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Offline shemps#1

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My Mother
« on: December 26, 2010, 04:35:26 AM »
(I was originally going to send this as a PM to Rob and Doug, but it just kept growing and growing and perhaps against my better judgment I am posting it in a public thread. As anyone who knows me well can tell you that I really don't reveal a whole lot of personal information but these are different circumstances.)

Hey guys,

I don't really know why I am writing this to you other than everyone seems to have gone to sleep and unfortunately I cannot do so. I have known the both of you for at least ten years and even though we have never met in person I consider you both good friends and right now I need to say something to someone so you guys are the defacto choice. You'll have to excuse my rambling.

My mother, after being in the hospital for about a week due to kidney failure and a stroke died Christmas evening. She was only 58 years old and believe you me she was one tough bitch. She was raised by her father primarily and forced to go to Catholic Church by him and a step-mother. Her childhood was tumultuous at best and she left the house at 16 years of age vowing that when she had children of her own she would never force any kind of religion on them (which made it easier for me to adopt my atheist views).

She was married twice: once to an abusive man who caused her to miscarry her first pregnancy when she was in the WAC (Women's Army Corps). She was honorably discharged from the Army in the mid 70's after she had her first stroke. She divorced the first husband (who I met one time as a child, shortly after which she found out that he died) and began college on the GI Bill. This is where she met my father. He knocked her up in December of 1976, they married in April of '77 and I was born in August. My brother and sister (twins) were born in January of 1979. Both pregnancies were performed by cesarean due to health risks.

As hard as it may be to believe (shut up), I was not an easy child to raise. Many were the times I heard stories of how when I was an infant and my siblings babies I would stomp on her feet whenever she gave them the slightest bit of attention. As I got older I became worse and many was the time she received phone calls from the school due to my tyrannic behavior. I tried her patience many a time, but she loved me and I loved her.

I clearly remember the day back in 1985 when she came home from a grocery shopping trip. She loved her iced tea, but was pounding back pitchers of the stuff on a daily basis. On the paper bags they had a list of the symptoms of Diabetes. One of them was an increased thirst: drinking liquids much more than normal. I tugged on her pant leg and pointed the bag and said "Mommy I think you have Diabetes". It turned out I was right.

She struggled with the Diabetes for the rest of her life. When I was 17 or 18 my parents divorced. I was relieved as their fighting was the norm. The Diabetes worsened and she had other maladies including a weakened heart and failing eyesight. She continued on though, moving from Meriden CT to Virginia Beach VA in 2000 after her children were grown. Whenever I had faltered to the point where I needed to come "home" her door was always open to me. Recently I returned home again, but not so much for me but for her. She now needed a cane to get around and was in so much pain from so many ailments she was taking 60mg of Morphine a day (1 30mg pill in the morning and one at night) and Hydrocodone throughout the day when needed. Anybody that knows anything about Morphine and Hydrocodone will tell you that they are both opiates and she was taking a lot of them.

Mom had a couple of episodes recently in regards to her insulin. The V.A. Hospital had switched her to a fast acting insulin and if she did not have her dinner right at the ready when she took her shot she would go into insulin shock. The first time I called 911 and the second time my brother did (I wasn't home at the time), but the third and final time I knew what to do and got her out of it without calling.

Sometime last week she couldn't get out of bed. I suffer from severe migrane headaches from time to time and had fallen asleep very late that night (actually I hardly get much sleep these days, as the erratic time stamps on my recent postings will indicate) and woke up in time to see the ambulance, with my brother riding up front, pulling out of the driveway. We learned that she had gone into kidney failure and was put on dialysis and had suffered what I believe was a third stroke. Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure. The first time I called her she was unable to talk but slowly she was getting better. When she was talking again her speech was noticeably slurred but it appeared as though she was getting her faculties about her. She was worried about her car payment (which we took care of) and wanted to come home.

Mom called me yesterday from the hospital and informed me she was ready to come home. Perhaps I was overly optimistic but I rushed over expecting her to be up and ready to go. When I got there I found her in her hospital bed with a catheter and colostomy bag attached and something to give her sodium phosphate, which was to help perform the functions her kidneys were no longer doing. My heart sank but I kept a strong face. I told her she was not ready to come home. She said she had been there for three days; I told her it was almost a week and today was Christmas Eve. I returned home disheartened that she was not coming with me especially since I knew she wanted nothing more than to do so.

