My name is Bruce and I am just an ordinary Christian. This post is NOT addressed to my fellow Christians. I am writing this post in the hope that someone who is not a Christian will come across it, read it and consider. This is Easter Sunday but it’s not just another day. We all […]
Hi all. I’m running out of titles for my Amy’s World posts…This one is fitting though.
I’m ok. I know many of you may be wondering, but really I’m ok. I’ve been waiting for the bottom to fall out over the loss of my mother, but it hasn’t. I’ve toyed with the idea of sharing these thoughts in my blog, but I’ve realized, when have I ever held back? And where does the healing come in if I hold back?
Ever wonder about someone in your family that has nothing? I mean, no job, no insurance, no life insurance, those kinds of things. What will come of them? Well this is where I found myself concerning my mother. She had a van but didn’t drive it. And it wasn’t in any shape to last. She rented and was on Medicare and disability. I’m not saying anything is wrong with these helps available. Don’t get me wrong.
She spoke often of a small life insurance package over the years prior to our not speaking. She would play this beneficiary game with my sister and I and others around her. Taking names on and off depending on how they were treating her. (Or so she said)
I felt bad for the man of the phone sitting in his office, typing in my mother’s info…he didn’t want to tell me that all of 30$ was left for her cremation. I was so angry to hear this. Not because I wanted any money for my pocket, but rather for the expenses it would cost.
What I’ve learned is this…having your wishes for DNR or otherwise put into place is a huge weight off your loved ones’ shoulders. Having a small policy together to cover costs of burial/cremation would really help.
It’s been 2 weeks and she has not been cremated. The mortuary where she is is nice and friendly on the phone. But there’s paperwork to be done. So they say. They helped me apply for her to be approved for a burial for the indigent. The county will pay for her cremation. My husband and I could pay, but it would take a dent out of what we have.
The advice I was given here was, this lack of life insurance was on her not you, Amy. That’s what I’m sticking with, telling myself this. So the process is slower. And I can’t demand they cremate her right this minute and ship me the ashes because it’s being done for free, so I will wait. In the waiting are some morbid thoughts, because I have this huge overactive imagination…I shove them to the side and simply say to God, I need her cremated so this can be over.
Honestly, it’s over. The fear of her showing up, the fear of her making another embarrassing phone call to start trouble is over. There is a relief that I haven’t ever felt. Not many of you can understand these words. But maybe some of you know someone who can. Do not judge them, it’s not an easy road.
My sister was close to mom. This loss has been hard on her. But for me? I’m good. I’m ok. Then I feel bad for being ok. Then it’s starts over again. Then I pray to God, I need her cremated. And so on.
Statistically, I should still be an addict, roaming around at night from bar to bar. Statistically, I should be smoking anything I can light and snorting anything I can sniff. Statistically, I should be manipulative and dishonest. Because that’s what I was shown. But ya know what? God takes the statistics and tosses them right out of the window when we surrender to Him. His will, His way.
I know the reason I had to be the one to make decisions for a woman who hurt me time and time again. The reason I had to drop everything, fly across the country and see a sight that is burned into the images of my brain when I saw her laying in that bed, hooked up to those machines. The reason is I’ll be made stronger.
How I wish I was stricken with grief over a mom who loved me unconditionally. I wish it hurt because then I’d know there was something there to miss, but there’s not. Sadly.
The one thought that remains, after I get the looping thoughts to subside, “She’s gone. There are no more chances to get it right for her.” The finality of death can be so overwhelming to us believers, can’t it? There’s no more chances to come to God. So many unbelievers, that refuse to serve God, automatically start talking about heaven and how their lost loved one is in heaven walking streets of gold and all is well. If only it were that easy, but it’s not. Coming to God, surrendering can be a very hard thing to do, but when you do it the love that fills you comes in so easily.
Back to life, back to reality…remember that song from the 90’s? LoL. Well now it’s in your head, you’re welcome.
Honestly, I’ve just simply been relaxing this week coming back from Florida. It was hard when the kids would start talking at the same time or start their bickering. I didn’t handle these moments very well. I also didn’t handle the moments with my autistic daughter who was asking questions and wanting me to make decisions for her. That was hard. Looking back over the last few days of this week, I did the best I could considering the circumstances.
