Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Your not in Kansas anymore

30,000 feet above the earth and I realize that I don't know my mom's favorite song.

The call came to tell me that my mom had been hurt bad in a car wreck. She was thrown from the car and then it rolled on top of her. Not good. That night she was given a 50/50 chance to come out of it. Later that night they were asking me about DNR. I said that she wouldn't want to live off of a machine if it came down to it. They said that she wasn't doing good. I told them that I would be on my way to Kansas in the morning. I went to sleep at about 4AM and then got up at 7AM when my cousin Sara called and told me that she would front me money for the ticket if I needed it. I then woke Mrs. H. up and we ordered my ticket online. She then took me to the airport. She is my rock.

My fear for the flight was that I wouldn't make it there if she were to die. I do love to fly though. I sat in a window seat on the way to Dallas and one on the way to Witchita. I listened to my ipod on the way. That's when I started thinking about the song My Guitar Gently Weeps, it's one of my dad's favorite songs, but what is my mom's favorite? I started to get teary eyed as I looked out the window and listened to Bad Day by James Blunt. Towards the end of the flight to Dallas I spoke to the woman sitting next to me. We talked about my mom, Thanksgiving, and other little things. In Dallas I called the hospital and they said that my mom was the same as she had been. Although, they had to cut into her swollen leg to releave the pressure. It wasn't until later that I found out that they were thinking of amputating it. I spoke to Mrs. H. and then I ate some food and waited for the flight to board for Witchita. On the way to Witchita the captain was a little funny with his announcements, "I'm Bob Johnson, and I approve of this message." Then in the middle of the flight we were flying between the clouds. It was so beautiful. Clouds above, clouds below, and us in between. That's when I thought about my mom. She was going through the same thing in a way. A life or death struggle with her in between. Hopefully it was as beautiful as that.

I landed in Witchita and grabbed a cab to the hospital. At the hospital I met Jeff, my mom's husband, and we went to the room.

It was surgical ICU, so we had to get buzzed in. Then I went to her room and saw her swollen face and body. I leaned down to tell her I was there, and I started to lose it. The nurse came in and asked me if I had any questions. I asked, "Is she in any pain?" I started to get teary eyed. She said that we would see a grimace on her face if she were. I then started to say, "Well that's good.", but all that came out was, "Well....." Then I really lost it. I hadn't cried at all other than about 2 seconds while talking to my father. I grabbed the nurse and cried so hard and held her so tight. She consoled me, patted me on the back, and told me that it would be alright. Then I was better, as soon as it started, it stopped. The nurse had told me that the Doctor would be in a little bit to answer any questions that I might have. The nurse left and it was just me and mom. I leaned down to talk close to her ear to make sure that she could hear me. I started to tell her that I made it and that everyone loved her. I named off everyone and appologized for not making it there under better circumstances. As I was talking to her I realized that her eyes were watering. I don't know if they were tears or just involuntary tears, but I would guess that they were tears. That made me very sad. I told her that this was the hardest thing that I had ever done and I didn't know if I could do it. I wanted her to understand me, so I would cry with clenched teeth as I spoke. Otherwise it would have been high pitched and incoherent. I told her to fight as hard as she could, but if she was tired of fighting then she could stop. I told her that we would all understand if she was tired of fighting. Then I reminded her of the funny things that happened to us. One was were her and I were staying at a Ramada Inn and we started wrestling on the bed. Well, we fell off the bed and we were being loud and laughing, then the next thing we know the maid walks out of the bathroom. She had came in to give us new towels and we hadn't heard her until she left. We laughed about that one for awhile. The other one was something silly that I remembered but didn't know if she did. There was an episode of Silver Spoons were Ricky Schroeder wants to be cool. He changes the way he dressed, he hung out with the cool kids, and he ALMOST dined and dashed. Anyway I had flipped my collar up and then walked into the kitchen with some sunglasses on. I then made the glasses flip up and down as I said a line from the show. She started laughing and asked what I was doing. That was just something that has always stuck in my head.

