. There was shit loads of glue on them and in her mouth. It was a fucking mess. The glue stretches and so there was these huge globs of stringy glue hanging all over her mouth. She looked so pitiable sitting there pulling off the strings one by one. I helped her clean her mouth out and get ready for bed. 
Something just didn’t feel right those few days. She seemed like she suddenly got worse. She was confused and just seemed kind of out of it. I wondered if t was the antidepressant, but she had only been on them for a few days, and I couldn’t imagine she had even built enough up in her system to make her seem this “off”. I couldn’t help but think something else was going on. She wasn’t really eating or drinking any fluids. While she had lost over 25lbs in the few weeks she was there, her stomach looked terribly distended and the day before she started complaining about a pain in her lower belly. I figured she was constipated because that had been another horrible issue she had to deal with since she started the pain killers. I just couldn’t forget that glazed over look in her eyes. Something wasn’t right. 
I spoke to the doctor that night and I asked her if the antidepressants could be causing her to be apathetic and confused. Given the fact she was taking over 16 different medications, he said it was a possibility there was an interaction somewhere in there. I asked him if we could stop them and see if it helps and he agreed that it was a good idea. I was hoping to come back the next day and see her in better condition. I didn’t  sleep much that night….
(To be continued in my next post) 

Paranoia got the most of me….

