The Aftermath/Present Day

So we have finally made to present day! It’s now April of 2017. There’s been plenty of shit going down in the past few months but it’s been a lot more spread out, and so as I go along I will reflect on some of it and I’m going to start explaining what’s going on now and where things are between my brother, Satan, my Aunt Debbie and aunt Bea. 
In the next few posts I want to basically give you my thoughts about everything that was going on in the last month of my mom’s life and how it correlates to what is going on now, because as everything was happening, I was very confused. As I have had time to reflect on it all, I’ve been able to gain perspective and a little bit of a better understanding as to why my brother and Satan were going so crazy and doing all this stupid bullshit. It’s mostly speculation but speculation that fits really will with what was happening and makes it make sense. 
I should probably go back to March of 2016, after my mom had her surgery to remove the 8″ cancerous mass that was growing on her left kidney. Up until Early march of 2016, my brother and Satan were absolutely no help to my mom. They didn’t even really seemed very concerned about her condition, whatsoever. When my mom had her surgery back on February 10th, they only had come to the hospital one time that I can recall. It was the day that my mom had the surgery. My brother called me at 4:30 in the afternoon, after not hearing from him all day and the first thing he asks me is if she got a room because him and Satan want to send flowers. They may have come up one other time but that was it for her entire 7 day stay. Once she got home on February 17, they still did nothing. They didn’t come by or help her at all. For the next 6 weeks I was at her house daily. When she first got home from the hospital I had to go there every night to help get her in and out of bed. They never called or offered help. Then suddenly one day in late March, things changed. My aunt Sue had researched one of the best cancer hospitals in the US and suggested to me that my mom should sought out a second opinion. I agreed but I didn’t think my mom was ready for that yet. The second opinion was far away and since I was the one taking my mom for her weekly blood tests and doctors appointments, and seeing how she could hardly tolerate he short car rides we had, I thought it would be best if we waited a few more weeks until she got a little of her strength back. 
I guess my family thought I wasn’t taking my mom’s illness seriously, but by this time I already knew that my mom had a rare and aggressive form of kindness cancer that had advanced to her lymphatic system and god knew where else. I knew it wasn’t good. I did a little reading about kidney cancer in transplant patients, who took immunosuppressive drugs and the outlook was grim at best. That wasn’t to say I didn’t think she needed to get a second opinion. I didn’t think one would hurt but I also didn’t think it was a big rush since her doctors had explained to me that even the most aggressive cancers have a growth rate of one centimeter per year. 
They all seemed to think that it was crazy that my mom’s doctors told her to wait three months, after her surgery to go for follow up scans to see if the cancer had grown. They need to allow some time to pass to figure out how fast it was growing. Three months is actually too soon according to some doctors that I have spoke with. The standard is 6 months. Anyway, my mom’s cousin, Lenore’s daughter, worked at the other hospital that my aunt Sue had researched, and so when Aunt Bea caught wind of the situation and reached out to her to answer some questions. When she shared the email back, she CC’d me, Aunt Debbie and Aunt Sue but she sent my brother his own private email. I had not informed my brother about the second opinion for two reasons. One being that I didn’t think my mom was ready, and two being that he didn’t not seem to want to take an active role in helping my mom and/or caring for her. I had been trying to communicate with him prior to my mom’s surgery but every time I’d reach out to him, he wouldn’t answer and instead he’d either call my mom or Aunt Debbie to find out what was going on.
I do know that during that very same time the email was sent to my brother, a phone call between my aunt Bea and Satan happened. It seemed like the second after that phone call happened, my brother and Satan suddenly wanted to not only take a more active role in my mom’s care, but they wanted to lead the way. My brother completely took the reins on the second opinion stuff and I was totally fine with it however I couldn’t help but feel like something was said to them to light the fire under their asses. I had been trying to convey to my brother how serious my mom’s situation was and until then, he didn’t seem to care. My brother is the type of person, and I hate to say this, but he only does things for other people when there is a benefit in it for him. In this case I strongly believe that Aunt Bea informed Satan and my brother that my mom was either looking to take him off her will as executor and/or take him off altogether. 
For years my mom was under the impression that her will had my brother listed as the executor. Till this day, I’m not really sure why she thought that. I am not kidding when I say that every single person she talked to (friends, family, etc.) she told them that she needed to change her will to take my brother off as executor and put me on. When I informed her that my Aunt Bea and Aunt Debbie were on the will as executors and all other paperwork,(healthcare proxy, power of attorney) she just said, “oh.”. I actually happen to have me telling her that on a recording because I told her about it after our meeting with the palliative care team when she was in the hospital. I started to record all of our meetings with doctors and such about a month or so before she died because there was a lot of information, to remember. I told her about the will right after the meeting because power of attorney and wills came up during that meeting (because my brother of course brought it up) After I informed her of who was on her will, I didn’t press the issue any further because she was having a really rough day in the hospital and so I never found out why she had thought my brother was the executor. The only thing I could think of is that she maybe, since the will was written in 1996 when my brother and I were still minors, had it written where if my brother was still a minor, it would be my aunts, but if he wasn’t, it would be him. I believe had she had another will it would’ve been in the safe with the old ones and really, she probably would’ve thrown the old ones out. If there is indeed another will somewhere, I have no idea where it is. My mom used to keep the combination to our safe in a book. Behind that book, I found a handwritten note from my mom that told us her will was in the safe. 
With that said, I found out months later, after her death, that when aunt Debbie was telling people that I destroyed my mom’s will, she was talking about the imaginary will that named my brother as executor. I was totally confused as to why she was saying I destroyed my mom’s will and so I sent her a photo of the copy I had to prove to her I had the copy. At that time I had believed that she was talking about the 1996 will because my brother and Satan accused me of stealing the original copy of it. I also later found out that Satan was the one who started the rumor about the other will. Funny because my brother discussed the will several times with my husband and never once did he make any mention of any other will that named him as executor. That’s because he knew if he did my husband would call his bluff and tell him he’s a fucking liar. 
I am completely insulted that anyone in my family would believe I’d do such a thing. I thought my family knew I had integrity and they knew what type of person I was. Besides I don’t see how me ripping up a will that names him and using a will that names two other people I dislike is going to help me! I’ll be the first to admit that I really don’t understand why my brother feels so god damned entitled that he should be executor just because why? Because he is older? I personally feel like he lost that privilege when he dumped my mom off the minute she didn’t comply with his wife’s ridiculous wedding demands. For nearly three years he dismissed her feelings, fought with her, and let his wife talk to her like she was a heap of dog shit on the sidewalk. He didn’t go to her house for an entire two years except for maybe one or two brief visits to pick up a piece of mail that was sent to her accidentally and his comic books. That’s it. Then when she got sick, he did nothing for months and only decided to jump in when his wife finally decided that my mom was an investment for her. So yes I don’t feel like my brother deserves to be in charge of my mom’s possessions. At the end of the day though, those are MY feelings. Had my mom chose him, I would’ve just had to deal with it and that’s it. He is part owner of everything she left us. My mom loved him unconditionally which is the same way I will love my son. 
After I submitted my mom’s will I never heard back from my aunts. I reached out several times and got nothing. I offered to have a peaceful conversation with them but they refused to speak with me and so I was left with no choice but to consult with my lawyer and see what my options were. It was CLEAR that they weren’t going to treat me fairly. That I was going to be left in the dark regarding my mom’s estate because they too have been sucked into Satan’s web. My attorney filed the will on December 13, 2017. It took my aunts all the way until February 10th to file their petitions. My lawyers filed my objection to the will shortly after that. I was objecting to my aunt’s being the executors. Shortly before my mom died she had a lawyer come up to the hospital and she told the lawyer she wanted to name both me and my brother as executors. As I know, that was her dying wish and so I entered an objection to my aunts being executors. My brother and I are grown adults now. We do not need them. 
My aunts are still going on about the “other will”. There is no “other will” and if there was, they’ve made absolutely no attempt to find it. Just as my lawyer did, their lawyer should’ve informed them that the lawyer should have a copy of the will. Aunt Debbie used the lawyer who drafted my mom’s will and handled her malpractice law suit with her doctor, to do her first divorce. Her and my mom discussed everything because they spoke every single day since my dad died in 2006. They even discussed their wills and I know this for a fact because aunt Debbie told me. She knows for damn sure. She’s a fucking liar; going along with this shit. There never was another will. 

