The past six days have been a bit rough for me, personally. I have, essentially, been waiting for my Mother to die. Her health has been on the decline for about eight years now. Since she had a pretty significant stroke back in 2001, her health had been steadily going down hill. In fact, she was so bad off in 2003, the doctors did not expect her to live much past the end of that year. She did, however, get a bit better. However, other health issues came to the surface and the stroke had left her paralyzed on her right side. She has been in a nursing home since then. The facility that she has been in has taken pretty good care of her, much better than what I could have done. It has not been easy on any of us and, in some ways, I feel that we let her down by not keeping her out of such a facility. Realistically, though, there is no way we could have given her the attention or care she required.
Back in January, she ended up in a local hospital where they discovered that her kidneys were in the final stages of shutting down. Her prognosis did not look good. I remember spending inauguration day in a hospital waiting room waiting for them to finish some rather invasive tests.
Last Monday evening, she took a turn for the worse. Her kidneys have pretty much shut down now. The toxins are building up in her blood. She is eating very little now and is not able to swallow much, if anything. The hospice people tell us that it is just a matter of hours or days. They told us that last Tuesday as well.
So, we wait. We wait for her leave us. We knew these days would come, and I thought I was prepared. I realize, however, that you are never really prepared for this.
My Mother was quite a remarkable woman. I know, we all think that. But, how many women would welcome children into their homes, not knowing who they were before they came in? See, Mom was a foster parent. That is how I came into her life. I was born into foster care. She got me when I just days old. I was pretty fortunate, compared to other children who were in foster care. I was with Mom for about twelve years when she adopted me. I was lucky. Other children who came into her care were not as fortunate. Some were there just for months, others for a few years. They would be transferred out for various reasons, some because they reunited with their parents, others simply outgrew the system and a few ended up in institutions because they had medical problems or were just ‘bad’ and the state felt they would be better off in some kind of facility. That was mostly hogwash, though. I don’t remember any of them being that bad. No matter what, tough, Mom never turned them down. At one point, we must have had seven foster children. At times it was fun having all of those ‘brothers and sisters’ and, at other times, it was not so much fun. No matter what, Mom took care of us. We had little money, but always managed to make ends meet. At that is what made her such a remarkable woman.
I will miss her tremendously.