June 7, 2020 at 1:00am, an hour before my shift at work, I got a phone call no one wants. It was my dad: I answered. “Mom died” he said tearfully.
I felt my stomach drop. Impossible. How could she be gone? I was stunned. I immediately stood up, gathered up my work stuff (knowing that I wouldn’t need them that morning) to meet dad at the hospital.
Mom had been in the hospital for a UTI for the past week. Her condition had been stable but she was pretty out of it. Because of the virus we were unable to see her in the hospital or at all because she lived in a nursing home. We had done window visits, and dad talked to her on the phone, but it wasn’t the same. I attempted to Facetime with her (earlier that week) but she was pretty out of it My mom had MS, so her health was always on a roller coaster. I kept thinking how we managed 3 years since the last hospital incident when things were close then. I thought we had more time.
The drive to the hospital (also my employer) was a blur, I was trying to reach family members to let them know what happened. All I knew is that her oxygen levels had dropped. “There had to be more”, I thought. I made it to work hurrying into the office to deposit my keys, tell my coworker where I was going, and grab a mask. I met dad out in the ER and we hugged. Going up to the floor where mom was seemed so unreal, like a dream, a really horrible bad dream. I felt nauseous and almost like I was back in time to when my sister died 7 years ago and we went to see her, then almost 20 years ago when my grandfather died. I was not ready for this.
When we approached her room the nurse was so kind, just explaining what happened (the same thing my dad had said), and the nurse added that mom kept saying “Go away” to her. That gave me indication that she knew it was her time, she was tired, and my sister was waiting for her.
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