Professor Josh Fleming
27 September 2015
My mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer in November of 2008. The doctor predicted she had four months left to live and chemotherapy would not make a difference in prolonging her life. After receiving this devastating news, many questions came to mind. How do you accept something like this? Why did this happen? How will I survive without her in my life? Most importantly, what was my mother feeling? I needed answers. The events that took place during the last days of my mother’s life were difficult to deal with, although, they made me realize the more important things in life and not to take those ...view middle of the document...
Every emotion I had took control and the tears began streaming down my face. I prayed that she would be alive by the time we got there. Every hour or so my aunt would call to see where we were, how much longer, and update us on mother’s condition. The drive there felt like days instead of hours, even though we made it to our destination rather quickly, thanks to my nephew speeding most of the way.
When we finally arrived at the house, I jumped out of the car before it was stopped and ran as fast as possible to the door, flung it open, unsure of what to expect. The first person I saw when I walked in was my aunt. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying. The room was full people: my cousins, their children, a few of my mother’s friends, and my grandmother. None of them said a word, they just looked at us. As I turned to my left, I saw my mother, lying there helplessly, but still alive, her body deteriorated even more since my last visit a month ago. Her face was pale and sunk in, her mouth wide open with cracked lips from the lack of moisture, she looked as if she aged twenty years within the last month. Cancer turned my mother into a person I did not recognize, physically and emotionally. During my last visit, I asked her, “Would you like to go shopping?” This was something I knew she loved and would never decline. Needless to say, I was wrong. I made my way over to her bed, while trying to hold back the tears. I sat in the chair that had been placed alongside her bed, took hold of her bony, cold hand, held it tightly, and started talking to her. I remember from my previous visit mom’s hospice nurse told me that the last sense to go was the hearing, and talking to her would be comforting.
Later that evening, we sat around sharing stories about times spent with my mother. Good ones and not so good ones. While I sat there listening to all the stories, my tears began to fall again. At this point I felt the need to be alone with my mother, so I asked everyone to leave the room. While talking to her I reminded her that she was supposed to live well into her nineties, something she always told me and my sister when we were young. Also I apologized for all the bad things I did growing up and the agony I put her and my father through. I thanked her for loving me unconditionally, raising me the right way, and supporting me in every possible way, even if she did not agree. Then the moment I said, “It is okay you can go now,” her head quickly turned, eyes wide open, and she gave me the worst look I had ever seen before. It sent chills up and down my entire body. I yelled for my aunt to come here. She asked me, “What did you say?” When I told her she found it humorous and while laughing said, “I can see that you are not finished pissing your mother off.” I replied with, “I guess not.” In my opinion, I thought this might have been her way of telling me she was not ready to leave this world yet.