I started talking about what was going on with my mother’s health and how she suffered a brain aneurysm on Valentine’s Day this last month here in this post. You can read a little more about my thoughts in this post too. I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to everyone who posted on my Facebook, Instagram, and here on the site how you are praying for this beautiful light and her recovery. I’m still processing the incredible love I have received in almost 3 weeks, even from those of you I have never met. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Yesterday we all sat together as a family and spoke with the Neuro doctor that was overseeing my mother’s fight in the ICU. It was news that we all saw coming but left room for hope for some sort of miracle to fall from heaven. My mother suffered a severe stroke after the first week of being at the ICU (something that we knew was a possibility of happening with such trauma to her brain) that would leave her permanently disabled and completely dependent upon someone to take care of her for the rest of her life. We all cried because we knew that the inevitable had presented its face to us in that moment. My mother is strong, independent, proud, and a life force to be reckoned with; she would NEVER want this for her life. One of the things we would laugh together about when we were growing up and into our adult lives is how she would tell me and my siblings to never put her in a home. At the time, we would roll our eyes, “Yeah, yeah, mom, we get it” as she would burst out into laughter, hugging us and repeating herself with that infectious joyful voice, “Just don’t put me in a home!” What a gift those words became yesterday as we were faced with the horrible option of sustaining her life without the quality of independence and joy that she demanded on a daily basis or take her home to the hospital she dedicated her life to here in Indiana and administer hospice care for her. It wasn’t even something we had to think twice about, we knew what she would have wanted. She told us everyday day up until this fated incidence.
So here I sit, next to the bedside of my dying mother. The snow falls softly and peacefully outside the window that her faces. She favors her left side now due to the stroke hitting the left side of her brain. She has lost most movement on her right side, though the left isn’t much better, and her gaze tends to also favor the left. I find myself staring at the details of her body because I know that in a matter of time, I’m never going to be able to hold her hand again and feel her fingernails on my skin. I love touching her neck and see the years of where the sun has hit it, leaving it a little leathery but still smooth (Mary Kay was, after all, her skin regime for the past 20 years); the aging spots that have taken residence on her arms over the years; the spider veins that decorate her legs, the bit droopy earlobes that occupied earrings to match every stylish outfit she wore; her eyes, though now seemingly lifeless–those deep bluish grey eyes with long eyelashes. I will miss all of it but right now I am just relying on my memory to store all of this as much as possible so when I won’t be sitting here any longer, I will remember it for as long as I possibly can. What I will never forget is how deeply I knew I was loved by my mother.
- 1 rice cake
- shredded carrots, for the beard
- tip of baby carrot, for the nose
- green bell pepper, for the hat
- red bell pepper slice, for the hat buckle
- yellow bell pepper slice, for the hat buckle
- sliced black olives, for the eyebrows
- 2 black peppercorns, for the eyes
- Slather the hummus on the rice cake.
- Assemble the remainder of the ingredients for the leprechaun face as pictured above.
And now I hold her hand tightly, touch her face, as she is reminded how deeply loved she is by all of us, and pray for this process to go as peacefully as possible.