This post was written Friday, August 5th, 2016, hence the title "Two Weeks".
Today I drove north on I-65 after a brief visit with my Dad, and as I drove, I couldn't help thinking of the same drive north I took two weeks ago today, after a brief visit with both of my parents. Two weeks ago, I was driving north on I-65 not knowing that I just finished seeing my mom for the last time.
My mom lost her battle to cancer on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 surrounded by as many family and friends you could fit into one hospital room.
Two weeks ago, life was normal. I drove to Atmore on Thursday at lunch to spend the night and spend some time with my parents. I went to the grocery store for my mom, I brought nail polish to give her a pedicure, but she laughingly told me she would rather I mopped her floors. So that's what I did.
When I got home two weeks ago on Friday, I met Derek and a friend at our in-laws for an afternoon of shooting clay birds. Derek and I went out to eat wings afterward where we ate too much and stayed out too late, being that I had to work in the morning.
My dad called my cell phone at 3:30 Saturday morning telling me the ambulance had just pulled out of the driveway to take my mom to the hospital. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't even walk to the car. As I was listening to my dad explain the situation, all I kept thinking was "None of this makes sense, I just left, I just saw her. She was fine when I left. She was fine when I left."
About an hour later, I called back for an update and my dad let me speak to the nurse taking care of her because I would be able to understand her "nurse speak" better than he could. By then, I called my work to say that I wouldn't be there that day but I would probably be there Sunday, even then not realizing the severity of the situation. My mind still saw the woman who hugged me before I left and told me she'd see me Tuesday for her doctor's appointment.
I remember every detail from the moment we arrived to the hospital, to the moment we left, nearly 10 hours later. I remember holding my dad's hand, I remember praying with our preacher. I remember begging God to let my brother making it in time to see her (he didn't), I remember the last time my mom looked at me before she closed her eyes. Those things I will never forget. I will never forget the love I felt that day. I could physically feel it enveloping me, holding me tight and keeping me safe. I could feel God's presence and His love as well. I could never describe in words the moment her soul left her body, but my immediate feeling was one of relief. I know it sounds strange and maybe only those who have held another's hand as they left this earth can understand, but it was such a relief to know that there would be no more pain, no more tests, no more waiting or wondering.
To everyone that called, texted, emailed, sent carrier pigeons, or otherwise offered condolences, prayers, and support, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. There were many people whom I did not respond to during the last two weeks, but please know that your words meant so much to me, and I could never thank you enough for sending them.
Every day is a struggle, and every day I miss her. Most days her death doesn't feel real to me, it feels like some kind of joke because I can still hear her voice and her laughter. I can still feel her presence and feel the love she had for her family. As of today it has been 24 days without her, it seems like such a long time but really the days are going by so quickly. I will never get over the loss of my mother, but I think that with time I can learn to accept it.