I fixed my mother’s iPad for her. It took a while, but I was able to do it without losing any data. I hate that this happened, I really do, but at this point in time my husband and I really started to question my mom’s role and if maybe she was in on things with my brother and Satan. Was she just an innocent monkey in the middle or was she playing both sides? Looking back, I think I little of the latter was going on, I don’t think she did it with ill intentions towards me. I even wondered if they had managed to get into her head with their lies. I remembered that every time a text went off on her phone, it would go of in her iPad too. Maybe it was wrong of me but I decided to look in her texts. Maybe there was something in there that would explain what was going on, and more importantly, why?
I went to my brother’s  and her texts first. Apparently the day that the lawyer came she had accidentally text my brother instead of me. My mom told him about the lawyer previous to this day, but she didn’t tell him when or why he was coming. She wrote the same thing to him that she did to me, that “they” said she should see him alone. That was when my brother responded, “Which lawyer? The one from the hospital or the one Janet suggested.” Janet? Who the fuck was Janet but more so, why is she suggesting lawyer’s for my mom and also, why does he know about it and I don’t ? 
I had no idea who Janet was and it haunted me for a while. I didn’t want to ask my mom so I was trying to figure it out on my own. Then suddenly it hit me! I remember when my mom told me that Satan said they (coincidentally) used the same accountant, my mom said the accountant’s name was Janet! I’m still trying to piece this all together though.  My told me that Satan said she had gotten some advice from someone,that she needed to tell Janet. I asked my mom what type of advice she got,and my mom played it off like she didn’t remember. Now this same lady is suggesting lawyer’s for my mom to see? There had to be a discussion about my mom’s will between my brother,  Satan and her. I personally think they wanted to convince my mom they are more “responsible” than me. They were afraid my mom would make me the executor,  and that was not what they wanted becausethey wanted to have all the control. They may have even just wanted to get my aunts off the will, so they can have control. Satan had fully brainwashed  Aunt Bea, but I think she was a little iffy about Aunt Debbie because Aunt Debbie wasn’t particularly fond of her,  and Satan didn’t know if she could control her as much as Aunt Bea. 
I do not believe Satan used the same Tax lady as my mom. I think she pretended to use the same accountant as her because she wanted to talk to the accountant  to see how much money my mom was worth and what she owed in taxes. Satan supposedly went to school for accounting, (or so she says)  and so I’m surprised she uses a tax person at all. Still I had to wonder how Satan found out who my mom used. Then a few days later, I went to my mom’s house to do something and sure enough right on the fridge was a magnetic business card for Janet Jones, CPA. 
That Monday Nov. 15th my mom was able to sit in the chair for over four hours. It was a huge accomplishment. The question now was, would she be able to do it without the heavy dose of painkillers she was on, because she wasn’t going to be able to have that when she left the hospital. I had a meeting set up for Thursday with the social worker to see if they were still even talking about releasing her. The meeting was supposed to take place either Monday or Tuesday but the social worker had a scheduling conflict and so she postponed it until Thursday. Unfortunately my brother had to be included in on this one and so since she was aware of all the conflict between us, I asked if she could coordinate with him. 
Tuesday rolled around and I started to notice a change in my mom’s overall affect. They had started her on the antidepressant that day but I didn’t think it would affect her that quickly. Usually they take time to build up in your system.  She just seemed flat. I brought my son that day and her reactions to him just weren’t like they normally were. In fact, she seemed like she didn’t even care that he was there at all. This was VERY abnormal. In the last three years the only time I really saw my mom smile was when he was around. She was always so down about my brother and I not speaking, but when she saw my son it was like she forgot everything else and he was all that mattered in that moment. She’d hug him and kiss him all over and ask, “why do I love this boy so, so much?”; but she’d say it in this funny voice, and she just held him and squeezed him. Him and her would more often than not, go off into their own little world when they were together, and it was a world where I didn’t exist.  I love to watch them play, though. When I saw her reactions, or lackthereof,  with my son, I became worried. 
