Last year when I hit the guardrail and came out unscathed… I knew how lucky I was. I’ve spent alot of time pondering death. Death in general as a subject is interesting. But thinking about my own death has had a strange effect on me. The idea of the world going on without so much as a blink of an eye the minute I die. The mark that remains on those I leave behind will fade after a time and next thing you know… we’re a few generations down the road, and long forgotten. After all is said and done, I know one thing. I am afraid to die.
With heavy hearts we start our day. Meeting at Kenny’s, we hug and the feeling of sadness is thick. We have hashed and rehashed how we think the conversation will go and how she will take it. Each of us thinking different scenarios, because we each see someone different. She is our mom, and though she raised us with the same values and rules, she had a special way with each of us indiviually. Each child with their own dreams and dramas, their own set of problems and their own relationship with Mom.
We asked Kenny’s wife Tammy to go with us. She and Kenny have been married for 20 years, so she is as much a part of this as we are. When we arrived we peeked through the window of Mom’s room, to see if she was with anyone and she was eating lunch. We decided to let her eat, it’s just not the time to tell her such news. So we sat in a waiting area with some chairs and a tv. We finally get our collective will rolling only to come to a sudden stop! Alot of nervous energy floating around and the waiting was nerve racking, so we decide to go to the cafeteria. This was, by far, the best thing for us… all those butterflies needed calming. And there’s nothing like a snack to take the edge off.
After a bit we headed straight to her. Karen going first she walked right up to Mom and kissed her and hugged her. It took a minute for Mom to realize it was Karen, who had just left to fly home. As we all hug and kiss her the questions begin pouring out… what the hell? We four pull up chairs around the bed and slowly we begin explaining. The flow of conversation was smooth and we laid it all out. She sat and listened and interjected occasionally. And then it was quiet. Only the sound of tissues dabbing wet eyes.
There she sat. She said many things, wanted to know this… wanted to know that. The thing that stands out to me is her courage. She teared up but she didn’t cry. We asked her to think about the options that we presented, that there was no pressure for her to make any quick decisions. We could see that she was running out of steam… so we suggested she rest and we’d be back later.
Hugging and kissing her as we left, I felt my heart heavier now than when we came in. I just kept thinking about how if it were me, how would I handle sitting there thinking about news like this? Would I cry? Would I be angry? Would I be resigned?
We returned later in the evening and she was doing well. Her old spunky self. She asked a few more questions and my heart just broke. With all we presented her, I’m not sure if she is really grasping the gravity of it all. We’ve had a few days to absorb all this information and here we are, watching her weighing her only two options.
I don’t know what’s in store for us as the next few days unfold. I only know that I love her, and I don’t want her to feel the feelings I feel when I think about my own death. I would like to think I have many years left, death is an unknown, but I am not faced with my own immediate demise because my body is failing. I don’t want to her to face this choice at all… she’s my Momma.