Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Soon after my mother returned from the hospital she decided to end treatment. Her transfusions really only allowed her to have enough energy to return for more transfusions. She didn't want to live like that, and she thought the blood could help someone else more. The last time she was able to hold a conversation was Wednesday. After that, she was weak enough that many of my brothers and I stayed with her to help her take medicine, get to the commode, and things like that. When she was really weak we slept in shifts so someone would always be with her in case she needed anything. She awoke Sunday at 1:30 in the morning and we alerted our dad; he was able to say his last good-bye. To say it was heart-wrenching would be an understatement. She was rarely conscious after that. I was with mom when her breathing became more and more shallow and finally ceased, she passed away at 1:25 Christmas Eve morning. I am glad that I was there to see that she died peacefully, I am not so glad that the scene replays in my mind, causing me to see her die dozens of times.

When she was awake Saturday I took my chance to tell her she had made Christmas come early in a way. The whole family was there, including her brother and a nephew, and we spent time comforting one another and sharing our favorite family stories. Friends and relatives filled the house with food, especially cookies, and we worked on the family Christmas donation. I told her that when all the contributions were in MacGyver and I would give enough money to make the total $1,941 to reflect her birth year.

She absolutely loved Christmas, and I believe that this year our family honored the true spirit of the season more than ever before.

Monday, December 17, 2007


I was at the hospital until 3:30 Sunday morning. Mom went in with a headache and a nosebleed Saturday night, a scan revealed bleeding on the brain. Coupled with pressure on her brain, she had a bout of expressive aphasia and could barely use her right arm. During the bedside vigil I watched her chest rise and fall, and nearly choked on the dread that she would stop breathing. The medical staff basically poured platelets and blood into her, and Sunday afternoon brought a few hours of miraculous improvement. Today she can talk, but she is weak and in pain. Her homecoming should have lifted my heart, but I know she told her doctor she wants to die at home.

Since F-bomb announced his new job in a different city (which gave me another occasion to cry in front of my boss), I have been scrambling to find a new job of my own. Tomorrow morning I have an interview with someone who has shot me down twice, once for a volunteer position. I also do not have the appropriate shoes for the suit I borrowed that is too tight in the ass. I figure I will look great if I can keep my coat on and the interviewer doesn't look down.

I am not so sure I can celebrate Christmas this year. Last year I had to boycott Christmas with the in-laws and drank Kahlua and eggnog for breakfast, and mom had just started recovering after the physicians gave her two weeks to live so I was only getting by because of antidepressants and crying in my Smirnoff. In 2005 our wonderful dog was killed after the first snowfall, and my husband's aunt died from tornado-inflicted injuries. The year before that I interviewed for and got a job on Christmas Eve, and that night MacGyver and I decided over our meal of Easy Mac that we were too miserable and had to move back to our hometown. Plus I had to work on Christmas at my worst job, and at my friends' holiday party I came down with my worst flu ever. I called my brother-in-law, the doctor, to make sure I didn't have typhoid fever or something, because normally the flu didn't make me wish I was dead. I was yakking every 15 minutes, and my drive home took 20 minutes. Luckily, Velocibadgergirl, MB, and Kitters put me up for the night and threw away all my bags of vomit real quick so I didn't have to see it too much. Kitters woke me up a couple times that night to check my vital signs and remind me not to eat his houseplants or there would be a reckoning.

I'm just so tired of December hurting.