She also seemed a little confused and stuff and was saying weird things and talking about having to do things with my dad, but my dad has been deceased for ten years.  I was worried, and so Tuesday night I went home and started looking online to see what the effects were of the antidepressant she was taking and thought maybe she was experiencing some negative  side effects of that. The best way to describe the way she was, was apathetic. She just had no reactions to anything. She wasn’t even looking at me when I was talking to her. I remember those few days feeling like she was even annoyed by my presence,  but I stayed around. I thought maybe she was mad because maybe my brother told her about the fight we had the night my husband dropped off the camera. I had. I idea what was making her like that because if I asked she would tell me she was fine. 
 I went back up that night to give her, her iPad, and I told her I didn’t want to talk about it but I wanted her to know that my husband replaced the camera. It was really bothering me and so Tuesday night when I left, I was home thinking about all of this stuff and how she seemed mad or annoyed with me that night I texted her this, “I have to tell you. I feel like something is going on. Like you’re not telling me something. Is there something you need to tell me? I know there’s something going on that I don’t know about. This whole thing with [my brother] and his wife and the camera is completely not making sense to me. Why they were putting cameras in the house??. I just don’t get it.”. Then I asked, “who’s Janet?” My mom confirmed it was her tax lady. It bothered me that she didn’t answer anything else except that and so I sent her this, “Ok. I’ve made you a priority in my life for the past ten years since daddy has been gone and especially in the last couple of years, months and weeks. I have sacrificed my time with my son and my husband to be there for you. I just want to know what’s going on. That’s all. I just know something is not being said.”. I wanted her know that I was always there with her and that she can tell me whatever it was. My mom and I had always been honest and open with one another and I felt like she was holding back. I didn’t want all the bullshit they were doing to put a strain on our relationship.  I just wanted to know what they were up to. What was with all the sneaking around, lying and shady business? Was there something she was afraid to tell me because she thought they might get mad and threaten her with not seeing her granddaughter as they have done in the past? I needed to know what the reasoning was for putting that camera in the house. I also wanted to know if they were pressuring to do things she wasn’t comfortable with. 
Satan has this thing she does where she just kind of forces herself or things on you. Perfect example. The day after their 1 1/2 year old daughters first birthday party (that took place nearly 6 months after her actual birthday) that took place on my mom’s actual birthday, they came over to my moms house while I was there. My brother told me that they got a cleaning lady for my mom. I thought that meant they were going to pay for her house to get cleaned. I come to find out later that they weren’t paying for it. The way it was presented to me it seemed as if they were. I know my mom and while she spent money on stupid shit sometimes, she was cheap when it came to things like that and I was surprised she was taking on a bill that expensive. My mom the told me that Satan kind of forced it on her but she wanted it anyway, so it was ok. It ended up being the same lady that cleaned their house, and so Satan was the one to set up the appointment. My mom had to cancel a few times and Satan would be the one to call and coordinate that. She would just do things without you giving a real solid answer or without giving you time to think. As soon as you said something was a good idea, she was on the phone coordinating it for you. 