Earlier today I called her at the hospital. I had thought about going to see what with it being Christmas and all but I knew it wouldn't do any good because she was so out of it she had no idea what day it was and we were due for a good snowstorm. She thanked me for getting a hold of her older brother Robert; he had called her earlier and she was glad to have heard from him. He was the last of her relatives I had found contact info for. He and his wife sent her a Christmas card and I went ahead and opened it in the hopes that his phone number would be inside. She then told me she was very tired and needed to get some rest. I told her that I love her and she told me the same.

Around 8pm I got a call from the hospital. The doctor said she had a heart arrhythmia and they tried everything they could and asked me to come to her hospital room. I told my brother, then phoned my sister, who bawled uncontrollably. Jodi (my sister) kept asking if I was kidding, that she had spoken with Mom earlier and she seemed fine. I reassured her that unfortunately that was not the case; Mom had passed away. She was in hysterics and I heard other voices so I asked her to hand the phone to someone else. I told her friend Alan what had happened and asked him to look after her since I still had to go to the hospital. He told me that he would and handed the phone back to her and she talked to Jeff (brother) a bit before hanging up.

Luckily I didn't have to be the lone harbinger of bad news on Christmas 2010. Jeff phoned my 83 year old grandmother (my mother's mom) and she and my Aunt that lives with her told the rest of their family while Jodi called my father. I made it to the hospital, it was snowing as predicted but the drive there is a blur right now, and found my way to room 220. The door was closed so I opened and walked inside expecting the doctor or somebody to be waiting for me and advise me on what it is I am supposed to be doing. This is the first time I am someone's immediate next of kin. Instead I found her in the bed looking as though she were asleep except for the fact that she was not breathing.

I poked my head out of the door and into the hallway to see if I can find a doctor or nurse and two of them came up to me looking like they were going to cry and asked if I wanted them to come in with me. I said "that's ok", not really knowing if I meant "that's ok come on in" or "that's ok I can do this alone". They came in and they both looked so sad...I have been the strong one throughout this ordeal. Both my brother and sister were having a tough time coping and I had to be strong for them. Now it was just me, two strangers, and my dead mother in a hospital bed. I bawled and bawled hard as the nurses hugged me and handed me tissues. They left me alone for awhile and I sat with Mom silently weeping for a bit, then swearing as I am wont to do. I looked at her and for some strange reason said "get up Mom, it's time to go". I then cried and cursed a little more as I went to the nurses desk and asked them if they knew what I was supposed to do.

They asked me if I knew what she wanted; at the time my mind was still jolted from the unexpected shock of walking in on her dead body that I had forgotten what she wanted so they said they would keep her there for the day and call me tomorrow. I went back to her room to say a final "goodbye", kissed her on the forehead and told her I loved her before somehow coming back home with the stuff she had with her at the hospital. On the top of the pile in the bag were her glasses...glasses that I am going to keep. I called my father and he reminded me that she wanted a military funeral, which luckily the V.A. will pay for. Even though they have been divorced for 15-16 years and he has long since remarried he still loved her and was taking it hard. At around 11:30 the organ donation people called, Mom had always said they can have anything they can use once she died and was listed as such so I answered some questions. I then instant messaged my girlfriend (who is Deaf so I can't call her) and let her know.

Some people may ask I'm contemplating a conversion at this time or hoping my mother is "in a better place. The answer is no, and in a way she is. The nurses assured me that she did not die painfully, and now the pain she lived with has ceased. I have no clue why I am writing this, perhaps it is cathartic and slightly self-indulgent. Why I am posting this? I have no clue. All I know is that a writer writes and that's about all I can do at the moment. I apologize for being so scatterbrained and applaud anyone who actually read the whole thing. I would also like to thank Rob for giving me the forum to this and also for being about as good an online friend as one can get. The same goes for Doug, Brent and anyone who I may be missing at the moment.

Mary A. Kane
6/27/52-12/25/10

Also, although it is VERY cliche I advise everyone to hug or call your mother if she is still around, or someone close and dear to you and tell them that you love them.