I went to church last night. Many asked how I was and gave me their condolences. One woman came to ask how I was, but then continued to talk of nothing but how she was handling the death of her father. I’m a good listener, sometimes…but it was extremely hard in that moment. Thinking upon that, I think many want to help but just don’t know how. I’ve been in that position of just rambling because I don’t know what the right thing to say is.
I took school off for the week. Today is Thursday. Mom died early Monday morning. Part of me was relieved to hear of her passing because it told me I did the right thing by pulling the vent.
I had a 2 hr appointment with my counselor, which was very nice of her to take that time for me, yesterday. She advised me that not many are going to be able to understand my feelings. They cannot understand the type of grief I’m in because my grief is yet again the loss of what will never be. So I’ve decided not to explain to all of my people just what I’m dealing with. And I don’t know about you, but really, most people don’t care. They just want to live life, say they’re sorry, and go on with whatever they’re doing in their lives.
I read my mother’s diary. I did me no good. It didn’t hurt too much either. Some parts seemed staged. Weird, I know. Amy’s weird world comin’ right at ya! But honestly, she wrote as if knowing it was to be read. But other times she wrote just to write, to no audience. And in those times, I learned that she truly believed herself to be a victim. This may help me toward closure.
In the meantime, here’s some photos of what’s been going on around this weird world…
Have you ever had to be the one to sign papers that decided the course of a life? I know, I know. I helped her stop suffering, but there’s a piece of me that says, “What did you just do?” Then I remember if I hadn’t, some stranger would have had to do it after the courts decided. So she had an advocate, family to represent her.
God is so completely amazing. He showed up today in the people again! I got a good night’s sleep. Mike’s aunt and uncle left in the morning and we had the morning to cook a little breakfast, shower and do some laundry. When I travel, it’s just such a relieving feeling to do some domestic chores. Makes ya feel human I guess.
Hospice called me and I spoke with a wonderful woman named Becky. She is 68 yrs old and seemed like a woman I knew my whole life. She wanted to know the dynamics of my relationship with my mom and mom’s past history. As I told her, I could hear her tears. She tried to hide it, but I could tell she was touched by the hole I climbed out of. But rest assured I gave God the glory.
When she took my address, she told me she knew exactly where I lived because she too was born and raised in Indiana! I knew it. God again. I wonder if He chuckles each time He does this. If His voice is like roaring many waters, I wonder if a chuckle is like waves lapping at a shore. Anyways, forgive my over active imagination.
Next step was to print, sign, and email/fax the DNR and the withdrawal of life support papers. Mind you, we are at the mercy of mike’s aunt and uncle to drive us anywhere. I just didn’t know what I would do. It’s Saturday, banks were closing, library was closing and I have no way to drive myself anywhere. I didn’t want to insist. Mike’s aunt said, there’s a lady here in the community that faxed something for me. Let’s go over to her trailer.
FYI, now I see why people retire and come down to Florida. They have communities just for them. So we walked over and knocked on her door. Beautiful home right smack dab on the shore of the lake here. I explained what I needed to do and why, trying not to ball all over the place. She printed the papers and I sat in her screened in porch and went over the papers line by line. All the while I could hear that lapping of the water hitting her shore about 20ft from her back door. She took the papers and scanned them. We stood over her in her beautiful bedroom while she was emailing and taking meticulous care in her task. Her husband walked in the room. I was introduced as the niece from Indiana. He says, “Really? What part of Indiana. I tell him and he says, “Oh I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana.” I say, “That’s the airport we will fly into tomorrow.” Do you hear God chuckling again? By this time, I’m getting to place where I see I’m part of His plan, not the other way around.
Once the papers were sent back, we were taken to dinner by our hosts. We went to a huge buffet and had a nice time. During this time I was able to eat and have nice conversation. It was like a recharge. I watched the clock because I knew I’d be facing the call of hospice notifying me of the vent removal.
