allergic to: goodbyes

i am allergic to goodbyes.

ok. i have a strong aversion to them.

the last real goodbye i said was to my mother.

i wish i remembered the last two conversations i had with her a little better. what i DO remember..what i DIDN't black out... was that i told her i'd take care of my dad. that i'd be ok. that it was ok for her to go. that i have nick, that i have my friends, my brothers and my dad to help me keep my chin up. i THINK i thanked her. told her i loved her. gave her specific examples and memories.... i wish i remembered....

i've never been so thankful to even have the opportunity say goodbye. she was out cold that morning. in fact, the moment i stepped into the hospital room, her breaths were so labored, so slow, i didn't see one at first. oh my god, she's dead. she died. she stopped breathing. longest second of my life. then she breathed. my dad walked in the room, i acted as if that moment and those thoughts had not just happened.

after we gave the ok to stop all meds and start a morphine drip, she woke from her deep sleep. they say that happens. she was able to actually converse with us. about 30 minutes, 45 minutes. we caught up. she knew it was thanksgiving. i showed her some of the old family pictures i have on fb (magic of technology and smartphones). she addressed each one of us. i don't remember what was said. maybe i'll ask my brothers and my dad.....all i know is that i cried pretty much the majority of the time and had to go ask for another box of tissues.....

then she asked me to pray  O_o    ........she WOULD ask ME to pray on her deathbed. the one who doesn't even go to church anymore. REALLY? what a hoot she is. but i managed to. we all held hands, and i prayed. out loud. for the first time in probably over a decade. i don't remember what i said. well, sort of. i think i mentioned things about being thankful. which, in retrospect,  is pleasantly surprising to me, since we just pretty much knew she'd definitely pass in the next few days. 

thanksgiving 2011: what i felt was the antithesis of thankful. mom's health was so-so. we were still living appointment to appointment. but i was bitter, confused about life, questioning my path, wondering how on earth i could actually feel grateful about my situation. i couldn't understand how anyone could be thankful. i didn't know how people do it! how do people ride the roller coast of life, knowing this time, at the end of the ride, someone is going to die. how do they manage? every vacation day taken was necessary because it was probably the last time we'd be together as a family. my mom is going to die. this dark cloud hanging over my head. that gun being held up to my head. something bad is going to happen and i just don't know when. i boycott thanksgiving. i try to be thankful and count my blessings, but everything sucks. and the suckyness powns everything else.

thanksgiving 2012: i had peace and was thankful. felt blessed. mom's health was not so good. i think the shut down of the liver started in 2012. in and out of the hospital/icu/homes since may, after my parents' 40th anniversary and our big family trip to disneyland. she entered the hospital for the last time the week of thanksgiving. but this time, my attitude was different. everything had come full circle without me really trying for it. i was grateful. so grateful. i think it's because i accepted that her liver was failing, that her internal organs were starting to shut down. i accepted that it was her time to go and that we would be ok after she left. i finally accepted it. my heart and my head connected. THAT was the key to letting go. that made way for KNOWING i was blessed. made way for feelings of thankfulness. (thanks, google. google...liver failure symptoms. and various versions of that). 

my sudden realization that i was actually thankful and so blessed to have the past 29 years with her. to have a wonderful family and wonderful friends and boyfriend. my support system. i was truly grateful to have a mother like her. she taught me in life and in death. that is why i was actually able to say anything coherent. i think she knew that. i don't know. but maybe, in her morphine induced moment of clarity and lucidness, she felt that i had those words and that i really needed to speak them out loud. that maybe she needed to hear them. maybe my brothers and father did too. we all needed to hear what i was thinking, since i rarely communicate elaborately on my innermost thoughts..if at all. 

i hadn't been able to stop crying really since i stepped into that room. but you know what? i got through what i had to say without crying. even though i knew we'd have a day at most before she passed. (turns out it was a little more than 12 hours.) 

she kept telling us to go back home so we could eat lunch with my nieces and nephews and my sisters in law who were at my parents' house getting ready for thanksgiving. my brothers and i left the hospital, my dad stayed. i don't really remember saying goodbye. but we each said goodbye that morning. 

i didn't really know when she would pass. i hoped in my heart that i'd wake up and my dad and i would be able to go sit by her side. but as i've said in past posts, i woke up and found out she died during the night...1 am 11/23. she waited till thanksgiving was over.

the last "goodbye" i said to her was when we went to view the body the week after thanksgiving.. to confirm they had the correct body to be cremated. the four of us (my brothers, father and i) were crammed into this tiny space with a glass window looking into another room. they wheeled my mom into the other room. tears welled up. look at the hair on her head, it looks so fuzzy. and did they glue the lips so her mouth would be shut? because i'm pretty sure she's got a form of a closed mouth smile on her face. she looks like she's sleeping. the blanket they put over her looks like a robe, all the way up to her chin. it was time to leave the room, so we all walked out. shit wait i didn't SAY bye.

i asked to go back in the room to say bye. i went back in by myself. weeping.

"goodbye mom. i love you, and i'll miss you"

she was laid to rest dec 1st. 

i'm allergic to goodbyes. 

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