My dear sweet Mama would have been 89 years old today.
I received a call from my sister on the 10th of August that Mama had been rushed to the ER. With the dementia, she had forgotten how to swallow and her food was going into her lungs, not her stomach, and she had turned grey. I decided to drive to Arkansas on the 13th so I could be with her. Mama was on IV antibiotics to try to reduce the infection and it helped a bit but was a futile effort. On the 15th of August they put Mama in hospice care and on morphine. It was an incredibly sad time. She lasted four days and died around 5:45 Friday morning, 19 August. She was pronounced dead at 5:59 a.m. She had a really bad night on Wednesday night when I spent the night with her. They had her on a morphine pump that you could press when she was under stress, so I pressed it almost every 15 minutes, but it didn't seem to relieve her pain. They also gave her Ataban shots periodically when she was in too much pain. She moaned from 11:30 to 1:30 a.m. when they gave her the first Ataban shot and it took abut 30 minutes to help her. She almost stopped breathing with that shot, then caught her breath and her heart beat became regular again. The shot only lasted two hours and by 4 a.m. she was moaning again and they gave her a second Ataban shot. She had a rough Thursday as well, so I went to my sister's house, had a shower, drove around for a while so I could think about everything that was happening, cried a lot and just spent some time alone to work through the pain. When I went back to the hospital around 3:00 p.m., she was still in a lot of pain and they told us that she wouldn't last much longer. Her youngest daughter returned home from a mission trip to Brazil Thursay morning and came straight to the hospital, and her second youngest daughter came as well and that was the last of her ten children to see her. I think she was ready to go once she had "heard" from all of her ten kids! My brother and his wife and I stayed with Mama Thursday night. I just couldn't leave. I felt in my heart that she wouldn't make it through the night. Buddy and I talked about the old days and things that went on in our childhood, laughed, cried and shared. Around 4:30 in the morning, Mama's breathing was irregular, she spit up, and I knew it wouldn't be much longer. About an hour and fifteen minutes later she breathed her last breath around 5:45.
Earlier on Thursday while I was driving around in the afternoon Buddy told me that Mama looked directly at the window as if she was looking at someone. We think she may have been looking at her family that were waiting for her on the other side. Several times before mama passed as I was holding her hand she stared right into my eyes. Mama's eyes were not focused on me, but she stared right at me.
Death is a blessing and a sadness. I know Mama is with her baby that died in infancy, and her Mama, and her grandmother that raised her, her brother T.J. that died in World War II and her Aunt Hattie. I think Mama is happier right now than she has been in a long time.
If you're reading this, please consider pre-planning your funeral. Mama did and she was very proud to have that accomplished before she became ill. There is a lot involved and it takes time and money to get it done, but we all need to do that.
God Bless us All!
In everything, give thanks,