I posted about my DU friend Bonobo earlier tonight and what he is going through right now with his mom dying of cancer.
And you all rose to the occasion and lifted his spirits. Thank you.
Before mom died I did not get to tell her goodbye.
She was in the hospital for two months. Day in and out it was 'she is doing bad and might die' then 'she is going to be ok'.
I was at a high point in my career. I had just come home from a trip to Chicago and she was in the hospital. Was going to have surgery the next day. I went to see her and told her to not worry about it, was a simple surgery for an infection - not like when she went in for a quadruple bypass years earlier.
Before visiting hours were over I called her to say good night - and dad answered. Heard mom in the background yelling in pain. Had never heard her in pain like that before. Her infection had burst and they were going to rush her into surgery. Gave her a 50-50 chance of making it.
Day in and out I was working and getting updates from my brother. Then she came home on 12-18-2004. It was all going to be ok.
12-24-2004 she went back into the hospital. I was staying the night at dad's house as the power was out after an ice storm, wife and daughter were in CA for Christmas. He woke me up to tell me an ambulance was coming to pick her up, no big deal - she was just dehydrated.
I went to see her Tuesday night/Wednesday morning - was going to spend the night with her and give dad a break for the night. I had planned on going to the funeral of a friend's son who was killed on Christmas eve - I just could not bring myself to go - so I got my book I had recently bought (on prime number theory) and the daily crossword puzzle and headed to the hospital. I also had the ensure my dad needed (did not know it at the time, but he had prostate cancer).
I walked in, and mom was not connected to any machines. She was out of it in many ways - and it took me by surprise. She was not making much sense.
I just stood there for a minute, then asked my dad 'what is going on?'. He told mom he would be right back and took me out into the hall.
She is dying. I hated him for saying that. I sat there with my book and crossword puzzle crying. I held that book so hard. None of it made any sense.
Then mom yelled from her room and we ran back in.
"Mick, give me a knife, the baby is stuck in the pillow and is suffocating". Dad handed her an invisible knife as I stood there.
The baby. That is what she called my little girl.
She saved that baby. She hugged it.
Then she saw me. Her youngest. Her little boy.
And she stopped.
"Why is he here Mick? You send him home. I don't want him to see me like this."
Dad told her I was here to stay the night with her, while he went home. He needed a shower, some rest.
"You send him home. He doesn't need to see me like this." and then she just smiled.
Dad relented, and told me to go home. Told me he would be ok, then he went to see the nurse while I waited. He needed a blanket.
Mom just smiled and looked at me. I told her I was going to go an get the car. And ask her if she wanted to take a ride with me and have a smoke.
She nodded and said yes. And then I saw the pain in her eyes as she saw me crying. "Go home"
I went home. On 12/31/2004 my dad called me. Wanted to know if I could get to the hospital. I couldn't drive, no way in fucking hell I could. My brother picked me up. We got there at 2:08am. She died at 2:06am.
I never got to say goodbye. Never got to tell her how much I loved her.
I just stood there, she looked like she was sleeping. My brother was on his knees next to her crying. I just stood there. I walked up to him finally and put my hand on his shoulder.
Take me home.
I never got to tell her goodbye. Never got to say all the things I so wanted to say.
So I say them now.
Goodbye Mom. You really were a wonderful inspiration to me. You taught me to love others, you taught me that it does not matter the color of someone's skin, or their sexual orientation, you taught me to love others no matter who they were or what they believed.
You showed me what real love was. In your last days, for but a moment, you snapped out of whatever it was you were in and remembered me.
Thanks mom - for all you taught me. And thanks for being there all those years when I needed you.
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