Sincerely,
Jim
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

Offline garystooge

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2010, 08:58:55 AM »
Jim-
My deepest condolences on your loss.  I hope the fond memories that you have can help ease your pain during this difficult time.
Gary

Offline Dunrobin

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2010, 09:37:18 AM »
Jim -

Having lost my mother suddenly several years ago, I can understand how much you are going through right now.  You have my deepest condolences for your loss, and I wish I could be there to help you through it.  I know it's a cliche, but the loss does get easier over time.

I don't know that I ever told any of you just how my mother died.  She was diagnosed with lung cancer in the summer of 2001, just after her 70th birthday, while my brother and his family were on vacation down in Florida.  She also developed a problem with blood clots in her legs about the same time.  My younger brother and I made it out to Idaho for my parents' 50th anniversary that December (my older brother, who had originally planned the get together, couldn't make it at the last minute) and she seemed pretty good then, although she had lost weight.

My father took Mom on a cruise to New Zealand and Australia the next year, and when he sent me pictures from their trip I was a bit shocked to see how much thinner Mom was looking at that point.  We couldn't afford to go back out to Idaho for Christmas, but shortly after New Year's day Dad contacted my brother and I and asked us to come and to bring the kids.  We spent a week with them, and I was really shocked at how frail my mother was becoming, although her spirits still seemed high.  Unfortunately, the visit was marred with our usual family bickering (my brother and father were especially prone to arguing,) and it got bad enough that we ended up cutting our visit short and going back to Michigan.

A few weeks later I got a call from my father close to midnight.  My mother had recently suffered from another stroke and was losing her ability to function as usual.  They had been sitting in the living room watching TV and she got up and went to the back of the house; my father assumed she was going to the bathroom.  My father suddenly heard a loud bang and realized that my mother hadn't come back to the living room.  He went to the bedroom looking for her and thinking that she had fallen in their bathroom, but she wasn't there.  He started looking all over the house and finally found her in the garage.  She had taken the revolver out of their nightstand and a bath towel from the bathroom, and then gone into the garage, laid the towel down and laid down on it and then killed herself.

It's been nearly eight years now and it still hurts to think about it.  Needless to say my brother and I were both devastated; I had resigned myself to losing her, but her suicide was unexpected and I felt a lot of guilt over it because of the way the family behaved when we were last there with her.  (It wasn't unusual for my father and his sons to argue - it's a family tradition - but I felt bad that we didn't pay more attention to her instead.)

My (ex)sister-in-law's mother, Susan, has lived with us since my niece and nephew were toddlers.  She was a sweet little old lady who always made me think of pixies.  She had a major heart attack a year and a half ago, and she ended up paralyzed on her left side.  She's had a few strokes since then and has been unable to take care of herself for more than a year; she's now completely bedridden, and Nora and the kids take care of her.  Mentally she is more like a three year old, and she rarely remembers who anyone is except for Nora.

Seeing Susan's decline has helped me come to terms with my mother's suicide.  I know that I would hate to become so helpless, like Susan has, and I would feel like just a burden on my family, and I suspect that was how my mother felt as well.  I think she killed herself rather than face that probable future.  I pray that I never have to face that, myself; I'd rather go suddenly, preferably in my sleep, rather than linger on.

Offline BeAStooge

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2010, 10:03:01 AM »
My condolences.

Sixteen years ago, my mother passed away a few days before Christmas. It's not something that is easy any time of year.

Keeping you in thoughts.

Brent

Offline Lefty

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2010, 10:21:06 AM »
My condolences to Jim as well.  I lost my mother to cancer almost 6 years ago and it still bothers me.

Also, my wife's youngest sister passed away last weekend at age 45 from G-B (can't even spell it) disease.

Offline metaldams

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2010, 12:09:33 PM »
Jim, Rob, Brent, Lefty, sorry about you losses.  I'm very fortunate to have both my parents, who are 60, still with me.  I was actually thinking about this yesterday, and I'm trying to be thankful for what I do have and not worry so much over what I don't, part of overcoming depression, I guess.  I lost my grandmother on 12/21/07, and I don't view her death as tragic simply because she was 85 and had Alzheimer's for years, but still, I know what it's like to lose a loved one during the holidays.  

