Friday, April 25, 2003

I won't know the results of the test until May 16th, which seems like an endless time frame from now. I watched my mother suffer slowly for 3 years with her disease. She never told us what was wrong; we found out from her "heartless" (pun intended) cardiologist 7 weeks before she died. By that time there wasn't anything we could do but try to make her comfortable.

I had the "privilege" of staying with her almost 24/7. It was painful yet I was so grateful I could help her- the one who gave me life was slipping away daily. She had to be watched for her breathing; first it was if she quit breathing for 30 seconds call the nurse; then 45; 60 up to a minute and a half.

One of my most poignant memories of that time was she had many "mini" strokes and I was helping her drink some milk but she had forgotten how to drink. I put the milk in her mouth and it drooled back out and she just smiled at me. I fought the tears as I wiped her up. My mother was now my child.

My siblings visited often but never stayed long. One of them told me I could handle it better than the rest. The truth was someone had to handle it, and no one else took up the torch so I did. It's not that any one of us loved her more or less than another; it was each person handling it differently. It was years before I recovered from that experience and let myself grieve.

So if there are any folks out there with a similar situation I'd like to hear from you. To my siblings- I love each of you and you are special to me.

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