Spending time with Mama

My mom knew we didn’t have a vehicle, and that we were struggling financially.  At the beginning of May she offered for both of us come live with her and told me we could drive her car whenever we needed to.  I told Mitchell about my mom’s offer.  I wanted to make the most of the time she had left.  I told him he could stay or go with me, his choice.  He chose to go.

He quit his job at the convenience store.  It didn’t make sense for him to work 30 miles away from home earning minimum wage.  I continued working at Davis PD.  He became my mother’s caregiver.  He took care of the housework, meals, and mom’s personal care needs.  He loved her too. Occasionally when my mother’s best friend would come to spend time with her, Mitchell would spend time at Sharon’s while I worked.

I worked to 1600-0000 hours.  My mother would call me 8 to 10 times a shift for no reason at all.  She would tell me she loved and missed me.  She was just thinking of me.  I was a little annoyed she called me so often knowing I was working.  I never told her that.  I would get home around 0100 hours each night.  I would catch her writing sometimes in a yellow folder that she would quickly put away when she saw me.  I asked her once what she was writing.  She told me I couldn’t read it until she was gone. My biggest fear every day was that I may find her dead when I woke for work.

After I came home from work she’d want me to sit and talk with her.  I did, every night.  Mitchell slept alone until 0400-0500 hours.

One night when I came home, she said “When I close my eyes this girl talks to me, but when I open them she stops.  “I want to hear what she has to say.” She closed her eyes.  I was sitting at her bedside.  She got excited, she smiled enormously.  She exclaimed “IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL!” I was confused.  I said “Mom.” She opened her eyes.  I asked “What’s beautiful?” She responded “Heaven”.  I asked what heaven looked like.  She looked at me as if I were hanging from the ceiling by my feet.  She spoke “Stormi, I can’t tell you, it is not your time to know.” I believe my mother was given a glimpse of heaven that night.

May 24, 2006, Mitchell and I took my mom out for dinner and bingo.  We loaded her and her wheelchair in the car.  I missed a $600 bingo that night because I was helping her.  She wasn’t as coordinated because of pain medication she had to take.  She was very weak.  She had lost all of her hair.  She was wearing a hat but, she still got cold faster and easier.  The pain medication also caused her to hallucinate. On the way home, she looked at me in the back seat.  Terror was written all over her face.  She told me there was a very large rat in the seat next to me.  That was a hard night physically, emotionally, and mentally for all three of us.

Sometimes while we were sitting up late she would run a doppler over my stomach and listen to my baby move and his or her heartbeat.

May 30, 2006 –my grandparents were at our house. My mother was in excruciating pain.  Her medications were not helping at all.  Her husband was an over the road truck driver and was not at home.  She asked for an ambulance to be called.  I rode in the ambulance with my mom.  My grandparents and Mitchell followed us to the hospital in Oklahoma City.  At the emergency room her blood pressure was 80 something over 50 something.  The doctor took me out in the hallway alone.  He spoke in a very low volume.  He was gentle and compassionate.  He said “Are you aware that your mom’s cancer is terminal?” I told him I knew.  He spoke “I cannot cure her cancer.  What I can do is admit her to the hospital and keep her comfortable.” I told him that is what she would want.  Mom was persistent, she wanted us all to leave and go home.  We waited.  The nurses got her situated in a room.

She told me she wanted me to go home and rest.  I hugged her.  She told me that my baby was a girl and that she loved me. We went home like she wanted us too.  The next day I called her.  She wasn’t in pain.  She was so medicated, nothing she said made sense.  She fell asleep on the phone.  I told her I loved her and hung up the phone.

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