December 21, 2014 – Originally Posted on CaringBridge

What a difference a day makes! Mom is her lively, witty self, and has had so many visitors on this beautiful Winter Solstice.

I had been at our family condo in the mountains since Thursday when I got the news that Mom had to be taken to the hospital yesterday. Most of my day consisted of either worrying about my mom or worrying about disappointing my husband and kids by cutting our vacation short, both of which had me in a little stress ball of tears. Ultimately, though, I knew I needed to be closer to my mom, so we came back late last night.

After talking with my dad this morning, it became abundantly clear how close we were to losing Mom yesterday. We are so grateful to the emergency responders who came to the house and took expert care of her, allowing us more time with her.

Mom is the most popular person in the ICU. Cheryl stayed the night with her, and my Aunt Kathy was here bright and early. Shortly after I arrived, my cousin Paul came with his wife Elisa and son Victor. Then my parents’ dear friends, Jeff and Donna Monroe, came and brought her favorite cheese enchiladas from Luis’. Cheryl’s friend (and our oft referred to “5th sister”) Jenny came by. Sisters Denise and Michelle, along with Michelle’s family, were next on the party train. My brother-in-law, Wayne, entertained us with a little jig, and we played some trivia with Mom. The nurses are continuously commenting about how fun it is in her room. It’s the place to be.

We are not sure what our next steps will be. Mom is being moved out of ICU soon now that her oxygen has been stabilized. We imagine she will remain in the hospital until at least Tuesday. One of us will try to update tomorrow if/when we have more information.  Her breathing is getting more and more labored as her lung capacity diminishes, but it hasn’t stopped her from crafting a sarcastic comeback or laughing hysterically at a misheard comment from my dad about the “Flahertys praying in the bushes”. 

Each of these moments are gifts, and to remain present in them can be challenging. But grasping them, imprinting them to memory, is essential. We know there’s not much time left – Mom does, too – so every second matters. 

I just want to take a moment to thank my company, my manager and controller in particular, for being so flexible with me needing to be with my mom at the drop of a hat. To my husband for his complete understanding of my desire to be near home and willingness to do anything and everything to help me. And to the super important people in my life who bring a smile to my face even when it feels like I’m carrying the weight of the world, I love you.


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