Wednesday, 2007.08.01, 1:23 AM CST.
have terrible news.
6:46 PM CST Monday evening, the best friend that I ever had (taking
my entire lifetime into consideration) left this world and moved
on to be with Jesus Christ in the next one.
mother has died, following a little under over two weeks of hospitalization.
was originally admitted to her hometown hospital on Saturday,
July 21st, suffering from breathing
was then moved to a larger Tulsa hospital on Wednesday, July
25th, as her
had gotten worse: Her lungs had stopped correctly processing
oxygen into carbon dioxide, and her blood was filling up with
the latter. Since her admission there, we endured four
different points at which we believed the end was going to be
immediate, but she pulled through. At first, she was determined
to survive in order to spend more time with X; as she said from
her bed, "I've got
a grandbaby to take care of!" However, later on, during
one of the darker moments there, she admitted that what she was
through was indeed "a hard row to hoe." She fought
all she could for almost two weeks in that hospital room, but
she was just too weak.
was always there for me, ready to help me emotionally or even financially
if I needed it. When
I was younger and didn't have many friends at school, she filled
that void. She supported
hobby I had, no matter how goofy they were in retrospect. She
would sit down and play Atari games with me for hours. She even
helped me start my own DJ business because, as she told me a few
ago, I "needed it." (After I worked with Mirage Productions
and DJ Dave decided to move away, Mum saw that DJing
would draw me out of my shell, as I had always been fairly introverted
without many social skills.)
was the biggest influence on my mental and creative development
when I was a kid. She did everything she could and made enormous
personal sacrifices in
her life just so that I, her only child, could be
happy and have a better life. I'll admit that
behind the wacky "Badger" persona that I have portrayed online/at
open mic night/etc., underneath it all, I was really a big "Mama's
boy." I loved her dearly and would have done anything in the world
to help her.
is going to be excessively difficult without her around. Before she
went into the hospital, I tried to
never let two
days go by without talking to her on the phone at least once, and when
she was in the hospital, there wasn't a day that went by during which
I didn't visit her at least twice. I tried to never, ever leave her
hospital room without telling her "I love you" right before
I walked out, so that if anything suddenly happened, that would have
been the last thing she heard from me.
she lay there in the intensive care unit, usually with the BiPap® machine forcing her to breathe, she talked with
me about a number of things over the last 12 days. We watched TV and
movies together from her bed, we talked about precious memories, and
we made morbid jokes just like we always did. The night before she
passed away, we got to talk about the beauty of the sunset that we
could clearly see through her window. We both knew that it was
the last sunset we would ever share together.
the days immediately following her admission, Mum showed some positive
progress, but her health then
began to decline
more and more over time. Essentially, after over 50 years of
smoking, her lungs' oxygen receptors had been blown out, and over time,
had been having more and more breathing problems. Eventually,
her system couldn't process the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide
anymore. In the hospital, there were a few points at
which they tried letting her freely breathe regular oxygen, and on
rare occasions during the
beginning of her stay it actually would work for a while. During
the latter days, though, she was no longer able to do that, and the
basically served to keep her alive. It became evident to everyone,
including herself, that her time had come, and that her body was simply
giving out. Even with the BiPap®, she would only be able
to linger on that bed for a while longer, suffering away and being
able to talk
less and less as the days went on.
morning, by her own decision (and with my full support), the staff
began to administer morphine to
her system. We
it would take away the pain, but also realized the side effect for
people in her situation: It would most likely cause the death process
to be hastened. It was a choice between possibly living for a
while in agonizing pain, or possibly living for a shorter while in
peace and comfort. I think she made the right decision. Keeping
the inevitability of her death in consideration, I was shocked but
relieved when the phone call came from the hospital yesterday evening. She
had stopped "pulling" from the BiPap®, and thus
it would no longer work. So, the staff had removed the BiPap® so
that Mum could go ahead and finish the death process in peace. I
ran up to the hospital, and very shortly after that, her nurse informed
me that my mother had passed away.
our last real conversation Monday morning, shortly before the respiratory
therapist came in to deliver the first shot
of morphine via nebulizer, my mum forced herself to utter these words
of comfort to me:
all be okay.
I won't hurt no more...
I sure love you all."
(Note: I don't know why she used a double negative, as
she would usually have avoided such grammatical errors during her better
cannot properly express in words the coldness and emptiness that
I feel inside. She meant the world to me, and it is difficult
to comprehend a world without her. I continue to experience crying
spells at random times, but as time goes by I know that I will grow
more at peace with this. As the tired cliché goes, "She's
in a better place." She's in Heaven now with God, Jesus, Grandpa,
Mr. Hayes, and countless other family members and friends who have
passed on before her. She will be safe, happy, and out of pain.
have any faith at all, please pray for the peace and comfort of
especially my dad. He's an
old, confused man with many more medical issues than Mum ever had,
and it will be incredibly difficult
for him to go on without her (though Lanna and I are prepared to help
him as much as we can).
of the most amusing memories I can pull from this entire ordeal,
one of the numerous horrible nights when
we mistakenly thought
she was just about to pass away, I asked Mum what she would like to
have on her tombstone. She paused for a moment (while I sat there
expecting her to say something like "pepperoni"). Then,
waved her hand quickly in front of her as if envisioning the text,
and happily exclaimed
from behind her mask, "SO LONG!" It was cute, and it made
me chuckle. I asked her if she really wanted that on the tombstone,
and she confirmed that she did. Hence, at the bottom of her tombstone,
it will actually be inscribed... "So long!"
will be genuinely, genuinely missed, and I love you very, very much.