... I was laying in my warm bed when I was awakened at 5AM to the sound of a ringing telephone. I rolled my morning sick belly over to answer.
“Your mom is sick. We are sending her in an ambulance to the hospital. Her vital signs are low. She has an infection of some sort…” It was a call from her care center.
I grabbed the quickest food I could find, a bag of sugar snap peas… my latest craving. I found my mom on a gurney in the Emergency Room lobby, with an EMT at her side. “Her vitals are low,” he said.
I didn’t know what to say.
I didn’t really know.
Doctors and nurses came in. EKG. Blood draw. Vitals checked.
Her blood pressure was alarmingly low.
I heard the doctor say something about making her comfortable but I still didn’t get it.
I wanted to throw up. I felt like lying down.
While the nurses attended to some personal matters for my mom, I left the room to give her some privacy.
I called my brother in Utah, “Please come right now! I can’t do this alone.”
I called my 9 month pregnant sister. “Mom is sick, it doesn’t look good.”
But I didn’t get it.
I called my other siblings, said mom was back in the hospital. I would keep them posted.
I sat by mom a while. I ate my sugar snap peas, trying to ignore my morning sickness. It didn’t work. Mom was in good spirits. She kept making jokes. The morphine was kicking in and mom was beginning to relax.
It was after lunch time now. I was sick with pregnancy from not eating much and so tired. The nurse told me mom would sleep a while and to go home and get some rest. My mom said I should too.
So I did, because I didn't get it.
When I arrived at the hospital there was a nurse and someone else in the room. She turned out to be a grief counselor of sorts.
“Your mom stopped breathing almost 15 minutes ago. Her heart is still beating. She must have been waiting for you.”
I didn’t know what to do. I could only think to call my brother. He was in the airport, on the way here. I went back to my mom. Watching the vitals monitor track her weakening heart beat.
I could only think to call my sister.
I didn’t get it.
Finally, it occurred to me I needed to get off the phone.
I held my mom’s hand and told her I loved her.
Her heart stopped beating and I finally got it.
Five and a half short months after the passing of my daddy, my mom went to join him.
Four days later, my pregnant sister gave birth to a gorgeous baby on the day of my mom’s funeral. And I was blessed with a little girl from my pregnancy, just like my mom had guessed.