Recently I’ve been informed that my mom alledegdly had a new will written right before she bought her most recent car. That is according to aunt Debbie. I do not believe that; AT ALL. I loved my mom,  but she was very cheap when it came to certain things. For three years she talked about having her will changed but she never did it because it was going to cost her a couple hundred dollars and so I find it really hard to believe that for no reason whatsoever, my mom just decided out of the clear blue sky to have her will written three years ago which would’ve been on or around the time my brother started dating Satan. If any time I’d believe she’d do it, it would’ve been right after my dad died in 2006. I don’t see my. Ok randomly wanting to spend a couple of hundred dollars just to get a will written. 
The sick part is, I think some of my family actually believes this bullshit. There is absolutely NO WAY, I can prove it isn’t true. My aunt Sue suggested that I go through banks statements from that time and see if there are any checks or transactions with a lawyer. That still wouldn’t prove shit. Me finding a transaction wouldn’t prove them right. That wouldn’t prove that I destroyed the will. For all I know my mom herself could’ve destroyed it. Maybe that was her way of getting my brother off the will. I’d still question why she’d keep the old ones if there was a new one written. 
I did go through her bank statements for that time period and I didn’t find any checks or transactions for a lawyer. That doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. She could’ve paid with a credit card or in cash. I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m even bothering or worrying about it. I know she didn’t have it re-written for the sheer fact that she would’ve told me she did. 
If my aunts and my brother really believe there was another will, why aren’t they actively looking for it? Why did my brother file for administration at the very beginning? Why doesn’t my aunt Debbie know who wrote it? Why hasn’t my brother ever said anything to me or my husband about it? I actually gave both her and my brother the phone number to the woman who sent me the will. Since they’re still all about this other will, I assume they never called her or reached out to her in anyway. Why? Because they know there never was another will.