Her blood pressure was low and her kidneys were starting to fail. Her blood pressure kept fluctuating. It was going from 70 to 80 over 50. It's supposed to be 120 over 80. I kept talking to her as much as I could. Telling her everything. Playing Superman with Rylee, her moving back to Phoenix, and everyone loving her. The doctor then came and took me to the consult room to answer any questions that I may have. I asked her what had happened and what was happening. She explained to me about her hip and the hole that was in her diaphram. She had had surgery on those. The doctor said that all her organs had been tramatized and that there wasn't enough blood pressure to make everything work properly. Plus her blood wasn't clotting. They had already given her 14 units of blood. Also her urine output was very little. I told the doctor that I had asked the nurse if my mom was in any pain. Then I lost it again. The doctor said that she agreed with the nurse that there wasn't any pain. That was very good.

Then I went to make some phone calls. When I got back there hadn't been much of a change. Shortly after I got there from the airport, Jeff and his mom went to the bar down the street. Jeff needed to cry and drink. That was fine with me because I wanted my alone time with my mother. During the call to my father who was taking this very hard also (he'd known her since 1964). I asked my dad if he knew what mom's favorite song was. He said that he knew it, because she played it at the bar over and over again. He couldn't think of the name of it. I said is it by Tracey Chapman? He said that he believed it was. Then all I could think of was, "give me one reason to stay here." Dad said yes, that's it. It turned out that I did know her favorite song. Dad said maybe you can play it on your ipod for her. I explained to him that I didn't have that song.

Then I went back in to see mom. I whispered in her ear and tried to make her squeeze my hand. She didn't. I then took a picture of her. I then told her that I had some cute video of Rylee. She wasn't able to see them of course but she could hear them. I played Rylee in the bathtub swimming and laughing. I played one where she is wearing goggles and when I ask her to say something she says, "Poopy poop poop." Isn't that cute? Sorry it was so loud. I then told her that she needed to get better so she could come and see Rylee. Once again I appologized to her for not coming sooner. I cried alot. I was holding her hand and I felt something wet on my knuckles. I lifted the blanket a little and she was bleeding through her gown on her right side. I asked the nurse to help. She looked and said that the tube in her stomach was leaking. She put a new pad on there and changed mom's gown. I continued talking and holding her hand.

I made some more phone calls and then Jeff came back. We talked in the waiting room for awhile and then he went back down stairs to have some more beer in the car. He brought me some hot wings and then he went to see mom. A little bit later he came back in and told me that they wanted to talk to us. We went back to mom's room and that's when Jeff said that they want to unhook her from the tubes. He said, "She's dying." I said okay. Just trying to calm him down while I kept in eye on her blood pressure. He then turned to the doctor and said, "It's unanimous. You can stop." The doctor said, "Well...." Jeff said, "No bullshit, she's dying, and you've done all you can." She said, "We are going to give her 2 more units of blood and see if there's a change. I said, "Ok." Jeff said again, "She's dying Phillip." I said, "Maybe, let's see."

They hooked up 2 more units of blood. I just kept watching the monitor and my mother. Jeff went and sat down, because he almost fell down he was so tired. I then was holding her left hand during the first unit and again I felt something wet. I looked and there was a big blood spot. I told the doctor and she looked at it. She said that it was where they had cut her leg to releave the swelling. The doctor said that it was leaking. It was a couple of small veins or something that she couldn't really find easily. They put the second unit of blood up. By this time I had already moved to her right side. I leaned down and said, "Mom, you really need to fight. This is the last one, and they aren't going to put up anymore. If you're going to fight, do it now. PLLLLLEEEEEAAAAASSSSSEEEEE." That's when I saw the tears in her eyes again. I said, "If you can't I understand. I would really like it if you did come out of this. You or God need to show us a miracle right now. You need to get better so that you can come to Phoenix and see Rylee. She's so cute, she has me play Superman with her. I got her into Superman, I love that so much. She makes me so happy, and I want to be that happy every day." All during this I am crying uncontrollably and talking through gritted teeth. Then I couldn't breath. Shortly after this the last unit of blood was empty. Then I asked the doctor how they do this thing. She said, "It's called comfort care. We take everything out of her except for one I.V. and we give her pain medication through it. Then we let her go with no machines." I said, "Well how long, after you take the stuff off, will she last?" The nurse said, "It's hard to say. Some suprise us and last 30 minutes, and some are shorter." I said ok. Just then Jeff's mom came in and said that I had a call from my dad. "Oh great, he's not going to want to hear this.", I said as I went running to the waiting room. When I got on the phone I said, "You must be psychic." "Why?", he asked. "We are going to unhook her from the machines, they've done all they can do. There going to put her on comfort care." I explained what comfort care was and he started crying uncontrollably. I said, "I'm sorry." He said, "I was just calling to tell you to tell her that I love her." I said, "I already did that like 4 times." He was a little happier, "Oh good." Then he started to cry again. I appologized and told him that I had to go spend as much time with her as I could. Then we hung up.

