The Hike in The Rain

As I climbed at the hills and up the stairs in the rain, and I felt my body screen from the exercise, I felt my muscles ache and jerk unsure of my next steps. But I kept on going is the rain drenched me I could feel it all over me, first in my hair then on my face and the back of my neck and finally on my clothes. And yet I still climbed. And as I lost my breath I still kept pushing forward. And I imagined the rain as my parents unconditional love pouring down on me. 

I pushed even further until I got to the stairs, I’ll 675 of them. And I pushed and I pushed and I pushed  Step by step. Up further and further and further even past my aching legs even passed my burning lungs, passed my quivering knees. And I push my body past all the pain of this past year. 
I pushed it past seeing Mom suffering, I pushed passed breaking my own heart to tell her it was okay to let go and leave us. I pushed forth the pain of holding her hands and stroking her hair as she took her last breath, I pushed passed the pain of making all the arrangements, completely lost and overwhelmed and unsure of what I was doing. I pushed the pain and confusion and frustration and exhaustion.

I pushed forward passed all the fights that my ex and I had due to all the pain and frustration and exhaustion and taking care of my father that in new relationship couldn’t couldnt recover from the strain. I pushed past once again holding my parents hand and telling them telling my father that if he wanted to let go and be with my mother that it was okay to let go. I pushed forward the incredible pain of having the love of my life leave 2 weeks before my father died, I pushed forward to  past the pain of my ex being so cruel after my father passed and refusing to assist in any way. I pushed forward the pain of finding out to be cheated on me with hookers and strippers, and again past the pain of finding out that he cheated on me once again with his new and latest flavor. 

I passed forward the pain of planning my father’s memorial service, I passed forward to pain of being an executor of the will, I passed the pain of grief and loneliness and of confusion.
And as I push forward through the pain of all of that, of my body exhausted, lungs burning knees shaking, 

And I cried. As I sobbed my salty tears ran down my cheeks and joined the pure, beautiful water of the raindrops that fell on my face. And I like to think that it was my parents love that was gently wiping away my tears.
And when I got up to the top, the Sun was shining. And I walked up and I listened to the sound of the waterfall and I looked at the trees and wind and the sun shining off The damp leaves and I smiled. 

And then I looked up and very very briefly there was a rainbow. 

You see on the drive up there, I asked them to please give me a sign, something I knew was just for me to let me know that they were still here watching over me on today one of the most difficult days in a long time. And there was this beautiful rainbow. 

And I took a picture of it and almost shared it on this blog, but then I thought no, this little Rainbow is just for me just from them.

  • And I remember what they taught me: That no matter how difficult the time or no matter who hurts you, your life is bigger than that. Also every drop of water is a miracle, life is a miracle. So choose love. Choose to live life with purpose and do not let anyone disturb your PEACE. 

Editors Note: the words “past” and “passed” are used intentionally.

Also, yes I have more “walks with Mom, up to the current day, but have not piblished them.yet. 

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A Walk with Mom: Day 11 & 12

Friday July 8th;  Saturday 9th, 2016

That morning I got up and went into the contracting agency through which I got the job and signed all the documents and tax papers.  All the HR prep work was done. I went back home and slept once again. I slept most of the day, waking up only briefly to eat and go back to bed.

At some point, I got up and did laundry and tried to process the last 10 days. My mind was swimming and I was walking around in a daze. I also sent a lot of time in the phone trying to get Mom transferred up to a hospital in Atlanta, calling every contact and hospital person I knew to talk to in Atlanta and trying to coordinate with the hospital in Alabama.  I was fighting as hard as I could to help Mom as much as possible.

I have no real memory of these two days. I know that I cried a lot, I know that my boyfriend held me a lot and let me cry and vent. He also cooked for me and cleaned. He was veru attentive andnjust let menrest when I mweded amd cry when I nweded. He was my rock duringbthis time. I know that I had to have called friends and family. And mostly I know I slept, having had no really rest for the 10 days prior.

I do remember talking to my sister several times that morning and again around lunch time.  My sister was confused and overwhelmed.  Mom wasn’t eating, how could they get her to eat?  I explained that her mouth was still sore so if she wouldn’t eat anything, get them to make her soup Tomato soup.  When all else failed, she would eat the soup.

Mom was also showing signs of what I would know later as terminal agitation. Ever 3-7 seconds she would shift, move, try to get up out of bed, take her IV wires out, take off her oxygen mask. She would talk about strange things that didn’t seem to make any sense, she was restless, agitated, would constantly pick at the covers and see things that weren’t there.

what we also didn’t know at the time was that this is a natural part of the dying process, but no one told us that.  So it just seemed very bazaar and unnerving.  It seemed unnatural and we didn’t know what to do, how to handle it or how to make it better for Mom.  It was one of the most helpless times and feelings in my life.  I would just take a lot of deep breaths and say prayers to keep calm.  My sister was not used to this though, and was a nervous wreck.

One question, my sister asked, as I heard the exhaustion and exasperation in her voice, “Does Mom need her dentures in to eat? Should she put them in?”  I couldn’t believe what I was being asked.  I just said softly “Yes, she will need to put them on.” I told her where they were and how to put them in if Mom couldn’t.

When I got off the phone my boyfriend just looked at me and knew that I was going to have to go back right then and not wait for the next day.  So I packed up my stuff, loaded the car and was off back to Dothan AL.  I got there a little before dinner time and Mom gave me a big hug,  She made me promise that I would not leave her again.

I remember how shocked I was at how bad she had deteriorated while I was gone. But she had not been able to eat since I left and since her body had rejected the food.  She was weak, had lost what seemed to be a lot of weight off her already tiny and frail frame.