Wednesday, January 12, 2011


My Mom passed away 7 years ago today. It was a Monday and I had actually gone to work that day as she was "made comfortable" in the hospice unit of the hospital. She was 56 years old.

The days leading up to her death went like this; She was brought to a hospital in Minneapolis shortly after New Years for some tests as she was really weak and saying some strange things to my Step-Dad. As I had posted previously, she had just told us on December 26th that she had cancer and was going to start treatment as soon as possible. I got a call from my Step-Dad's brother (step-uncle I guess) in the evening who told me that they were bringing her to Minneapolis that night. Right away I knew it wasn't good as they live 70+ miles away. My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I had just moved to a suburb of Minneapolis in July and was told I should meet them there. It was about 11pm when I got there and she was already checked into the ER. My Step-Dad was so distraught that he didn't want to talk to the doctors and since I was the only other direct relative, I got the bad news. Some young doctor walked into the waiting room and asked me to come with him. He said that I could speak with my Mom, but warned me as she was on some medication. That's when he told me that she had a tumor in her brain that was causing the confusion and possible hallucinations. I talked with my Mom, but she wasn't my Mom. She didn't recognize me and she was scared and confused. I had just seen her the week before and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The doctor came in again and said that they had to run some more MRI's and would come get me once they were done. So I waited. When the doctor came back (it could have been 10 minutes or 10 hours, I don't really remember) he asked me to come into the ER and that's when he told me in a matter of fact way that my Mom was riddled with tumors and that there was nothing that could be done.
From that point forward is kind of a blur. I remember standing outside the hospital in the January cold calling my brother in Chicago and telling him the bad news. His wife and him were just in MN for Christmas and knew she had cancer, but they were as dumbfounded as I was that it progressed as fast as it did. Anyway, the calls were made to friends and relatives to come and say there goodbyes. It's so surreal to think back  7 years and how things transpired. My brother and his wife made it back to MN and my Mom's only sister and Mom came right away from Cincinnati. I only have one brother so that was it for direct family. So it was my wife, myself, my brother, his wife, my Aunt, my Grandma, and Step-Dad, all just hanging out in my Mom's room; laughing, crying, joking, and sharing our favorite memories about my Mom. So after a week and a weekend, I went back to work. After work, my wife and I went to the hospital.  Not long after we got their, the machine that monitored her heart and breathing stopped. It was kind of like the movies, it just flat lined. Her eyes were closed and her chest stopped moving up and down. She was gone. We stood around her and cried and hugged. The nurses came in a moment later, asked if we could step out of the room for a moment while they unhooked all the machines and then called us back in to say our last goodbyes.
She was buried the following Saturday.

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