Sunday, January 29, 2012

My dear, dear mother

Christmas 2011 we planned to spend with my brother and his family. They were going to drive down here from Canada, where they were moving from, and spend a few days here before heading off to Texas, where they were moving to. My dear husband was inspired differently, however, and I am very grateful. He bought us all tickets to spend Christmas in Modesto. I was opposed to it, considering it emptied out our entire savings and most of our checking account. But we went and ended up spending most days in the hospital in San Francisco. My mom found out last March (2011) that she has cirrhosis of the liver. She had been sent to UCSF to be tested to see if she was eligible for a liver transplant. A few days before Christmas, she finally "passed" all the tests and was put on the transplant list. She was going to be shipped back to Modesto on Christmas Eve and would come home for a bit on Christmas Day. She was so excited. "I just want to go home," she told me over the phone.
 Christmas Eve came and she had to stay at UCSF. She had come down with a fever and ran tests to find out why. Her platelets (that make blood clot) had dropped to almost nothing. We all went to visit her on Christmas day in the ICU. She looked horrible. Most of her body was bruised, her lips were swollen, her gums were bleeding. Every time any of us would enter her room the first thing she would say was, "I love you, dear." I was frustrated, thinking she believed it was the end. It was NOT the end as far as I was concerned. They gave her medicine to raise her platelets, but none worked. The doctors were puzzled; the medicine always worked. By Sunday the doctors pleaded with us to transfer her to a comfort care suite, where she wouldn't have to be poked and prodded every few hours and "nature could take its course" in a much more comfortable setting. I still believed God was going to heal her, jumping her platelet level up so she could get a transplant and make the whole miserable affair go away.
I spent each night with my sisters in the comfort care suite. It was horrible watching and waiting to see if she would die or not. Horrible, yet my sisters and I made some wonderful memories together. I knew that whatever would happen, it would be okay. But waiting was torture.
January 5th I watched her gasp out her last breath. Even then, I couldn't believe it. Mom was supposed to live forever, be there for me forever. Now she was gone. I couldn't call her. She wouldn't be there when I visit home or get to know my kids like I'd always imagined. I still feel like I'm in a's surreal. Through it all I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that lets me know I will see her again! That she lives still, though I can't see her. I know that when I weep I only weep for myself. My heart groans with a pain only those who have lost a parent could understand. But I know she is happy and doing important work beyond the veil; and though I miss her terribly I will see her again some day.
Until then, know that I love you, my dear, dear mother. Now, as you desired, you have truly gone home.