Monday, January 16, 2012

Last Goodbyes

This blog title is basically exactly what this is about.. Last goodbyes..They suck..Thinking back to these moments, I swear, they almost played like scenes from the movie "Terms of Endearment".. If anyone has ever seen that movie, you will understand.. If you havent, rent it.. It is a great movie.. Anyway, one very memorable moment was sweet and heart wrenching at the same time..This was when my mother was given the sacrament of Last Rites by her priest at her church.. Mama was VERY miserable before that.. When she wasnt out of it, she was asking for some water to be put on her tongue.. I could not help but recall the final hours of Jesus on his cross when he asked for someone to give him a bit of water on a cloth because his mouth was so dry.. As the day wore on, Mama could barely swallow any liquid, as her sucking reflex skills were getting worse and she would almost choke on anything.. This was VERY upsetting to me.. She couldnt drink, yet she was so thirsty and I couldnt help her.. When the priest showed up, I swear Mama was ALMOST giddy!!! She had the BIGGEST SMILE on her face when he walked in the room.. She was so thankful for the priest coming to give her her last rites.. It kind of pissed me off inside that she was so freakin happy, to be honest.. But, I ALSO understood why she was so happy.. She was about to be free of all her pain and would finally get to see Jesus, as she put it.. It would be extremely selfish of me to want her to stay.. So I squashed those feelings once again and just paid attention to what was going on in the present, which was my mother was dying and was about to receive the Sacrament of Last Rites..

As the priest went through the last rites, my sister and I stood at the foot of the bed, hugging each other and BAWLING.. Daddy was holding Mama's hand and she was actually PARTICIPATING in her last rites!! She even told the priest "Thank You", which made me wonder if she was really dying.. lol  I realize now that she was using most of her strength to do this.. I have read that before death, sometimes people get a rush of energy and can do things they normally couldnt do.. This must have been one of her times.. Soon after this, Mama complained of pain and my sister, who is a nurse, had to give her some morphine.. We also knew that once she administered this morphine that Mama would most likely slip into sleep and more than likely die.. Atleast she wasnt fighting it, is what I kept telling myself.. She will go to sleep and never wake up.. Better than dying wide awake, right?

This all took place while the kids and Steve and my sister's husband and their kids were in the den, which was in the next room.. I can only imagine what they could hear.. Todd said it was just really sad.. This is where I now think " wow.. we did all of this and they were all in the next room hearing it?" I was totally oblivious to that fact during the time.. This next moment was also on that list of "wow, I cant believe we were so oblivious and this actually happened".. Aside from the fact that we hadnt eaten all day, FOOD was the LAST THING on my mind.. But it was on everyone else's mind.. Daddy and Charlea decided that we needed to order pizza.. I couldnt made any decisions because I could barely speak English in complete sentences at this point, at times.. So, they decided to order pizza and used money my mother had saved in a stash she had in the living  Daddy told her that SHE bought dinner for everyone and we all said : "Thanks Mawmaw!" and she smiled and nodded her head.. "Daddy said " She is still in charge" and she answered with a small laugh "yep".. All the kids came in and kissed MawMaw and told her they loved her.. and she perked up enough to tell them she loved them too.. Thinking back, THIS was HORRIBLE.. Not horrible as in a horrible deed.. It was just emotionally horrible.. I cant believe that we lined up all the grandkids (except for Whit because he already said bye the day before) and one by one, they said bye.. Talk about emotionally draining.. I will NEVER forget my nephew and niece's faces.. They looked confused.. I was confused.. It was all a dream, it seemed..  We were only doing what we thought we should do.. We didnt want anyone to feel they didnt get to tell her bye..After this was when my sister administered her some morphine and everything became a movie to me..

My mother was surrounded by me, my sister and my dad after she was given her medicine and she started to relax a bit.. She looked at me and my sister and said something that was barely audible.. But I made it out.. She said " Thank you" to us.. I still dont know what she was thanking us for.. I guess for being there for her? But it was a beautiful and powerful moment.. The next thing she did was look over to Daddy, who had been her fearless caretaker, an angel with skin, as my sister called him.. She looked at him with the sweetest look and once again said something barely audible.. My Dad and sister teared up, because they heard what she said, because they were closer.. My sister leaned over to me and said " She just said : GOODBYE MY LOVE".. This was one of the most precious moments I have ever witnessed.. Saddest too.. I was so glad that I didnt chicken out and stay away, like I wanted to.. But, I am now left with picking up the pieces of my emotions that were left in that room that day.. Mama didnt die until the next morning, and interesting enough, she waited until my sister and I had gone home.. I think she did that to spare me what I went through with my grandmother.. She knew how much it upset me when I was younger.. I thank her for that.. My next entry will be a few interesting and funny moments plus my autistic brothers reaction to our mother's death..

1 comment:

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

She just said, "GOODBYE MY LOVE"..

How poignant. No other words were necessary. They knew it in their hearts. Michelle, this post just touched me so. I am crying along with you and praying for peace and comfort.