I had not talked to my sister in about 8 months. There were some issues between her and I and time slipped away from us. I was sitting at my desk at work on Monday September 24, 2018 when my phone rang. The caller ID displayed my sisters name. This can't be good I thought. I picked up the phone and with a questionable tone I said "This is Kimberly"... On the other end, sobbing. Words I could not make out, but I knew something was wrong. My emergency training taught me to remain calm and focused. I told her I could not understand her, asking her to repeat what she said. Then the words came that I never in a million years thought I would hear.."Mom is dead". And that is exactly how I learned that my 68 year old mother had passed away. I remember asking where my father was and my siblings to which she answered. I told her I would be leaving to get my kids from school and we would be on our way to the hospital.
Years prior, my mother had 2 strokes. The first was caused from high blood pressure left untreated. It was more a TIA. The second was worse. What the doctors didn't catch on the first one was that mother had sleep apnea and that is what would cause her 2nd stroke. It would be the one that would prohibit her from driving. We also learned that her right carotid artery was blocked and that there was nothing they could do about it.
My mother also had diabetes. During the past couple months of her life, she had been struggling with her blood sugar dropping. She would become weak, clammy and would have to immediately have sugar to bring it back up. Well, September 24, 2018 was no different. Or so she thought. She started feeling the same thing, low blood sugar. She called my dad at work, he was 30 minutes away. She told him she needed him to come home. She told him she could not make it to get something sweet because she felt too weak. She never mentioned anything other than feeling clammy and weak like she was going to pass out. And then my dad heard her moan a few times. That would be that last communication he had with my sweet mother. What he thought was blood sugar turned out to be a heart attack according to the hospital.
The worst part for me was telling my 13 and then 10 year old that grandma had passed on. Grandma was their world. Little folks don't understand. At 48 years old I held my mothers cold hand as she laid covered in a hospital gown in the emergency room. I didn't cry. I was in shock. I saw all the pain in everyone eyes. I tried to be strong as best I could. I was not ready to say goodbye to my momma. 6 months later and I still am not ready to say goodbye. When you lose a parent it feels like the world dims a bit. Its not as bright and cheerful as it once was. No more calls when you have exciting news to share with mom. She will never see my her grand-kids graduate high school, college, get married or have babies. But they had all of her for the years they have been on this earth. And she loved them beyond measure and they knew it. I am thankful for having had her in my life for 48 years. She taught me so much, most importantly she taught me compassion. She was a blessing.