I know that everyone goes through this, I know that this is just the first of many people close to me that I'm going to lose. And I know that it's the way it's supposed to be - my mother could tell you all about how wrong it is to bury a child.
But I can't help but ennumerate the loss. I wanted to spend my 50th birthday with her. I wanted to celebrate my 20th anniversary with her. Charlotte's 10th birthday. All those milestones are just around the corner. My stepdaughter is getting married in November - it would have been the first grandchild's wedding she could attend (my nephew got married in Ireland.) I'm going to do the art for her invitations, and now I can't show mom the sketches.
Who am I going to show pictures of projects on the house? When I finally get the damn living room curtains back up, I can't send her pictures - she's been sending me ideas ever since they came down a year and a bit ago.
She loved my pictures from Pennsic.
All these things are things that I shared with my mother. We would settle in on her bed, and I'd show/tell her what I was working on.
So the last we spoke was Sunday. I went down on Monday and sat with Dad. Monday was a bad day. She was agitated for most of the day, but not present. Dad had doctor's appointments of his own, so he left for those. After he left, I ended up calling the nurse, and they gave her... something, that seemed to make her more peaceful. At one point she'd clearly said "Kris!" in that tone that means "get over here now," but there was nothing coherent after my name. Dad decided to go home after his appointment, so I headed home.
Tuesday was more complicated. My nephew had broken loose her original birth certificate, and it was being overnighted to the house. So I went down to hang out at the house and wait for it. She'd been working to get that birth certificate for years. It came four days too late. I received it, and headed over to the hospital. My brother came back down. Also, because the universe just hates me, Bob had to take his dad to an emergency eye appointment (everything ended up okay on that end.) Because of that, I had to get out of the hospital no later than 3:00 so that I could pick Charlotte up. I gave her a kiss, told her I love her, and headed to school.
Wednesday I had an appointment in the afternoon, and was just exhausted. So I stayed home. Didn't manage to accomplish anything though. Dad went to the hospital for a while, and it turned out to be her last day. She passed this morning sometime around 4:00am
It's a kindness. I can now say with authority that lung cancer is a horrible way to die. As it grows in the lungs, it prevents oxygen from being absorbed. So you suffocate. To death. Slowly. The "solution" is morphine, which quiets the breathing center - the part of your brain that senses that you're suffocating and makes you gasp and struggle to breathe gets... put to sleep. But of course, so does the rest of your brain. So you don't eat or drink either. So it's just a matter of waiting to see if they die from lack of hydration, lack of nutrition, or lack of oxygen. Apparently some people last weeks like that. Drugged, insensate, struggling to breathe. Four days isn't so bad by comparison.
I'm not going to tell Charlotte until tomorrow. She's at chess club right now, and she has school tomorrow. I'll tell her tomorrow when she gets home. Then she'll have her sister here, and Coronation on Saturday to cushion it.
I'm not sure what's supposed to cushion it for me. Time? What girl ever stops wanting her mother?