My mom replied to my text, ...”[my nickname] if you think I would do anything against you you’re out out of you’re miimh. (She meant mind)”. I was ok with that answer. Even through a text. I don’t think my mom was fully aware of what they were doing at that time. I think she was in denial about everything, her cancer, her kidney failure, and her son and how much he had changed and disappointed her.

The spiteful Indian giver……

The next day I went to the hospital and sat down with my mom to propose the idea of her coming to live with us. I would be her full time care taker. I told her that my husband and I discussed it and we would set her up in our family room. She would have her own private space. It would be like a small studio apartment. We would figure out how get her back and forth to dialysis. My mom was very excited about the idea. I knew I could not stop her cancer from taking her but if she was going to do hospice, she was going to do so surrounded by the people she loved. I assured her that everyone was welcome to visit her, including my brother and his wife and that she would be able to have her own private life away from us. She was really excited about it. If the cancer was going to take her, fine but I was not about to promote her slowly poisoning herself to death by stopping dialysis. 
It was hard though because my mom seemed to be a little more in denial than I had originally believed. She still seemed to think she was heading to a rehab facility, and there was a chance of her coming home, and that coming to my house was going to be a stepping stone to her going home and resuming a normal life. She was determined to live. The doctor who told me about hospice told me that my mom would have to be able to sit in a chair for at least 4 hours if continuing dialysis was even going to be an option for her,and so I pushed her to try. 
It was Friday the 11th when I went up to the hospital and that day she sat in the chair for an hour. It was a huge accomplishment. I was at least relieved that she was willing to give it a shot. My brother came that afternoon, after four days of not coming to visit her and he finally took his camera. My mom told me he called her later that afternoon and he was pissed and told her to tell me that I owed him $200 for the camera that I smashed. I was pissed too. Pissed that there even was a camera for me to l smash, but more so, I was pissed that he was even bothering her with this stupid bullshit. I said to her, “I knew this was going happen.”, and then I told her not to even worry about it. She asked me what I did to it, that he said it was “destroyed”. Again I laughed and said, “I knew that too was going to happen and that’s why I took photos of it before I brought it back up…. because I knew they were going to exaggerate the damage.”. There was a few surface  scratches on the back. My mom kept going, “well he said he cannot sell it.”.  I responded, “ok.” Then she said, “I will give him the $200 for the camera, I will pay for it.”. I turned around and said, “No! no! You will NOT pay for it. I will. It was my mistake. I will pay for it and that’s it. I don’t want to even discuss this stupid shit anymore.”.
My blood was boiling at that point in time. I really wanted to fucking kill my brother. My mom was dealing with enough bullshit. All that kept playing in my head was the word ,’terminal’and the word, ‘hospice’. Everything else was so fucking insignificant to me at that point . I had to wonder, what was wrong with him that he would even think it was appropriate to bring this fucking bullshit up to her? Why wouldn’t he just come to me and ask me to pay for it? Now, not only was he making her feel badly about it, but he was stressing her out. I seriously didn’t even care at that point in time about playing his stupid games and so I didn’t even pay it anymore attention. He had put me through enough bullshit in those last few weeks. 
That same night my mom was trying to go on her iPad, but it kept freezing up. My mom was very into her iPad, and not seeing her on it, or looking at Facebook, for the last three weeks, was very strange, and a good indicator of how bad of shape she was in. I took a look at her iPad and sure enough it was just frozen. It wouldn’t move. I asked her if she had done anything to it, and she told me that my brother put the Nest app (for their camera ) on it so she could have access to the camera. I asked if he had done anything else and she said she didn’t know. All of her apps were updating at the same time and you couldn’t open any of them. I told her I’d take it home and try to fix it for her. She told me she couldn’t even use her phone because she was having trouble seeing, even with her glasses on. 
I finally got my mom to agree to try the antidepressant the doctors offered to her and they agreed to start her in a few days.  She needed it. The doctors told her it would take a few weeks to feel the full effects of it. That Saturday she told me to go to her house and get her reading glasses. I wondered if the antidepressant was effecting her eye sight. I knew my mom had to be severely depressed to agree to start taking medication for it but I was hoping maybe it would take the edge off and make her act more like herself. I felt like even though I was spending so much time with her, it was like I haven’t seen her, the real her, for months. Pretty much ever since she got her surgery in February she was not the same. It was like she never recovered fully from it. I missed shopping with her and talking on the phone with her. I missed our conversations about everyday things like gardening and makeup products. I even missed gossiping with her. What can I say? I’m a woman. I felt like all we did was talk about how she felt, what the doctors said, blood tests, MRI’s and hospitals. I wanted my mom back and I thought maybe the antidepressant would help me get at least some of that back. Maybe it was selfish of me. 
That night though it was quiet and we got a chance to kind of bond in that way. Since she couldn’t get out of bed, she couldn’t bathe or shower. Her hair hadn’t been washed in weeks and she hadn’t been able to do any other type of grooming. I know this is maybe too much information, but she asked me to bring some wax strips up to the hospital. They had pretty much doubled or tripled her dose of prednisone which is a steroid that helps calm inflammation. It does so by suppressing part of the immune system. It also comes with a whole host of,sort of unpleasant side effects. I remember back when she first got her transplant and she had just started taking it. Prednisone makes you more hungry, and therefore, more likely to gain weight. The weird thing though,  is that it redistributes fat, which means you may puff up in weird places like your face. In women it could cause facial hair to grow, and so it’s a good idea to invest in some hair removal products if you are on it because you will constantly need them. 
We had a mini, spa night. I cleaned up all the unwanted hair. I helped her brush her hair and rub lotion on her feet and part of her legs. My mom struggled with her weight for as long as I could remember and it was alarming to see how much muscle mass and weight she lost off of her legs. After one week of bed rest you lose up to 12% of your muscles. By week three, 50%. When she was still in a lot of pain she was constantly asking me to pick her her leg and put a pillow under it or remove a pillow from under it. I would pick up her leg and what used to be a solid leg now felt like a bone with some skin hanging off of it. It was hard to see that. It was hard to see all the physical effects that her illness was having on her. Her skin looked dull and had a pale, greyish undertone. I was just glad I could make her feel better even if by doing such small favors for her. 
I went back up to the hospital Sunday morning and hung out for a little while it was sometime in the late afternoon that I got a phone call from my husband that my brother had text him once again about his stupid fucking camera. He wrote, “for some reason [me] decided to smash the camera before giving it back. I already talked to my mom about this. Since she doesn’t work, are you going to give me the money for a new one?”. My husband was so done with my brother’s bullshit and so he answered, “She gets a weekly allowance. You can deal with her.“. My brother came back,“fine we will file a claim in small claims (court). You will both be served shortly.” 

