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Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 19 and 17. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Friday, December 16, 2016

How Ted Danson figures into my Mom's story......

Welcome back, Snarklings. If you're behind on the events of the past few weeks, you can catch up here. I'll wait.

Now that we're all caught up and pleased as punch that my Brother did NOT, in fact, end up in jail for throwing someone through a plate glass window, let's continue, shall we?

By Thursday of that first week of October, we had gotten my Mom settled into the nursing care facility, run around Southern New Jersey like chickens without heads gathering paperwork and trying somewhat successfully NOT to kill public servants. Thursday morning I sat with the nicest, sweetest lady at the Cape May County Medicaid office who took my hand and walked me through the application process and not once did I want to punch her in the junk. She was awesome and kind and everything that the Atlantic County office had not been. Application submitted October 6.

I had been living at the home of one of my life-long friends for the week and by Friday, I needed to get back to my family, yet was heartbroken at the idea of leaving my Mom. I cried when I left her but knew that I'd be back within a few days.

I was back that Sunday and stayed through Columbus Day before heading back the 4 hours to my home in West Virginia. I went back and forth several more times, each time so happy to see her sitting up in bed, walking around (albeit getting out of breath each time. COPD steals your lungs little by little).

The last time I saw my Mother alive was Sunday, October 30th. She had developed an upper respiratory infection that they were trying to treat and her breathing sounded really labored. But she smiled through the visit. 17 had her Homecoming dance the night before and Mom loved seeing the pics of 17 and her boyfriend, all dressed up. We laughed all day and again, I cried before I left because I would miss her until the next time I saw her. I cried every time I left my Mom because you just never know when the last time is that you'll see someone.

I got a call the next day from my Brother that Mom was confused and not doing well at all. The infection was getting worse. She thought it was still Sunday and thought I was still there with her. He said that they were going to increase her morphine to relax her breathing. I spoke with her briefly, told her I loved her and hung up.

I knew that with the morphine increase, she may have been sleeping more or a little out of it so when I called each day, I'd call the nurses station to check on her condition and always passed along my "please tell her I love her" message.

Wednesday November 2, they called me to tell me that her condition had deteriorated and that the family should plan on coming to see her. That's never a good thing.

I went to the school and picked up 17, packed a bag, made arrangements for the dogs to be cared for and off to New Jersey we went. I contacted 19 to let her know and she planned to drive from Morgantown, WV to Cape May County, New Jersey as soon as her last class was over.

The morphine was strong but my mother's lungs were weak. So weak. She was drowsy and not at all coherent when we arrived but I rubbed her back, held her hand and told her how much we loved her. 19 arrived in time to say her 'goodbye' and 'I love you' as well.

As I lay on the couch in the common room that night, the girls slept together in my Mother's room. The Cubs had won the World Series that night and it was one hell of a baseball game. My Mom, had she been coherent, would have loved it. At 3:10, the nurse came in and told me it would only be a matter of time.

I sat there a little while longer, and in my head I said this to my mother:

"You know that we love you, and that we don't want you to suffer anymore. You need to go. You need to be free of this pain, you need to breathe free. It's time. Time to be with your Mom and Dad, and with my Dad. Give them all my love, but most of all, go with our love and be free from this pain."

Minutes later the nurse came back. Mom was gone. She was finally at peace. No more oxygen tubes, no more morphine. No more struggling to take each breath. She was free.

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A few weeks later, we had a luncheon for my Mom's friends and neighbors in Atlantic City. At that time I read a brief eulogy and part of it said this:

"My Mother always hated the actor, Ted Danson. He was in a movie in 1984 called "Something About Amelia" about a father who molests his teenage daughter. After seeing that movie, poor Ted was always referred to as "that child molesting bastard" by Mom. She totally knew it was a movie and he was an actor playing a role, but she said he really was a good actor because she believed he was a child molesting bastard.

Recently my company partnered with Oceana, and Ted Danson is a Board Member there. I couldn't tell my Mom that my bosses had met Ted Danson though. I can hear her now saying: "Why are you guys working with that child molesting bastard?"

As if on cue, Ted Danson appeared on the television in the room in which we were having our lunch. It was a commercial for shopping small businesses on Saturday, but I'm telling you, that was my Mother telling us she was in the room with us. There is no doubt in my mind that my Mom was there with us. We all had a really good laugh, and that's how my Mother would've wanted it.




14 comments:

  1. Teri, as I sat here, reading your blog, it brought back so many memories of my mothers passing. I, too, had to run all over creation, looking for the SS office, in a county and state that I had only been a resident of for less than two weeks! She passed away less than two weeks later, from the same terrible disease. I, too, felt somewhat at peace and relieved knowing she wasn't suffering to catch her breath any longer. It is still hard, even 7 years later, to not pick up the phone, and want to talk to her, but I know she is 100% healed and pain free. Hugs.

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    1. That's been one of the hardest parts, not talking with her everyday. It's been a rough transition. Thank you !

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  2. Teri... my heart breaks every time I read about the loss of your Mother. I am a "Mama's Boy" but not in a pansy kind of way. My Mom is 78 years old but I know in my heart that her going to her Reward is inevitable. I am sure I will be devastated when that time comes. My Dad died at age 65 in 2004 so I understand the difficulty and pain of losing a parent. It really sucks. The last time I saw him alive the final words I said to him were, "I love you, Dad". Cherish those final moments with your Mom. Grow and be strong from having had them. I am quite sure you comforted her as she faded away. I wish you and your family well. Much love and respect...Your Friendly Neighborhood Fearless Leader.

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    1. Thanks so much Toby. Give your Mama an extra hug from me.

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  3. Oh my God, I am crying. This is beautiful, my friend.
    I am sad that you lost your mom, I am sad for your girls, it is a loss like no other.
    But I am also so glad she is no longer in pain, attached to tubes and suffering.

    And I cannot stop laughing about that sex molesting bastard.
    I think I would have loved your mom.

    Sending you so much love.

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    1. Kari she was loved by all, you would've totally gotten a huge kick out of her. <3

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  4. I am so sorry for your loss, yet there is a relief. The signs from the other side are always redemptive. I love the last photo of beautiful smiles. I feel fortunate to still have both of my parents, and strive to stay in contact on a weekly basis. Your words help me to maintain that resolve.

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  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. Almost 13 years ago we lost our Dad, 16 weeks later my eldest sister died too. Both completely unexpected so we didn't get the chance to say goodbye. It was just after Christmas when my eldest sister died, her favourite holiday. My mum also has COPD it sucks. May your mum Rest in Eternal Peace xox

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  6. I'm crying with you, I'm crying for you, and I'm just crying because this is so beautifully written....written with so much love and pain. I cannot even begin to imagine losing a parent, not to mention the frustration, anxiety, anger, and sadness of having to deal with stupid paperwork and government offices. I'm so glad you, 17, and 19 were all there with her when she crossed over, and I have no doubt she knew you were there. Lots of love, friend...

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    1. Thanks so much Mimzy. I have to believe she knew we were with her.

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