But yeah Jim, your story just hit home this point about being thankful for what I have even more.  My brother is recently divorced, but last month, his ex father-in-law and my nephew's grandpa passed away from cancer on his 54th birthday, a birthday he also shares with his teenaged son, so this has made me rethink life and my priorities.  Again man, I'm very sorry.

Offline Blystone

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2010, 04:14:33 AM »
I'll break my long silence here, Jim, to add my condolences, old friend (and also to everyone else, who's lost a mother). You know which nitwit is talkin' here... My idea (not really my own) is that the people who inspire us are always with us. And so are the ones who give us a pain where we sit. At my age, I'm only just starting to understand that. In the immortal words of the late Captain Beefheart,

"Woe is uh me bop,
Om drop a re bop, Om."

[rockon]

Given the choice of saying "Woe is me" or "Woe is uh me bop," I'll take the latter (without any day Saints).

Mother? I think that my mother intends to outlive me, only so that I won't have any claim on her will. There are mothers, and then there are mothers...

Offline OldFred

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2010, 07:35:06 AM »
My condolences, I lost my dad several years ago and I know what you're feeling. May God grant you comfort at this time.

Offline shemps#1

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2010, 06:57:49 PM »
Hello folks,

It is rather hard to look at this thread, my opening post in particular at this point. However I am glad that I wrote it and wouldn't change what I wrote or the fact that I posted it for anything. I wanted to thank all of you for your condolences and sentiment, even you Eric (who sent me his condolences via email). I made the arrangements today and barring any problems the funeral is next Monday. She will be getting Military Honors. There is still so much to do but I'll be around.
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

Offline Justin T

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2010, 09:44:00 PM »
Jim, my condolences and deepest sympathies to your loss. I pray that both you
and your family will find peace and comfort in such a difficult time.

Justin
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Re: My Mother
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2010, 05:09:12 PM »
I'm very sorry to hear about your mother, Jim. It's hard to lose a loved one any time of the year, but "holiday" time makes it more difficult. I hope you found comfort from your post and the response its generated.

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2010, 10:50:22 PM »
Your story brought a tear to my eye. I offer my sincere condolences and sympathy to you, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all. I lost my dad about 8 months ago from the ongoing effects of a stroke he had suffered a little more than a year earlier. It's painful for we who remain to lose a parent, but I am happy in that he no longer suffers in a worn-out and debilitated earthly body.
   :'(

xraffle

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2010, 11:09:45 PM »
Wow! I was busy the last few days and missed this thread.  I just found out about this now. My condolences, Jim!

And what's weird is that I was just chatting with my friend this morning about how irritating my parents are. I had a little beef with them this morning. My mom is 51 and my dad is 60. I should be grateful that they've lived this long and are still living healthy lives, but here I am acting like an ungrateful idiot and losing my patience with them. Parents sometimes get on your nerves, but deep down inside, we love them and unfortunately, we fail to show that sometimes. I really need to change my attitude towards them. They did so much for me, but I'm too busy looking at their downfalls and I become irritable towards them. They will not be around forever, so I have to treasure every minute I spend with them even if they nag me at times. I wouldn't be the person I am if it weren't for them. They worked hard to raise me and they spent their hard-earned money for my education. They've done a lot of other things that some other parents can't do.

Again Jim, I am so sorry for your loss. I really am. Losing parents must be the hardest thing to go through. But I would like to thank you for inspiring me to show some love to my parents. They aren't going to be around forever. If I continue to act irritable towards them and then they just go one day, I'll never forgive myself.

Offline Liz

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2011, 10:19:02 PM »
Jim, I am so sorry.  I almost lost my mom when she had her breast cancer surgery.  My mom is my best friend, and I can't even fathom losing her.  My sincerest condolences.
IT'S ALIVE!!!!

Offline vomit

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Re: My Mother
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2012, 06:49:16 PM »
(I was originally going to send this as a PM to Rob and Doug, but it just kept growing and growing and perhaps against my better judgment I am posting it in a public thread. As anyone who knows me well can tell you that I really don't reveal a whole lot of personal information but these are different circumstances.)