I went back in and told her that everybody loved her. The chaplin came in and we prayed. After that I unloaded everything that I was holding in or thought that mom was upset about. I told her that I was sorry that I didn't appreciate her until it was too late. That I'm sorry that I didn't come out her sooner. Plus whatever else may have came out me at that time. Then Jeff went in and talked to her. He never went back in.

The respritory technician came in and took the tube out. I waited outside while he did that. Then I came in and held her hand. The chaplin prayed and the technician put his hand on my shoulder and prayed with us. I then leaned down and cried as I said, "I hope that you forgive us for this. I love you. You'll be in heaven now with Grandma and Grandpa." Then I cried some more. I leaned down to tell her to go in peace. As my ear passed by her lips, she gave one last exhale. The doctor said, "There she goes." The doctor then checked her pulse with the stethoscope and pronounced her dead at 3:19AM Tuesday November 28th. The day Superman Returns was released.


Now I'm stuck her in my mom's house with my step dad. Strange people that I don't know come to tell me what a great person my mother was. That just tears me up. I start to cry everytime I hear that. I'm trying to be strong for Jeff. I am trying to make sure that he gets the help he needs. Mom did everything for him and he has no idea about certain protocals. I spoke with the funeral director today and gave him all the information that he needed for the obituary. Now, I'm trying to think of where in Phoenix I'll have the memorial service. I also need to write something nice for it. Plus Jeff is asking me what I want of hers. The worst thing is that her friend said that she said if anything were to happen to her, check her jewlery box with a fake bottom. There will be a note in there telling what her wishes are. I am looking. Everything in the house reminds me of my mother. Her nick nacks. Jeff wants to give me this computer. He says that he will send it to me. Mom will be cremated Wedesday night. I think that's all. I will write more later. I am going to bed.

I love you all. Thanks for you thoughts and prayers.


Mrs. H said...

I love you so much and I am so sorry that I can only be there for you by phone. You will be home soon and get lots of big hugs from me and Rylee. Hell, you may even get a hug out of Dave. We love you!

LoveTheDivaPrincess said...

Phillip, I am in tears reading this because I wish I could be there to hug you and help take away some of your pain. Nothing will ever replace your mom, but her spirit will always be with you. Cherish the memories, feel what you need to feel and remember there are a lot of people here in Phoenix that cannot wait to have you here to help console, hug and love you. You are part of a very "special" family out here and every one of us is here for you. Todd said he is so sorry that you have to go through this loss, he as well as Dave know (unfortunately) the pain of losing a parent. Use those people who know what you are going through. We are here for you. Kenny drew a picture for you when I told him. He said he was sad for Uncle Phillip and asked me when we could come see you. So you are special to a lot of people, you touch peoples lives with your caring ways and love. It is our turn now to give that back. I love you!

MOVIEMAN said...

Thank you very much. That makes me feel so good. Tonight I went to the bar mom worked at and the bar that she hung out in. They both said that she was a very caring person. A woman said that if I'm half the person my mom is then I'm a very good person. I cried alot tonight. Strangers telling my mom was very special. They were her friends. She touched so many peoples lives. Thanks everyone. I love you guys. Thanks Kenny, that's sweet. I can't wait for the hugs from Rylee and the picture from Kenny.

Anonymous said...


I took a chance to see what you were up to and I never expected this. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. If there is anything I can do please let me know.

I love you man. Take care.

Dave M.

Dakini said...

I can't wait to hug you. I know we talked about all of this, but I still needed to read it. My heart aches to be close to you. Diva's right though, 100 percent. I love you!