Thursday, September 14, 2017

13 minutes and 46 seconds

The last time I talked to my mom on the phone our conversation lasted 13 minutes and 46 seconds. She told me she felt 'like crap.'  She was sitting in her chair, the phone cradled to her ear, a cooking show humming on the TV across the room.I could tell by her voice that conversation wasn't high on her list of things she felt like doing so I cut our conversation short. I looked at my phone as I hung up and noticed the time. Our regular Saturday afternoon conversation had been cut short by an hour.

As the day wore on and my sisters and texted and called, we hemmed and hawed as to whether or not it was time for me to come home. My mom had been diagnosed with kidney failure in late January - the stress of her diagnosis being what we thought had led to my dad's stroke and then death two days later.

My mom liked to say she had nine lives and during our last phone call I told her she'd used up 27 of them. That night I booked a ticket home and was at the airport 6 hours later.

My mom passed away 48 hours after I got home. It's still too raw to write much about but I will say that sitting with someone as they do the hard work of dying is a sacred experience.


Daisy said...


Some moments escape words for quite a spell. I think it might be the place where reality and the unfathomable meet and we stand transfixed at the border. Our mouths may go on automatic pilot and speak about common daily details that seem really unimportant but we lean on them a while because, on the inside, we're dealing with the infinite.

Anonymous said...

What a blessing that you were able to be with her! A small miracle that you acted on your instinct to go to her. Prayers for her and you and your family.

Mary Christine said...

I am so very sorry.