Tuesday, 2 August 2016

I Remember the Day

I'm not one that usually dwells on dates, especially for the day a loved one died. But with my parents it's a little different.

I always think of my Dad on his birthday, which is within days of Father's Day, and also is the day he died. It's always a bit of the happy, remembering a great father on his special day, and the sad, that he was taken too soon.

With my Mom, I can never think of this holiday weekend without remembering her and the day she died. Funny, how the events of August 2 still stand out so clearly in my mind. Some of that s guilt, because I never made it to Florida to say goodbye in person.

 I carry way too much guilt around, even after all these years, that my dedication to my job, my sense of responsibility to those in my care, sometimes took precedence over family.

My mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June, a secondary cancer, first being the lung. My brother and his wife were in Florida, helped her through the set up and scheduling of her radiation. My kids and I went in early July, and for a couple of weeks, taxied her to her treatments and to the oncologist.When we left, my sister took over for the next week.

She was very weak, and it was like that old cartoon, "I've fallen and I can't get up". She entered hospital on a Thursday. My brother and I, living in Canada, made arrangements to go back down, he on the holiday weekend, and me on the Wednesday after.

This is where the guilt comes in. I was the in-charge/on-call person for three long term care facilities. My supervisor was returning to work after her holidays on Tuesday, August 2, and I was planning to give her my report, go home, pack, and leave the next morning.

While in my office, clearing my desk, the phone rang. It was my mother, calling from the hospital. She didn't make a lot of sense, but the I love you's came across clear and strong. My brother apologized for dropping such an emotional call on me at work, but Mom had insisted she speak with me and he felt it was better to call, to calm her down.

Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck. I went to see my boss, who was also a friend, and she took over, taking care of everything. She took my plane ticket, called the airlines and changed my departure to that afternoon. She even arranged for a rental car to be available in Tampa when I landed.

My daughter, bless her heart, threw all my stuff in my suitcase, picked me up at work and drove me directly to the airport. Next thing I knew I was on a plane, flying first to Atlanta, then on to Tampa.

I held it together until we changed planes in Atlanta. When I was seated, waiting for take off, they played this video of all these lovely nature scenes, with appropriate music. I started to cry and couldn't stop. A woman sitting across from me was very kind, and expressed some concern that I would be driving, late, and in what would be the dark, inland to where my mother lived. I admit it was a worry for me too.

It was not to be a problem. As I was heading to the car rental booth, I heard my name called, and when I turned, there was my brother. I knew as soon as I saw him that I was too late.

We had an interesting conversation as to how he finally learned I was on my way early. As his wife had arranged all our tickets, he knew when I was flying down, and when he called work, couldn't understand why my boss kept saying I was already gone. I think their discussion got a little heated, understandable given the high emotions.

At any rate I didn't have to make the drive alone, and my brother and I were able to talk.

So, on this day, I'm remembering my Mom, love you and miss you always.

I'm remembering my great take charge friend Marg B.

And I remember and always appreciate the brother who has never let me down, and has always been there for me.  Love you too, baby brother.


betty said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your mother, even if it was years ago, we always do miss our parents.

I understand the guilt and the regret you might have not seeing her before she passed. My mom got sick in December 2006 and was hospitalized. She was 85 years old. My sister pointedly asked the doctors if she was terminal and the doctors said "anyone who wants to see her should be here within the next 10-15 days." My sister dutifully told my brother and me. My brother and his family flew out to see her. It was a terrible time for my family since we had just moved to a new state, son had gotten into some trouble, things were tense at home and I felt if I left, son and hubby would literally kill each other. So I chose not to believe the doctor and I was wrong. It was a regret I live with to this day. In retrospect I should have taken all of us with me or at least our son. So when hubby's parents aged significantly and they wanted him to come down and take over a house he would eventually inherit, even though I really didn't want to do it and it was a rough 4 years, I went along with it so he would have no regrets.

Your mom knew that you loved her.


Deborah Lean said...

Thank you for your comments. I've missed them, hope all has been well. Regret is a useless emotion, so negative, and it can feed into our everyday lives.

I finally came t terms with the situation, but not until I spiraled into a depression the year after Mom's death.

You were right, though, she knew I loved her, and I knew she loved me.

Blogger's Brother said...

There's no need for any guilt, in my humble opinion. You were there while Mom was still at home and helped her with her first week of treatment. That was far more valuable than what you could've done had you made it down in time. I'm glad you had the phone call with her.

I'm just so happy I was able to find you at the airport!

Joanne said...

Dear Debbie, First, I'm so sorry about the loss of your mother and your father. Second, I have lost most of my family over the past 15 years and am about to lose my father. I truly understand the pain of these things. I have spent most of my adult life going in and out of nursing homes and have witnessed and experienced many strange things. From those experiences, I have come to understand that through this death experience when a person dies, everyone knows about it in advance on a soul level. You might not know that you know, but you know. Also, everyone is in the exact location they are meant to be in when that person dies. That means that your mom and you connected before that phone call and you both knew you would not be there and that is how it was meant to be. Please be easy on yourself. Things are honestly are as they're meant to be. Please take care...