4th of july 2006, i walked into the room, heard the raspy breathing and i knew... this was it. my mom was drawing her last breath. i could have called out for help, but i chose not to. it was time. i was eerily calm. i took her hand, looked into her eyes and told her it was ok for her to go. i think she was waiting for me. she silently told me she loved me and i gave her a kiss good bye ... that's when the tears started to roll. a few minutes later she was gone. i must have sat there for a couple-three hours before i told anyone that the ordeal was finally over.
i was 25 when i first lost my mom. she had gone in for elective surgery. a tummy tuck of all things. anyone who knew my mom would be wondering what the hell for? she was tiny. she was gorgeous. i'm not being biased... you can ask anyone. there really was no need for enhancements. but everyone has their vanities and her tummy was her weakness. the surgery itself was quite successful. the doctor did a great job, disaster struck when the nurse made a mistake on the dosage for the pain meds post surgery. that was the day my mom really died.
what happened after that was a chaotic whirlwind of medical guesses in the grayest of areas. brain damage. the doctors were able to revive my mom but the extent of the damage was costly. she was bed ridden with large chunks of her memory missing, atrophied muscles and paralysis. the results of a 2 week coma. it was a rollercoaster of emotions for all of us. eight years and she never recovered.
life has a funny way of testing your strength. we've had our share of loss and tragedy in our family, the most recent being my grandmother. she had a stroke a couple of years ago and hasn't been the same since. ah but my she's strong and so she hangs on. i think being at home surrounded by people that love her and care for her makes a huge difference. i've been living at her house these last few weeks, right next door to a house full of memories. the house i grew up in. the combination pulls a powerful punch in my gut. just when i think i'm immune to it all in a blink melt into a puddle. the emotions have a nasty habit of sneaking up in the middle of the night. it's in the quiet time. always in the silence.
life is so short but love is the tie that binds. our family remains strong because we have each other. i truly truly believe that everything happens for a reason. i regret nothing. there are no mistakes... just decisions made. sometimes the world has to collapse for a better one to grow in its place.
keep the faith, live simply, love a lot. throw out the idea of christmas gifts this year... instead, cherish the memories, surround yourselves with friends and family and share the laughter over a christmas meal. these are the things that last forever... these are the twinkling lights in the darkness.
my grandmother started a christmas tradition when she married my grandfather. she started a belen (nativity scene). she added pieces to it every year. all the kids and grandkids have contributed to it since. the thing is huge now consisting of towns and a variety of generations. my aunt keeps the tradition alive for us. i thought i'd commit some of the scenes on "film".