...because it really isn't "goodbye".
My sweet mom went home on June 12th.
We were blessed with nine and a half years with her after her initial diagnosis of Stage IV Ovarian Cancer. Last November we were given some very bad news about treatment options after all this time. There really weren't a lot left. She fought on with chemo and radiation right up until the end.
Her spirit was stronger than her body though and this last round of double-dose chemo was too much and she started developing complications.
Memorial Day weekend she was admitted to the hospital and we really didn't think she would come home. My sister and I took turns staying nights at the hospital with her to help her get the immediate help she needed during the day or at night. Oncology floors are busy, busy places. Sadly. She asked to have her family from all over the country come and visit those four days. Thankfully, they did. Her hospital room was rarely empty. I'm so glad family from near and far were able to come and spend that time with her. Her spirits and her blood counts rose and we were told she was well enough to go home and there would be no more treatments.
She chose to pass her last few weeks at home on Hospice. My sister and I packed out bags and moved into our parents' home to care for her one last time. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. We took shifts caring for her. Switched our sleep schedules around so we shared the night shift. Ate whatever people put in front of us, learned to give baths and change sheets with a person in a hospital bed. How to give her all the medicines she needed. We held her hand and talked to her when she was agitated or in pain until she quieted down and rested again.
There were times I was so tired, I just wanted to go home. See my children. Sleep in my bed. Take my walks.
But, I'm so thankful she asked us to do this for her. What a blessing to look back and have all the memories with her. Some nights I slept in her bed with her to make sure her oxygen tube stayed in, get her medicines, help her walk to the bathroom or just make sure she didn't try to get up at night by herself. Listening to her breathing and making sure she had what she needed to be comfortable. It was like all those times she watched over us as children were coming around full circle and we were watching over her. Loving her and wanting her to know we were there when she needed us.
Many of you have read about her treatment here on my blog. Many, many of you prayed for her.
What an awesome peace to know I will see her again. Whole. Healed. Joyful.