Hey guys,

I don't really know why I am writing this to you other than everyone seems to have gone to sleep and unfortunately I cannot do so. I have known the both of you for at least ten years and even though we have never met in person I consider you both good friends and right now I need to say something to someone so you guys are the defacto choice. You'll have to excuse my rambling.

My mother, after being in the hospital for about a week due to kidney failure and a stroke died Christmas evening. She was only 58 years old and believe you me she was one tough bitch. She was raised by her father primarily and forced to go to Catholic Church by him and a step-mother. Her childhood was tumultuous at best and she left the house at 16 years of age vowing that when she had children of her own she would never force any kind of religion on them (which made it easier for me to adopt my atheist views).

She was married twice: once to an abusive man who caused her to miscarry her first pregnancy when she was in the WAC (Women's Army Corps). She was honorably discharged from the Army in the mid 70's after she had her first stroke. She divorced the first husband (who I met one time as a child, shortly after which she found out that he died) and began college on the GI Bill. This is where she met my father. He knocked her up in December of 1976, they married in April of '77 and I was born in August. My brother and sister (twins) were born in January of 1979. Both pregnancies were performed by cesarean due to health risks.

As hard as it may be to believe (shut up), I was not an easy child to raise. Many were the times I heard stories of how when I was an infant and my siblings babies I would stomp on her feet whenever she gave them the slightest bit of attention. As I got older I became worse and many was the time she received phone calls from the school due to my tyrannic behavior. I tried her patience many a time, but she loved me and I loved her.

I clearly remember the day back in 1985 when she came home from a grocery shopping trip. She loved her iced tea, but was pounding back pitchers of the stuff on a daily basis. On the paper bags they had a list of the symptoms of Diabetes. One of them was an increased thirst: drinking liquids much more than normal. I tugged on her pant leg and pointed the bag and said "Mommy I think you have Diabetes". It turned out I was right.

She struggled with the Diabetes for the rest of her life. When I was 17 or 18 my parents divorced. I was relieved as their fighting was the norm. The Diabetes worsened and she had other maladies including a weakened heart and failing eyesight. She continued on though, moving from Meriden CT to Virginia Beach VA in 2000 after her children were grown. Whenever I had faltered to the point where I needed to come "home" her door was always open to me. Recently I returned home again, but not so much for me but for her. She now needed a cane to get around and was in so much pain from so many ailments she was taking 60mg of Morphine a day (1 30mg pill in the morning and one at night) and Hydrocodone throughout the day when needed. Anybody that knows anything about Morphine and Hydrocodone will tell you that they are both opiates and she was taking a lot of them.

Mom had a couple of episodes recently in regards to her insulin. The V.A. Hospital had switched her to a fast acting insulin and if she did not have her dinner right at the ready when she took her shot she would go into insulin shock. The first time I called 911 and the second time my brother did (I wasn't home at the time), but the third and final time I knew what to do and got her out of it without calling.

Sometime last week she couldn't get out of bed. I suffer from severe migrane headaches from time to time and had fallen asleep very late that night (actually I hardly get much sleep these days, as the erratic time stamps on my recent postings will indicate) and woke up in time to see the ambulance, with my brother riding up front, pulling out of the driveway. We learned that she had gone into kidney failure and was put on dialysis and had suffered what I believe was a third stroke. Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure. The first time I called her she was unable to talk but slowly she was getting better. When she was talking again her speech was noticeably slurred but it appeared as though she was getting her faculties about her. She was worried about her car payment (which we took care of) and wanted to come home.

Mom called me yesterday from the hospital and informed me she was ready to come home. Perhaps I was overly optimistic but I rushed over expecting her to be up and ready to go. When I got there I found her in her hospital bed with a catheter and colostomy bag attached and something to give her sodium phosphate, which was to help perform the functions her kidneys were no longer doing. My heart sank but I kept a strong face. I told her she was not ready to come home. She said she had been there for three days; I told her it was almost a week and today was Christmas Eve. I returned home disheartened that she was not coming with me especially since I knew she wanted nothing more than to do so.