We drove over to a beautiful lake where the seaplanes land and take off. Just as we pulled in, I got the call. This was real and I panicked. My heart raced. I sat at a nearby picnic table as she told me they would remove it in the next 10 minutes. As she talked to me, my mind was going in and out of listening to what she said. All of that talk of doing the right thing, of honoring my mother, and easing her of suffering went out the windows of my mind. I wanted to scream NO! STOP! But I didn’t. There were people around me walking dogs and sitting on benches watching the water, all the while I’m at a table in a foreign place. I just wanted to run to my bed and curl up and have a good cry. Instead I had to end the call, get up from that table and go join my party as they patiently waited for me.
We walked to a pier and I looked at the 3 of them and said, “Am I doing the right thing?” It was a hard question to ask them and really not fair to put them in that position. But they were kind. They shared their experiences similar to mine this helped me so much. Then we went along the pier watching the planes.
We walked back to their truck. They said they’d like to take us to one other lake nearby where they recently seen an alligator. I wanted to yell NO, I NEED TO GO WALLOW IN MY GRIEF AND SADNESS. But I kept quiet. And I’m glad I did. Or I wouldn’t have this to remind me of this day. The day the little girl in me was laid to rest as the adult me would now have no chance of amends with my mother.
An image like this makes one think that maybe heaven has some fire in it too. A different fire. Like the fire you get in your belly when you are overwhelmed at the vastness of God’s love and beauty.
Getting that call at the first lake and getting to see a spectacular view as this, were not happenstance, it was a design of God’s provision.
Tonight or in the morning I will get that final call. My mom will be gone forever. All the hurt and pain will be something that happened to me then and I will be in the now of my future. There are good memories here and there of her. And I truly believe that my heart will find it’s way to a completion of forgiveness. When that soon happens, there will be a love left for her and I will continue on.
I so appreciate every one of you, from my followers who read my stuff regularly, to my church family and my mother in law who gives of herself to me daily. Here’s some pics of the things I’ve seen.
I walked in and saw her lying there. Her eyes were open and if I stood in the right spot, she was looking at me….kinda. My heart became so conflicted. Hey wait, I thought she was unresponsive! A fear came over me.
Isn’t it funny that when you strip anger away you usually find the real source of your feelings and emotions. I’ve been angry with her all of my life. When the anger was gone, there was fear. And still is.
The nurses began to explain to me what I was seeing. And before I knew it we were talking of comfort measures vs trake and feeding tube in a long term facility….all the while she’s laying right there. I wasn’t sure if she could hear me. I asked if we could step out of the room.
At this point, I had to explain the dynamics of my relationship. Here’s this daughter that just shows up out of no where. Who’s name is nowhere on her charts (mom was a frequent flyer at their hospital) I’m the youngest who shows up in tears who doesn’t know much about her mother’s health.
As I explained the past and my decision to not communicate with my mom, the caseworker starts to nod in understanding. She seems to know the woman I’m describing and the pain caused to me by her. She looks at me and says, “I know your mom all too well. She’s a master manipulator.” This statement helps at the same time it hurts.
While this is going on, her nurse looks to me in disbelief and says…I understand you. I will be in your shoes soon someday. Your mom is the very same as my mom! I will have to make this decision one day and if you can do this, it shows me I can do it. I kid you not, these were her words. Boom, there was God again! He’s showing up in the people. And it makes me feel absolutely overwhelmingly loved. He’s showing me His love trump’s all love. Even the love a mother should have for her child. His love is better than that. His love fills that hole and it overflows the empty spaces of my heart.
We found that we had many things in common. She seemed so astounded. And although she helped me today and is helping tonight as she writing up paperwork for hospice, I think I helped her too! Just by showing up today. That when her time comes, she will show up too.
As of now, I’m laying in a cozy bed at my husband’s family that stays down here in Florida. They made us a hot meal and shared their experiences of the loss of their parents. His aunt and I prayed. And once again we are in a place where God is using people to care for us. He’s just so super cool.
Things are in the air as to when the vent comes off. And there’s no time table as to how long she will last.
We have her diary and I could only read some. She mentions me in there in a lovingly way, which is surprising to me. There will be some reckoning to do in that area, but today I’ll let God just keep handling things until I’m strong enough to read it.