This is one of the two actual photographs I took of the camera before returning it. As you can see there is absolutely no damage whatsoever to the front of the camera. There’s some smudges and debris that can easily be wiped away.
Back view of the camera, the scratches you see are the only damage it sustained. As you can see the camera is not “smashed”, like my brother was claiming it was!

My husband was fucking livid, and as angry as he was, you could take my anger and multiply it by 100 and that’s how angry I was. First off, I was still pissed that he was harassing my mom about this stupid camera. Second, I was pissed that he contacted my husband after I asked him not to. Third, why was he even contacting my husband, at all? Why wouldn’t he text me? Just because he needs to do everything through his wife, doesn’t mean that’s the way the rest of the world does things. Fourth, I mean really you’re going to bring your own sister and your brother-in-law to fucking small claims court over a fucking camera that you voluntarily GAVE up ownership to? That would be dumb considering I have a text where he says he gave it to my mom. Fifth, and probably the worst, was that he was wasting so much fucking time worrying about this stupid fucking camera. Seriously, this camera was his top priority. I couldn’t believe that anyone would even think any of that shit was even remotely important, considering that their mother was in a hospital, fighting for her life. All that time and effort he wasted going to her house and setting it up, and then going back to check on it, was time he could’ve been spending with her. 

I didn’t even want my mom to know what was going on but my blood was boiling. He was such a liar, acting as if the camera was now useless and unsellable. If it was such a piece of garbage why did he go back to my mom’s house and retrieve the box after he got it back? Why would he need the box to a smashed camera that he couldn’t sell? This was nothing more than spite. I admit I was completely.  wrong for throwing it, but this could’ve wanted to be dealt with at a later date in time. It’s not like him and Satan were broke or hard up for cash. He’s driving around Mercedes and living in a $500,000 house in an upper middle class neighborhood. I’m sure he could spare the money for another few weeks until we figured out what was going on with my mom. We all had enough stress at the time. All this petty bullshit could’ve been settled at another time. 
I did not want to explain what was going on to my mom, and so I told her I was going to go back to my house to try and fix her iPad because the glasses I brought up weren’t helping her see any better, on her phone. I got into my car and called my husband.  He read the rest of th text exchange with my brother to me. After the small claims court threat my husband responded, “good if that’s what you want to do. [sic] Why don’t you try taking to your sister? You haven’t tried once.” My brother replied with, “she told me to never call her again.” Actually, I told him never to contact EITHER of us again and so we now know that excuse is a big fat lie. 
I was really shocked at my brother and the way he was acting about this camera. All of this was just so out of character for him. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. None, and I repeat NONE of his behavior over the last three weeks was typical behavior for him. I couldn’t see him ever taking charge and going to my moms house and rifling through her personal information. I couldn’t see him concocting a plan to plant a camera in her house or giving a shit that she chose me to be her healthcare proxy. Hell, I couldn’t imagine my brother being mad at me for three years over a dress that I chose to wear to his wedding. I have known him my whole life and there is not one person out there who will ever convince me that he was the brainchild of ANY of this shit. It’s just not who he was. Period. 
After my husband told him to deal with me, he decided to text me this “since you smashed the camera before giving it back, are you going to be giving me $200 for it, out of your weekly allowance?”. I replied to him, “didn’t I tell you NOT to contact me and my husband anymore? This is bordering on harassment now (I can play the veiled threats game too!). Why don’t you worry about your mother who is dying?   (He hadn’t been to the hospital in days). If the camera is so worthless and unsellable now, why’d you need the box for it? You are so fucking full of shit and I am done. You can bring me to small claims court.” He replied, “Will do.” 

After that I felt it was time to really give him a piece of my mind I wrote back, “man [brothers name] you and your wife are the most vindictive people on the planet. Really [brother’s name]; this is really what’s important to you right now? A fucking camera? Why was it there to begin with? So mommy can get a nice view down her hallway? You sneaky fucks are the ones who need cameras pointed at you.”

I couldn’t stop, I sent that and then another, “and like a little pussy you’re up at the hospital bothering mommy about this fucking bullshit. Do you see what this is doing to her? I’ll be sure to notify the social worker that you are adding non-necessary stress to her life right now and making her worse. Maybe you should spend your time with her instead of at the bar getting drunk like your 21 years old. Really man, get your shit together”.  

I then explained, “the doctors said the word terminal to me. Do you need the fucking definition of what that means. She’s fighting for her LIFE! And you are bothering her with this TRIVIAL bullshit? That is probably what you wanted you piece of shit!”.

My phone started ringing. It was him calling me. I didn’t want to talk to him. I text him back and said, “I’m up at the hospital, I’m not talking to you. You wasted enough of my time.”. I wasn’t about to sit there while he tried to manipulate me. I just wanted this shit to stop.  
He wrote back to me, ” I understand the word terminal. She has stage four cancer. And I spoke to the doctor today. He said she’s on the upward trend and responding to treatment.” 
I was stunned. First off, I don’t what doctor he spoke to that day but when I spoke to the doctor he told me the exact opposite. I saw with my own eyes that, that wasn’t the case. Even if it was, she still was in very bad shape and had some extremely difficult hurdles to get over, just to get herself into a rehab facility. So now, an upward trend justifies him crying to her, like a little baby, about his broken camera? What little respect I had left for him completely disappeared, right then and there. I wrote back to him, “fuck off. Just stop talking to me.”

He replied again,“regardless her being terminal doesn’t mean I have to shut up and take your psychotic bullshit! Smashing the camera was completely unnecessary. Get a hold of your fucking feelings.”. 

I found it amazing that he thought I was the psychopath, when the real psychopath was the person he laid his head down next to every night. I know I probably should’ve just ignored him at this point but I had enough, I just couldn’t. 
I wrote back, “take my psychotic bullshit? Be a fucking MAN already and grab your balls back from your wife and address me! Don’t drag mommy into this. You just showed me how fucking heartless you are. Holy shit! You little baby. DO NOT CONTACT ME ANYMORE.”.

