5 years ago, we went camping for the weekend in Shabbona. My husband convinced me to go, thinking we still had lots of time with Mom. We came home on Sunday, a message on my answering machine, I hit play. I heard something, were they words? I didn’t recognize her voice or what she even said, but somehow I knew. I had called her every day while we were gone, she seemed to be holding on.
l packed a bag with two sets of clothes and then added another, three sets of clothes and drove home to Mom and Dad’s. I made the calls to my brother and children if they wanted to see her, they needed to come now. She was out of it, eyes closed, then my daughter, her granddaughter walked in and her eyes popped open when she shut the door. What the hell Mom? I’ve been here how long? I thought this was the end.
She wanted to go through her jewelry. in the darkness of Monday evening was the last time she responded back to my words, “do you want more morphine?” She shook her head yes, she had lost her voice hours before.
Sunday night I slept on the couch beside her bed set up in the living room. My Dad’s birthday on Monday was far from a celebration. I slept beside her bed on Monday night. It would be the last. She left us on a Tuesday, while I told her it was okay. Tuesday night I climbed the stairs and slept in my old childhood bedroom, so I could go with my Dad and brother to the Funeral home in the morning, three sets of clothes….
If I had known it was my Mom’s last weekend I wouldn’t have gone camping and fishing. How could I have known?
We went fishing a few days back and as I looked out across the river this time instead of a lake I couldn’t help but think of my Mom and her last weekend while I was out fishing.