I’m grateful for the outlet I have to write out feelings. I’m grateful for your prayers too. Your prayers have brought these people along in the right time
We made it here. We flew 2hrs into Orlando/Sanford. When we landed we couldn’t get a car rental anywhere. We stood outside the airport with many others who were all on their phones calling all the cab services, and Uber. Each time we would get to put our info in on Uber we’d lose connection and have start all over. Right when we were about to panic a ride from Lyft came through. He was willing to drive us 2 hrs from 11pm til 130 in the morning. It is now 3:30 and although my body is exhausted from the anxiety and the travel I cannot go to sleep.
I’m laying here wondering about tomorrow. What will she look like? Will I cry? Will I be strong. And in between that I’m thinking of how cool God is. How His hand is in everything.
Our Lyft driver was a 65 year old man who was pleasent and kind. And he was a sold out for Christ christian who basically took care of us. He took us through mcdonald’s. He showed us the sights. Told us what we were seeing as we drove by. He even shared his gospel christan music that he recorded himself. I wonder if he was an angel. It was the first time in the last 3 days that I felt totally calm and was able to just relax. I was so relaxed I said, can we stop to get a bite to eat? We got him a sweet tea. We talked about all kinds of stuff from Florida animals and bugs to the bald eagle we saw on our property in Indiana.
We told him how he was an answer to prayer as we were worried just who would be willing to drive us so far. How he was answer to prayer that we would get a nice God fearing man. He said…you are an answer to my prayers, as I was praying that I would get a long trip with better pay Tonight. God is so cool ya see?
my story, my testimonies could help just one person. Is all I ask. I recently encouraged a fellow blogger who was feeling like he wasn’t getting through, connecting with others. He posted a scripture that helped me when I needed to hear it. I told him he helped, he got through to one person via the Word of God.
I’ve shared openly on this blog about my losses, my pains. I’ve shared past experiences and I’ve shared my shame-filled mistakes. I’ve done this because writing heals. It can heal others but more importantly it can heal me. My newest trial brings me back to share again
I live in Indiana, this time tomorrow I’ll be in Florida. My mother is unresponsive and on a ventilator. She suffered a heart attack on this past Friday and the drs are sure that her brain was deprived of oxygen leading her to brain death.
I have not spoken to my mother in about 4 years. I have not seen her in about 8 years. She was a very toxic, harmful person with her actions and the choices she made. In her younger years before her health took it’s nasty toll, she would call and say she swallow ed a bunch of pills. Most of the time she did, but I have to think the amount was less than what she described.
Many nights in my 20’s and 30’s I had times that I would go to bed wondering if it was her last day on Earth. The most infuriating part of this is that when she would finally answer the phone, she would blow it off. She once wouldn’t answer my calls the next morning after she had said she overdosed, but when I called and blocked my number, she answered. That was the last time I allowed her to do that to me. There was another time where we waited all night, my sister and I, and come morning we went to where she was staying and banged on the doors and windows. I remember the feeling of fear of just what would we find. What we found was her passed out from too much alcohol and drugs. She looked at us in bewilderment and then she answered in an irritated manner that she was ok and to let her sleep.
I grew up on deathwatch concerning her. I could never go into great detail before because I ran the risk of her reading my blog.
I don’t know what compels me to go see her before she dies. Or what compels me to cry and mourn as I have these past few days. I mourned her years ago. And I always figure when this time came…I’d be ok. But I’m not. It hurts.
Where the helping others comes in…
The answer to what compels me to see her is that the Bible says to honor thy mother and father that your days may be long. I am going to show up there to honor her. I know this to be the right thing to do because my daily bible reading took me right to the 10 commandments.
This time there’s no longer crying wolf. She can no longer hurt me. And I now have the chance to say whatever I wanted to say all these years without any hurtful responses or retaliations from her.
If I can walk into that room on Friday morning, then you my dear reader, are capable of doing what scares you the most. The strength comes from God. For without Him I would cower away from seeing her. Without Him, I wouldn’t be brave enough to go in there and demand the closure I need.
The strength to do this comes from God. Please keep my husband and me in your prayers. This is unchartered waters for us. I will try to write what happens as I go, if Im able