My mom passed away at this time of year in 2007. What makes the
anniversary of the loss of my best friend even more poignant is it
occurred just one day before my dad passed away in 2000. My mother
died just before my November birthday.
My mom passed away at this time of year in 2007. What makes the anniversary of the loss of my best friend even more poignant is it occurred just one day before my dad passed away in 2000. My mother died just before my November birthday.
My father was buried on my birthday.
It is especially heart-aching to lose loved ones so close to Thanksgiving. Yet one thing occurred during that devastating time for which I still remain deeply grateful.
I made so many mistakes in those last days when mom was losing her grip on reality and could no longer make decisions for herself. The hospital wanted to release her to a 24-hour care home for what they called “comfort care.”
It is another term for being so close to death, that no heroic measures are going to be taken to save you. I had already tried a care home that was recommended by more than one person, but it turned out to be a place where I witnessed neglect and a shocking lack of care that none of our loved ones should have to experience.
I will never forget what happened next when I decided I had to move her to a better facility. I had just watched my mother moaning in agony all morning and now had to sit in a car waiting until the ambulance arrived to transport her to a different care home.
I was bent over the steering wheel having a cry and saying, “Please forgive me, mom. I’m so sorry to move you again.”
I didn’t think anyone could see me – when suddenly a staff person rapped on the car window.
“Are you OK?” she asked.
I couldn’t believe it – it was the first time anyone at any of the care homes had stepped out of an all-business persona to show me sympathy. I was so overwhelmed. After she said how much she could relate to me, I told her I was OK, but needed to cry to stay composed before going through the long admitting process to admit my mom into the new home.
She told me how she cries too when doing patient rehabilitation. She said seeing all that pain can move her to tears, but she tries to keep her composure while working with them. It was so helpful for someone to show they truly cared and to extend that understanding to me when I needed it most.
Mom had ended up in the hospital after the neglect from the care home, and as I stood out in the hallway waiting for the paramedics to transfer her to a hospital gurney, I could hear her crying out in pain as they moved her.
I began crying too – when suddenly a nurse came up to me and spoke sympathetically. It was the first time a nurse had shown me personal concern since the monthlong ordeal began. She told me about her father passing away and how much she understood what I was going through.
She stood with me for the amount of time it took for my mom to be moved from the bed to the gurney and brought down the hall – which seemed like an eternity.
She waited until it was time for me to get into the elevator. It meant so much to me to not be alone while I waited. I squinted at her name tag through my tears and tried to read her name, hoping I would remember it – and thank her somehow later.
I couldn’t believe how easy it was going to be.
Her name was “Mercy.”
For more, go to GilroyDispatch.com, click on the “News” tab and click on “Teraji: Making Connections.”