I pulled up to my house and came in to try and fix my mom’s iPad. My husband was out with my son getting dinner. He pulls back up to the house and he is furious. He tells me he’s going to the store to buy my brother a new camera. I told him not to bother. First off, my brother would have to prove that the camera was his, by way of receipt. Since it was supposedly a prize his wife won in a contest, I doubt she had a receipt. If they could provide a receipt then that would prove she is a liar and didn’t actually win the camera. Second, as I mentioned earlier, I have a text from him where he says he gave the camera to my mom. That means he has no recourse because the camera wasn’t his, anymore. He’d be wasting his time, plus taking off a day of work all for a $200 camera. It’s so stupid. 
My husband just didn’t want the problems. He just wanted to do the right thing, which I admire. He is the ying to my yang.  I was so angry with my brother at this point. He and his wife had put me and my mom through so much unnecessary bullshit in the past few weeks, and if you want to go there, the last three years. I was trying really hard to not get into it with him but I had reached my wits end. I was so done with him, his wife and their bullshit. He had really crossed a line this time. Not just one line, multiple lines. As I’ve said before, I know my brother. I know what kind of person he is. I know he learned morals and values from the same two people as I did and so I have to ask, how did he veer so far off the beaten path? 
I had to fix my mom’s iPad. My husband went to Lowe’s and dropped the camera off to my brother at his house. I wished he hadn’t given in to those two idiots but I’m also happy that he just wanted to take the high road. He made my brother give him the smashed one. At least we can make our money back, and we did. 

(To be continued in my next post….)


I didn’t know we were there yet (part b)

My mind was reeling from the information I had just found out. I had to walk into my mom’s room and act as if the attending physician didn’t just recommend that my mom go on hospice. So much was happening at once. The physical therapist came in and discussed getting my mom up and out of bed, but as he was talking the lawyer had come walking in. It was overwhelming, but in a sense the distraction was needed. I wanted so badly to call my husband and let him know what was going on, but I couldn’t. The lawyer introduced himself. I asked my mom if she wanted me to leave the room. She looked at the lawyer as if he was going to advise me. I told her I had absolutely no problem leaving. In fact, at that point, I wanted to leave. I had already heard enough horrible news. The day after my mom told me she didn’t think I was going to be able to handle selling her estate and such, I knew that my brother and Satan had gotten to her. I text her the next morning and asked her who put that in her head? She told me she just thought it was going to be hard and too involved for me, and if I needed to get help going to the town, because my parents didn’t have permits for some of the structures on the house and property, that I’d have to be able to get along with my brother, and ask him for help. That answer told me everything I needed to know. I knew my brother went in there like he was on a job interview, or something, and sold himself to her as the better candidate for the job. My brother had worked in the title insurance business for almost a decade and therefore was more “qualified” than me. I knew they put these things into her head. I reminded my mom that not only had I taken real estate classes but my husband and I also have been through the process of purchasing a home, and of course, he’d be there to help me, as well. I am not going to lie, it hurt that my mom had doubted me, but I had to just let it go and accept that ultimately it was HER choice, and even if I didn’t agree with it, I’d have to honor and respect it. 
My mom asked the lawyer what he thought and he told my mom that it was up to her. She looked at me and said, “Just stay.”, and so I did.The lawyer sat down and explained a little about what he does and how he was granted to work with cancer patients. He then described what services he provided and asked my mom what exactly she was looking to do. My mom explained that she had a will that was written two decades ago and that it named my two aunts as executors, and she wanted to change it. She also wanted to do a power of attorney. He explained that power of attorney was a simple, standard form that just needed to be signed and notarized. The will however was going to take a little more time for him to do. He then asked what she wanted her will to say and she told him, everything split right down the middle, between me and my brother, 50/50….and then came the big question. Who do you want to be the executor? That’s when my mom asked, “can it be both my son and my and my daughter?”. The lawyer answered, “It can be whatever you want.”, and so with that my mom said then put them both as co-executors. 