The First Christmas

The first Christmas after you lose a part of your family, is the hardest one. By the time Christmas rolled around I think I was still in a state of shock and possibly a little bit of denial that my mom was gone. I knew I just had to get through it for the sake of my son. This was the first year that he was really excited and understood what was going on. I didn’t want to ruin it for him. I know my mom would’ve told me to try my hardest to give him a good Christmas and so, for another few weeks, I put out of my mind what had happened.
Since my brother and Satan were in such a rush to get my mom’s money, I had a check in my hand exactly one week after she died. I remember opening the envelope and crying. When I finally went to the bank to cash it, I cried. When I went shopping for my son for Christmas, I looked in the back of my car at all the gifts and again, I cried. My mom spoiled the hell out of son, and so I went a little extra this past Christmas. I went onto her phone one day and looked in her amazon app and ordered all the things she had saved in her favorites that she was going to order for him and I told him that it was from her.
My mom always made Christmas so special for us. It would take us an entire weekend to get our house decorated. I remember we’d replace almost everything on any type of surface in my house with Christmas stuff. Half our attic was filled exclusively with Christmas stuff. My mom used to really enjoy it when we were kids. I then thought about the last few Christmas’s. The year 2013 was the first Christmas after my brother had met Satan. That Christmas took place only a few weeks after they had their first huge blowout. It was a sad year. It was also the first year in our entire lives that we didn’t spend all together. For 6 years prior to then, we spent our Christmases with my brother’s ex-fiance’s mom, Donna and her husband. We had a whole tradition going. We’d all go to my brother’s apartment in the morning for breakfast. There we’d exchange gifts. Donna would make us all laugh because she’s come with this huge bag for my brother’s ex, filled with random things she had been collecting over the year. Donna had a bit of a shopping addiction which also lead to a hoarding problem. It was a rip to watch them discuss each and every item and why she got it. To go from that to just me, my, mom, my husband and my son. It was sad. My mom hadn’t seen my brother the following two Christmas’s. Because those two assholes refused to make amends, her last Christmas ever, in 2015, she had to spend it separately. She came to my house Christmas Day and then saw them the day after, but her visit with them was cut short when I called her and told her she needed to go to the emergency room. 
Even though it was great seeing my son open all of his toys, it was bittersweet. Not calling my mom in the morning was odd. Knowing we wouldn’t be seeing her that day, felt really strange. It was surreal. My moms youngest sister Dana called me up a few weeks before Christmas and told me that she’d like to have us over. That was a big help and I’m so thankful she invited us. My Aunt Dana and I have a special bond. When everything went down in my family after Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob’s son molested my younger cousin, I felt like I was living in the twilight zone. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why my other aunts and uncles were so accepting and forgiving towards my cousin, when he had committed one of the most horrifying acts a person could commit, and nonetheless, to another family member. Aunt Dana was the ONLY person who seemed to agree with me that it was so fucked up. Her and I would spend hours on the phone talking about it. She was the only person in my family that understood how I felt. 
It wasn’t until my son’s birthday, which is New Year’s Eve, that my mom’s death really hit me. Not only did it hit me, but it hit me like a hurricane. For the weeks following my mom’s death I was in fight or flight mode still. I had suppressed my feelings. Grief is a really fucked up and complicated emotion. After you spend an entire year slowly watching someone die, it sounds terrible, but you almost have this strange sense of relief. I was not relieved that my mom was gone, not at all. I was relieved because I didn’t have to watch her suffering anymore. I’ve heard people say that it’s “easier” when you know that someone is going die before they actually do. I have to disagree. I think they’re equally as bad, but I have been through both and I can say knowing definitely does not make it easier because in the months, weeks and days until it happens, you are in a constant state of anxiousness. Your worry consumes you. You feel despair and helplessness as you slowly watch their health decline and their bodies give upon them. The torture of seeing someone you love like that is worse than any torture ISiS can conjure up. It’s not easy, either way you put it. 
As 2016 came to an endI had absolutely no desire to do anything. My husband and I both sat on our couch waiting for the ball to drop. We counted down, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and when the ball dropped, we both just kind of sat there and said a very unenthusiastic, yey. We looked at each other and I said, “fuck You 2016…..you were the worst year of my life.”
(The end of the back story)

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)