Earlier today I called her at the hospital. I had thought about going to see what with it being Christmas and all but I knew it wouldn't do any good because she was so out of it she had no idea what day it was and we were due for a good snowstorm. She thanked me for getting a hold of her older brother Robert; he had called her earlier and she was glad to have heard from him. He was the last of her relatives I had found contact info for. He and his wife sent her a Christmas card and I went ahead and opened it in the hopes that his phone number would be inside. She then told me she was very tired and needed to get some rest. I told her that I love her and she told me the same.

Around 8pm I got a call from the hospital. The doctor said she had a heart arrhythmia and they tried everything they could and asked me to come to her hospital room. I told my brother, then phoned my sister, who bawled uncontrollably. Jodi (my sister) kept asking if I was kidding, that she had spoken with Mom earlier and she seemed fine. I reassured her that unfortunately that was not the case; Mom had passed away. She was in hysterics and I heard other voices so I asked her to hand the phone to someone else. I told her friend Alan what had happened and asked him to look after her since I still had to go to the hospital. He told me that he would and handed the phone back to her and she talked to Jeff (brother) a bit before hanging up.

Luckily I didn't have to be the lone harbinger of bad news on Christmas 2010. Jeff phoned my 83 year old grandmother (my mother's mom) and she and my Aunt that lives with her told the rest of their family while Jodi called my father. I made it to the hospital, it was snowing as predicted but the drive there is a blur right now, and found my way to room 220. The door was closed so I opened and walked inside expecting the doctor or somebody to be waiting for me and advise me on what it is I am supposed to be doing. This is the first time I am someone's immediate next of kin. Instead I found her in the bed looking as though she were asleep except for the fact that she was not breathing.

I poked my head out of the door and into the hallway to see if I can find a doctor or nurse and two of them came up to me looking like they were going to cry and asked if I wanted them to come in with me. I said "that's ok", not really knowing if I meant "that's ok come on in" or "that's ok I can do this alone". They came in and they both looked so sad...I have been the strong one throughout this ordeal. Both my brother and sister were having a tough time coping and I had to be strong for them. Now it was just me, two strangers, and my dead mother in a hospital bed. I bawled and bawled hard as the nurses hugged me and handed me tissues. They left me alone for awhile and I sat with Mom silently weeping for a bit, then swearing as I am wont to do. I looked at her and for some strange reason said "get up Mom, it's time to go". I then cried and cursed a little more as I went to the nurses desk and asked them if they knew what I was supposed to do.

They asked me if I knew what she wanted; at the time my mind was still jolted from the unexpected shock of walking in on her dead body that I had forgotten what she wanted so they said they would keep her there for the day and call me tomorrow. I went back to her room to say a final "goodbye", kissed her on the forehead and told her I loved her before somehow coming back home with the stuff she had with her at the hospital. On the top of the pile in the bag were her glasses...glasses that I am going to keep. I called my father and he reminded me that she wanted a military funeral, which luckily the V.A. will pay for. Even though they have been divorced for 15-16 years and he has long since remarried he still loved her and was taking it hard. At around 11:30 the organ donation people called, Mom had always said they can have anything they can use once she died and was listed as such so I answered some questions. I then instant messaged my girlfriend (who is Deaf so I can't call her) and let her know.

Some people may ask I'm contemplating a conversion at this time or hoping my mother is "in a better place. The answer is no, and in a way she is. The nurses assured me that she did not die painfully, and now the pain she lived with has ceased. I have no clue why I am writing this, perhaps it is cathartic and slightly self-indulgent. Why I am posting this? I have no clue. All I know is that a writer writes and that's about all I can do at the moment. I apologize for being so scatterbrained and applaud anyone who actually read the whole thing. I would also like to thank Rob for giving me the forum to this and also for being about as good an online friend as one can get. The same goes for Doug, Brent and anyone who I may be missing at the moment.

Mary A. Kane
6/27/52-12/25/10

Also, although it is VERY cliche I advise everyone to hug or call your mother if she is still around, or someone close and dear to you and tell them that you love them.

Sincerely,
Jim

Jim,
My condolences.  although my upbringing was quite different than yours, my mom passed away at age 51 due to diabetes.  this was back in '93; still miss her to this day!

it gets better with time, but you never forget.  I regret not seeing this post last year!

Again, I am sorry for your loss.

Vomit/Tim
Specto Caelum!