“She was there when I took my first breath, and I was there when she took her last.”
I don’t know who is responsible for this quote, but I lived this quote. On November 21, 2017 at 5:50 am my mom took her last breath and I was with her.
I was determined to stay the night with my mom, and I did. Even though I knew she would not be alone because God would be there, I wanted to be there with my mom as she made her transition. If anyone had told me I would have had to make difficult decisions that involved my mom, I would not have believed them.
My mom always said if anything happens to me, you fight for me to live. I took that literally. I struggled with saying yes to hospice because to me that meant I was giving up on her. I prayed and realized I wasn’t giving up on her. When I was able to truly look at my mom as she lay in the hospital bed, I could see that she was suffering. She was in so much pain, and not allowing the respirator tube to be removed was delaying the inevitable
In the circle of life children are supposed to bury their parents, but who wants their parents to die?! We want them to live forever. I wanted my mom to be here to see my granddaughter grow up and graduate from college. I wanted my mom to see my daughter have children of her own. I wanted my mom to be here to make me laugh. She kept me laughing with the things she said and her views on life. It seemed like a lot of my family members talked to my mom and she would have the good family tea! She knew all the family gossip and shared it with me.
We shared a lot of good times. We didn’t always agree and during her sickness she was frequently upset with me because she said, “I thought I was the boss of her – LOL.” I had to be firm and take over medical decisions and other things, which she didn’t like. Everything I did was for her good.
My advice to anyone whose parents are still alive: cherish the moments. Please don’t get caught up in not speaking to them or having petty arguments. Once your parents are gone, none of that stuff matters. Instead of creating heartache, make memories with your parents. The last thing you want to have is regrets or feelings of guilt because you didn’t treat them right.
I don’t have any regrets. I treated my mother with the respect she was due. You couldn’t have thin skin around my mom. She equipped me to be a word master. I know how to fight with words. I learned to laugh at words that were meant to hurt me. She taught me how to accept myself – flaws and all. Being called fat was funny because I am. She taught me that.
She taught me to love God. She taught me how to be saved. She taught me how to love my family. She taught me that. She taught me how to bake a cake. She taught me how to clean a kitchen. She taught me how to mop the floor. She taught me how to wash clothes. She taught me all of that.
This past year has been a lot of firsts for me: first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Year’s Day, first Mother’s Day, and first birthday without my mom. I am an extension of her. I look like her. This curly hair came from her. I find myself saying some of the same things she used to say.
I know my life will never be the same because she’s gone. I miss you so much Ma! My life is better because you chose to give birth to me. This first year without you hasn’t been easy and my heart will never be the same. I’m strong though and I will continue to thrive because you’re my mom.