Worst day of my life

Two years ago today was the worst day of my life. 

Just hours after putting our cat down I got the call that my Mom was in rough shape following her surgery for an aortic dissection. At the time I had no idea how serious her surgery was. She played it off like it was nothing because she didn’t want to worry anybody. 

That was the longest three hour drive in blizzard conditions. Once we arrived she was basically being kept alive by machines. I was up all night hoping things would change. I watched the Sun come up the next morning knowing that I was going to have to pull the plug on my Mom that day. We kept her alive long enough for what family that could make it to say goodbye. It was hard but it was also great that have family there after being there all night alone. 

I was so tired and out of it. I remember talking to the doctor. He seemed to be afraid that I was going to keep her alive indefinitely. I had no intention of that. There really was only once choice, but still it was hard, and it was all on me. I had to give the okay to watch my Mom die. 

Once family said their goodbyes, I gave the okay, and the nurses went to work unhooking her. 

We then watched her die. 

The rest of the day we planned the funeral, and she had the best funeral ever. It was exactly as she would have wanted. 

Christmas time was her favorite time of the year. I’ve had a hard time with Christmas these last few years. Every Christmas song is sad and almost brings me to tears. I don’t think Christmas can ever be a happy time for me anymore. 

It’s been a year since we talked

One year ago today I talked to my mom for the last time. She called me to tell me that she was going in to have her aortic disection fixed, and it was no big deal. She didn’t want me to tell anybody, because she didn’t want them to worry.

That was her last phone call.

Little did I know how serious the surgery was. If I had know she dropped ill at work and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, I would have been there in a heartbeat. If I knew that was the case I would have seen her one more time before her passing, but I would have done the same thing. I’m just like my mom in that way. I like to be alone, and I don’t like to bother people.

She came out of surgery just fine, but I never bothered to call her because I knew she wouldn’t wanted to be bothered.

Four days later we were planning her funeral.

I was never a Christmas fan to begin with, now they are even worse for me. My mom lived for Christmas. Every Christmas song is now a sad song to me. I have to fight tears going anywhere this time of year.

We are celebrating Christmas this year the day after the year anniversary of her passing. It’s going to be hard, but I have a feeling Christmas is always going to be hard for me. We are having the same meal with the same dishes. We are keeping as many traditions as we can.

That’s what Mom would have wanted.

Happy Mothers Day Mom

I don’t think I have ever wished you a happy Mothers Day. I don’t know why, but I just hate the mushy holidays. Come to think of it, I pretty much hate all holidays. That doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate everything you ever did for me Mom. I miss you every day. Sometimes I wish there really was a heaven so I could see you again. I have so much I want to tell you.

This morning the alarm woke me up to your song. I know you don’t even know what your song is. It’s this one.

Yeah, I never heard of Passenger either. The first time I ever heard that song was on December 19th when I was rushing as fast as I could to the hospital in a snowstorm. It just seemed so fitting. It was the last song that was on the radio as I arrived at the hospital, and was the first song I heard on the radio after your passing. I added it to the list of funeral songs along with all the ones you listed you wanted in your letter.

I know the Budweiser Clydesdale commercials were always your favorite Super Bowl commercials. This year they used your song in one.

So I guess it’s only fitting that I wake up to your song on the first Mothers Day without you. I miss you.

Goodbye Mom

So three weeks ago today I got a call from my Mom. Little did I know that would be the last time I would ever talk to her, and it was her last ever phone call.

Six years ago my mom discovered that she had an aortic dissection. It’s a very serious issue, but at that time the best thing was to just keep an eye on it. So that’s was she was doing. My Mom never let on at how scared she was. At that time she wrote a letter to me and my brother and her will. She was super organized. Her letter basically planned out her funeral. It’s really sad, but it’s now one of my prized possessions.

So on Monday the 16th I got that call from my Mom. She said her dissection was leaking a bit and she needed to go in for surgery. It was a very serious surgery, but she played it off like it wasn’t. She didn’t want anybody to worry and didn’t want me to tell the rest of the family, so I thought nothing of it. I never even looked it up to see how serious it was. Later on I learned that she collapsed at work and was brought to the hospital by ambulance. She didn’t want to worry anybody, so didn’t tell us that.