She looked over at me and I guess she could tell I wasn’t exactly happy, and so she said, “what’s wrong?”, and to be quite honest, I was ready to tell her to just put my brother and leave me off of it; because either way, whether I was there or not, he, or rather Satan, was going to be in control. If my mom only knew the full extent of what they had been doing in the last few weeks, she wouldn’t have said what she was about to say. She turned to the lawyer and said, “she thinks they’re going to fight, but I don’t think so.”. I just made a face and sat there. Then I said, “it’s your choice ma. It’s your decision, but I’m not so sure about that.”. She looked at the lawyer again and said, “they won’t fight….they won’t fight.”. I don’t know what made my mom think that Satan was going to stay out of it and let me and my brother handle things. I interjected once again and said, “can I just say that if you are going to do that, maybe you should be a little more specific about who gets what.”. Again she said, “Its 50/50, I don’t have anything.”. I said “I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about things.” and she replied, “I don’t have anything.”. I didn’t want to argue. The money was the least of my concern. My concern was the sentimental stuff from her house that didn’t have a monetary value. Things like pictures and our home videos. I told my mom, “you’re right, it’s 50/50.” 
I am not saying I am psychic, but if there’s anything I learned in the last three years of my life it’s that I was dealing with a malignant, psychopathic narcissist, who had my brother completely brainwashed against me, and would go to no ends to destroy me. In the weeks leading up to that day it was more than clear that Satan was putting on a really good show for everyone and my mom was starting to fall for it. I knew that this girl had sucked not only her and my brother, but half of my entire extended family into her web. I felt like I was watching two trains on the same track heading towards each other, in slow motion, and I was trying to stop the collision. I knew that once my mom passed it was going to be the hardest thing I have ever dealt with in my entire life, and I was trying everything I could to avoid having any more stress added to it. I knew that once my mom was out of the picture, the gloves were going to come off and Satan was going to go full speed ahead. She had no empathy for me. She didn’t owe me anything. She saw me as a threat and I was standing in the way of HER MONEY. 
The lawyer took down the rest of the info he needed and told my mom she’d hear from him in about a week or so and with that, the meeting was over and he left. I excused myself from the room. I had to go downstairs and call my husband. My mom asked me if I was mad and I told her, “no…..I am worried.”. She told me she really didn’t think I had anything to worry about and I replied, “I guess I will see.”. 
Once again I felt like I was hit by a freight train. I called my husband up and told him about that and the doctor suggesting hospice. He agreed that my brother and Satan had gotten into my mom’s head that day. I also believe my Aunt Bea, Uncle Bob and Aunt Debbie played a huge role in my mom’s change of heart. I think of all of them, Aunt Bea was the worst. She was trying to sell Satan as a smart and savvy business woman, to my mom throughout her whole sickness. My mom would tell me every time my aunt Bea would make a comment like that to her, and prior to the past two weeks it would make her angry. My husband said to me, “you know what, who cares? Let them control everything. Let them have them have everything. That’s not what this is about. You have something they will never have. You know what you did for your mom and that’s all that matters. You have gone way above and beyond. You spent the time with her and they didn’t. They will never have that.” 
He was right. No one could take away that precious time. No one could take away the moments I had with her. He told me to just continue doing what I was doing and forget everything else. He was right. It wasn’t about money or things, it was about her. I told my mom I’d hold her hand until the very end and I continued to do just that. 
In the meantime I called my mom’s cousin and told her the bad news about the doctor suggesting she go on hospice and stop dialysis, and her cousin questioned whether or not I thought my mom was that bad yet. She made me think, and so when we hung up I started to research what would happen if someone stopped doing dialysis. I was up all night reading about it and from what I gathered it sounded like suicide, like a horrible way to die. Eventually toxins would build up in your system and slowly poison you to death. It would only be a matter of weeks. I knew my mom was not ready to go and so with that I wrote my husband a text telling him we were going to have to bring my mom home with us. 

I was around 3am and my husband came downstairs and told me he had an idea. We would give up our family room and let my mom stay in there. We could clear out our laundry room which had its own separate entry to the house and he’d build a door to block her off from the rest of the house so she could have her own private little studio apartment. We’d set up her bed and a desk with her computer so she could work. He said, “we will make it work.” and with that, I went to bed with a little peace in my heart that night….
(To be continued in my next post)