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I’m still here.

Yesterday was a good day. I didn’t cry. Not even once! Of course it helped that I was out  pretty much from morning to evening; being proactive in my own life. That’s something I NEED to do more often. (Duh, right?)

Today, I’ve been exhausted. Of course I was home all day (except for a quick trip to get McDonald’s, whoops).

I tell ya, grief is exhausting! It just takes so much out of you. I don’t feel like crying right now, but fuck am I wrung out.

It’s not just the grief & the guilt over my dad’s death. I feel guilty that I’m more devastated over my dad’s death than I was over my mom’s. Maybe because I still had my dad around when my mom passed. It could be that we all have favorite parents (and parents with more than one kid generally do pick favorites. We all know this). Either way, I feel like a shitty daughter.

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This Too Shall Pass

Sunday was like any other Sunday. Well, my dad had slept late due to a shitty night’s sleep. (He hadn’t been feeling well for about a week or so.) But over all, Sunday had been normal. There had been TV watching, being lazy, and then bed.

That’s when it all changed.

I was getting undressed for bed when I heard my dad make a loud noise. Naturally I went in to see how he was doing. Apparently he was having breathing issues so I went to get his nebulizer (a breathing treatment that had worked in the past). Before I could give it to him, he stopped breathing. Panicking, I called 911 and was instructed on how to do chest compressions as I waited for the ambulance to arrive. As you can imagine, I begged and pleaded for it to work, tried my hardest to make him breathe again. The ambulance arrived rather quickly, and the EMTs took over. While they worked on him, I got dressed again, prayed, and hoped that I would have the chance to scold my dad about taking better care of himself once he was feeling better in the hospital.

Sadly that was not to be.

While they had been able to briefly get a pulse, it didn’t last long. More than an hour after my father stopped breathing, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

I’m numb, angry, and beyond devastated. I thought I would have longer with him, convinced myself that I would. I should have convinced him to take better care of himself. I SHOULD have seen that he had been depressed since my mom died in April of 2014. How did I miss it? How did it take until it was too god damn late for me to notice?

I’ve been told that I shouldn’t blame myself. Logically, I know that. Well, a part of me knows that logically. And yet, I still do. I could have done a hell of a lot more to make sure he stayed healthy. I should have seen that he was depressed. Now I need to find a way to survive, to get through this. I honestly don’t know how to do it, or why I deserve to.

Honestly, the only reason I’m still here is because of the support I’ve gotten from my family & friends. My sister Lorri booked it in to NYC after I called her at after two in the damn morning. She made it easier for me to get through the past few days. I guess I’ll have to keep going for her and the others who have been supporting me… because, what else can I do?

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A year ago today.

It’s March 26th again. I recall last March 26th. It was a Wednesday, and I went to visit my mother in the spinal rehab section of Mount Sinai hospital. I had missed seeing her sitting in a wheelchair the day before because I had arrived after her PT Session. That Wednesday though, I arrived around ten or so in the morning. My mom’s PT had been cancelled because they needed to give her more blood since her blood count was down. That was also when they noticed a rather large bruise on her left leg, one that had not been there when I had been there the day before.

A few doctors came in to look at it and decided that she needed to be transferred from the Spinal Rehab section to the MICU (Medical Intensive Care Unit). One of the awesome nurses from Spinal Rehab (Joe) insisted on coming down with us so off we went, mom mom in the bed, her ventilator, Joe, the two transport guys, someone from respiratory, and me.

I remember before Joe went back up to his floor he told me that he was sure it wasn’t anything serious and that my mom would probably be back up in rehab in a few days.

I wish he had been right.

It turned out that she was experiencing internal bleeding in her leg. They went in to try and find it and stop the bleeding. It was a long day, the doctors bringing her back to the MICU after midnight. They hadn’t found where the blood was coming from and if it continued the skin could possibly die because of the pressure being put on it by the build up of blood.

Of course that wasn’t the only danger present. She could go in to shock from the blood loss. When they brought her back and I saw her, she was wide eyed and staring at the ceiling as if she was indeed in shock.

I remember going home around one in the morning in a taxi, crying the whole way as I tried to figure out how to tell my father what might happen. It was the day before his birthday and also the day that everything really went to shit.

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Birthday Ramblings

I dreamed of my mother before I woke up this morning. In it, my father and I were visiting her in the hospital, only there were two of her. The one that was strapped to a gurney, wide eyed as she was once the blood loss had put her in to shock, ready to be transported somewhere, and the one waiting with my father and I. I don’t know if she was being transported for a test or a procedure, but instead of a sheet being wrapped around her, it was a body bag. And there I stood, telling her it was going to be alright.

Once they took gurney mom out, we were asked to leave so they could clean the room. (The room was big and sort of looked like an operating room in some old movie, tbh.) My dad grabbed a chair so my mom (the one that was with us) could sit in the hall if she needed to. Once in the hall, I hugged my mom’s arm. (It’s important to note that in the dream, she was a good two feet taller than me.) When I did that, she said to me “You know we can talk now.” Once she said that, I started to cry and could barely say “I can’t…” That made her tear up and she said “I’m sorry.” That’s when I woke up and discovered I had been crying in my sleep.

I can hear her speak in my dreams. I could ever since she passed on, though while she was in the hospital, I couldn’t dream of her voice or even recall it. It angers me that she spent her last three months unable to communicate or control her own body. I feel guilty that during that time, I was stressed and needed time away from the hospital when I knew damn well that she never got a break from that living Hell that was her condition. What kind of person does that make me? A pretty damn awful one. Those who left such glowing words on my FB wall for my birthday should know that. I deserve scorn, not praise. I’ll never know if I could have caught her and prevented her fall and all the suffering that came after it. I’ll never know if there was more I could have done to save her. That’s the breaks, kiddos.

I hold a belief that we keep coming back until our soul finds peace and we can finally go to our final resting place. (Heaven or whatever you would prefer to call it.) If that’s the case, then here is my birthday wish: my mother got to be reborn at the same exact time I was born 34 years ago. I want her new life to be one with (a) loving parent(s) and all the love and affection that she truly deserved in the life that just ended, but never really got. I want her to find peace and happiness and to know she’s worth it. She always has been, now Lord, let her know it.