most of us have probably experienced that one moment in time that marks a big change in our lives. a time that will forever be a dividing point in your personal history. for me it was the events of 9-11.
until the night of June 14, 2013.
after returning from the zoo I had scooted the Littles through the front door while I cleaned out the day’s trash from the car. while pulling popcorn from between the seats my cell phone rang. it was my sister, Melissa. I couldn’t wait to tell her about our crazy zoo trip.
hey Melissa, you’ll never believe the day we’ve had!
ummm… I’m calling to tell you mom is on the way to the hospital by ambulance.
::pause:: what’s wrong?
it looks like a heart attack.
she asked me to call my dad and brother and anyone I thought needed to know. once at the hospital Melissa called again. mom was talking and joking and it seemed everyone thought they had caught it early enough. she was taken back to the cath lab.
I spent a few minutes praying and thinking about the last time mom had come to visit.
then I got a text.
they just called “code blue” in the cath lab. mom is the only one back there.
and time just seemed to slow to a crawl. I text’d James, who was out of town, and let him know what was going on. then the phone rang again.
::pause:: I knew. I already knew what she was going to say.
and just like that my world changed.
how do you go from enjoying your grandkids’ softball game to dead in a little more than an hour? how do you go from flirting with the cute paramedics to dead in half that time? how do you go from joking with the doctors in the cath lab to dead in a single heartbeat?
I sat at my computer not knowing what to do next. I knew I needed to do something, but what? I couldn’t seem to form a complete thought. I contacted James, my dad, my brother, some other relatives and family friends. as people began to find out I started getting messages.
what do you need?
what can we do?
I don’t know.
and I didn’t. by this time the Littles were in bed. I didn’t tell them.
I did tell Matthew.
what do we do now? he asked me.
I have no idea.
and I just sat.
then one of my friends must have understood I needed direction.
get up and pack clothes for you and the kids for a few days.
oh, ok. I could do that one thing. one simple thing. while I was packing James arrived home.
early the next morning we left for Nashville. we had a very special time with my mom. we said our goodbyes. the Littles kissed and hugged her. Josie fixed her hair and patted her cheeks.
we will miss you gramma Grace. we will see you in heaven.
walking away from my mom that day was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
the next few days passed in a blur of cleaning out apartments, seeing relatives and friends and planning her service. it was the first time in many years that all of my siblings have been together. it was the best of times. it was the worst of times.
but we made it. my Littles, the youngest cousins and I sang “Blessings” (Laura Story) during the service. even though I croaked toward the end, I know mom would have loved it. and then it was time to go. I was ready to be home but it was so hard to leave.
all my life I’ve heard “time heals all wounds“. at this point I haven’t found that to be true. it’s been 3 months since mom died and if anything, it has gotten harder.
there is so much I want to tell her.
I remember our last phone conversation. I talked about a baby girl in China I had just heard about. she listened quietly.
I can’t wait to meet my newest granddaughter!
wait a minute mom. we aren’t adopting again for a couple of years.
She chuckled softly.
I can tell by the way you are talking about her that you will.
the last thing mom said to me,
I’m so proud of you.
I’m proud of you too, mom.
I love you.
I miss you.