Tuesday we got a call stating that the surgery was successful and she was recovering. We didn’t hear anything Wednesday, so we just assumed no news was good news.

Then Thursday the 19th came. It was probably the worst day of my life. First, our cat of 14.5 years was going through kidney failure. We new she didn’t have too much time left. We saw her going downhill and didn’t want her to have to suffer over the weekend, so we brought her in to put her to sleep.

About two hours after we got home from the vet, we got a call from the hospital that my Mom was in critical condition and family needs to be there NOW. So in blizzard conditions we dropped everything and headed to St. Cloud. What normally is a 2.5 hr. drive took 4 hrs.

We got there at 11:00 PM and she was on about everything she could be on to keep her alive. They had to perform CPR on her for quite a while, so they weren’t even sure if there was any brain activity left. Her aorta ruptured at another spot, and another surgery wasn’t an option given her current condition. At about 1:00 AM they gave her an hour to live. She held on until family got there around 1:00 PM.

Then when everybody that was going to get there got there, I had to make the call to unhook her from the machines and watch her die. I know it was the right decision since there was no brain activity, but I’m still bothered being the one who had to make the decision.

The images of my Mom dying have been burned into my memory and I’ve been reliving them every night in my dreams.

So while most people were having their Christmas week, we were planning my Mom’s funeral. Christmas was my Mom’s favorite time of the year. I’ve never been much of a fan of Christmas, and I don’t think this year is going to change that.

I’ll probably have more posts about my Mom these coming weeks. I don’t know if anybody still reads blogs, but it’s helpful for me to get it out.

Not looking forward to vacation

A week from today I will be on vacation. Is it sad that I’m not really looking forward to it? We are heading down to Branson, and meeting up with the rest of my family. Branson is my Mom’s most favorite place on earth, and we are staying at her timeshare. I’ve been there before, and while there are lots of things to do, none of them excite me too much. My Sister-in-law has actually planned the week out, so I guess that’s good. All i know is that We have one day in an amusement park, and another at a water park. Not my idea of fun, but I’m just a party pooper I guess.

I’m going through Internet withdrawals already. We will have Internet access, but I won’t get my usual 12 to 14 hour fix. Some people like to unplug for vacations — not me. I’m dreading the backlog of rss feeds and podcasts I will have when I get home. I should learn that it’s ok if I miss some, but I can’t. I’m actually looking forward to the 13 hour drive home the most. It will be 13 hours of podcast listening heaven for me.

It also looks like it’s really hot down there already. I’m from North Dakota — I don’t like it much warmer than 70°. Oh well, I will try to have fun. I guess many people don’t have the luxury to be able to take a vacation every year, so I should be thankful for that.

Hoping For Normalcy Soon

Hopefully things will get back to normal around here soon. We are hoping that the Wife’s Aunt gets back into her house today. The water has gone down enough that the backway should be travelable soon. I don’t mind having houseguests, but her Aunt has been here since Easter, and Grandma and Grandpa have been here for two weeks. It’s getting a little long.

Yesterday it was just me and the Grandparents at home all day. I am not much of a people person to begin with, but how much do I have in common with an 80 year old? I didn’t have much to talk about. Grandpa pretty much watched TV all day as I sat on my computers. Grandma isn’t doing so hot, but the cancer hasn’t spread as far as they had feared. She had surgery Wednesday, and is on a feeding tube now. Grandpa was in charge of keeping her fed.

I on the other hand was in charge of keeping Grandpa fed. He is obviously from a different generation than me. He has nothing to do with the kitchen. He wont cook. He wont even nuke leftovers, or even make coffee. He is totally a nice guy, but all his life the kitchen as been the “women’s place”. Plus I am sure he feel out of place, and doesn’t know where anything is in our kitchen. I didn’t really know what to cook, so we had leftovers for lunch, and I just ordered a pizza for supper.

It was a little weird when lunch time came, and right at noon he walked into my computer room and told me it was time for lunch. He is pretty much programed to eat the same time every day. Not that that’s a big deal, I know I have my little quirks too.

Today should be another busy day. More of the wife’s family is coming to visit from the east coast. They will only be here for the day to visit though, as they fly back tomorrow. I am really looking for things to get back to normal around here soon.