Thursday, November 8, 2012

October - It Could Have Been Worse Or Could It?

This posting is a bit overdue, but I had to collect some thoughts and it really has nothing to do with computer repair, but more on a personal level.
When I see people comment on Facebook about something, one thing I hate to see is when someone will write, "Well, it could have been worse."  Since I'm pretty much a "Glass Half Full" kind of guy, I tend to reply, "It could have been better."
If you know me or my family at all, you may have known that my mom, Sandy, took a spill at her apartment in August and We/I had to make a decision that would affect the rest of her life, the nursing home option.  Mom was all for it, so we went forward and she resided in the nursing home.  She loved the food and the nursing staff.  It could have been worse.
One day she said, "Pat, I want you to call Hospice."  Now, no one calls Hopsice for a common cold, but I told her she didn't need them.  The next day, Hospice calls and said that my mom called them herself and told them she was dying.  A week later, Mom was on Oxygen and two weeks later, I told her "goodbye."  It could have been worse.
Mom passed away on October 23rd.  It, also, could have been worse.
Mom suffered with Multiple Sclerosis for 36 years and she fought hard til the very end.  On October 20th, I felt that I had talked to Mom for the very last time and it was awkward.  She was having communication issues and some mental connectivity issues.  I was saddened as they also told me she wouldn't make the weekend.
I thought to myself, "It couldn't be worse" but actually, it got better. 
Mom being stubborn and a fighter went from Friday until Tuesday with basically no food or water, as her swallowing had shut down and her breathing was rapid.  I was going there twice a day to sit with her and there was no response, BUT, the TV was on every time I got there.  Mom loved TV. I asked the aide, why the TV was always on after I shut it off and she told me that Mom asked for the TV to be on.... Very strange, as I thought she couldn't talk or communicate.
Finally, on Monday night I was there and they were going to reposition Mom, so I left the room for a bit.  When I walked back in they said, "Sandy, Pat's here!"  I could tell she was trying to talk and I put my ear down to her mouth and she said, "I love you so very much."  I was stunned.  She kept trying to talk, but the words wouldn't come out, so it was my turn to talk to her, like I'd never talked to her before.  I told HER it was time to quit fighting.  I said, "Mom it's time you listen to me, I love you and it's OK to let go.  You have fought enough."  She shook her head "Yes." It could have been worse. 
She passed away the next day just before noon.  I wasn't there, as there was no need for me to be.  We had said goodbye, we completed our tasks, we had both said what we needed to say.  It could have been worse.
Here's how it could have been worse on all points:
1. Mom could have fallen, hit her head worse, died on the spot.
2. She could have lingered for years in some sort of coma or vegetative state.
3. She could have not spoken to me for the very last time telling me that she loved me.
4. She could have not heard the words I said to her.
5. She could have died a painful death without the help of Hospice and the great staff at the care center.
But it was better.  Mom is no longer suffering, our family is no longer worried about that next fall, or next accident, or if Mom is hurting.  Am I selfish over this?  You damned right I am.  Mom wasn't the only one to live with MS for 36 years, we all did, and it was terrible.  I thank my wife Becky for hanging in with me our fight as well.
BUT the biggest lesson I learned.  Don't let words, "I Love You" be a deathbed confession, whether you are the one who is sick and dying or the one who is the person left behind.  Even though we BOTH loved each other very much, I can't remember the time I had heard Mom tell me that OR the last time I said it to her.
Again, for those of you who read this, sent a card, or sent memorial money -- THANK YOU.