I haven’t had the time to blog on this site for quite a while and I apologize to those who have been faithfully following, it has been a strange summer so far. I was just getting on my feet; with a new roommate, and I bought a swingset for my yard to swing on too. I had finally accrued some paid time off and was planning to visit my daddy for his 85th birthday in Las Vegas. Also my daughter comped me a ticket to go visit my son for the first time in Madison WI. Everything seemed to be finally coming together for a normal life in recovery.
THOSE WHO KNOW ME OR FOLLOW THIS BLOG, NORMAL NEVER HAPPENS. There’s always something lurking on the horizon that we just can’t see because we are not developed enough to see through the veils of time. I have stayed in a relationship with my late husband’s mother (my mother-in-law) for the last fourteen years since his death. I usually called her once a week since she lived in Rochester, NY and I live in New Mexico. The last time I called her right before the 4th of July she told me she had fallen and was in pain. She has been in pain a long time because the idiot doctor has been giving her the same dose of methadone for 15 or 20 years and she built a tolerance to it. At age 93, I was worried about her fall. She also had gotten to where she couldn’t hear me even with her hearing aids in, so I told her I would email instead.
I sent her a lengthy email kind of chewing on her about getting her other son to advocate for her to the doctor. Well my brother-in-law has access to read her email so he responded to my email to her about two weeks later telling me she was in the hospital and it didn’t look good. He called me the next day and said that the doctor said she had shattered her pelvis, her kidneys were failing and her heart was giving out. He recommended hospice “comfort management” where you take your loved one home to die and just give them pain medicine until they do.
When I told my kids, my daughter offered to go stay with her at the hospital while my brother-in-law went home to MI to get his things and come back to NY to transfer her home and stay with her. He handed back off with my daughter who then had to get back to Flagstaff where one of her students had died of an overdose. My son flew out next and I offered to come right behind him.
When I got there to her apartment at the assisted living place, I was stunned to see that he had her in a recliner and planned to keep her in it except for getting her up to change her which was excruciating for her. Since I had no authority and she was still lucid, I had the chance to spend some quality time talking with her and physically taking care of her along with a hired hospice nurse on shift. She knew she was going to die but kept asking me (and everyone else as it turns out) to give her a shot to end her life. Her thick Russian accent almost made it cute the way it sounded and I had to explain to her that they do that for animals but not people. It turns out that there are states where this is legal. When I told her that, she said she wanted to move. We chuckled together briefly. Her son only would give her the pain medicine (concentrated morphine dose) when she asked for it. It took several days and several nurses to explain to him that she was suffering and needed to get it on schedule as the doctor prescribed.
Why am I telling you all this? TWO THINGS. One, it was difficult for me to do this and not feel triggered. But I did okay after all. Two, once we began administration on schedule she deteriorated overnight, and when her death rattle began, I knew we were close to the end.
I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT SHE PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY WITH ME ALONE IN HER APARTMENT> It was a beautiful and intense moment for me. We spent the night with her body because he didn’t want to call someone to take her away until morning. I learned a lot about life during this experience. The next day we focused on business, getting the arrangements prepared. It was my birthday too. So we had a traditional Russian Orthodox service that is like a viewing, then the next day, we had the long Russian Orthodox funeral service. We traveled to the cemetery where my late husband and father-in-law are buried, and we buried her beside them.
I feel like a chapter of my life, a long painful one, is finally closed. I don’t know if I will have any further connection with my brother-in-law. He needs to reach out to me, as I have tried to stay connected with him for years. I feel like I did everything I could for my mother-in-law; like I did what I thought was the right thing; what my husband would have done for me if the situation were reversed.
I am now making a long journey home. She left a lot of money to her son, the church, and some to my children. What I received, was the blessing of watching her transition from this life to the next.
Peace, love and blessings to all who read here….