sooner than you think

hqdefaultIt was during a daily update call with my Dad last year that he told me he had arrived at the rehab that morning to find mother on oxygen. “She not looking well at all, Michael,” was all he could muster.  With this unsettling setback fresh in my mind I knew I had to be there by her side. I quickly finished the required work needed to release the payroll that Wednesday morning so that by lunch time I was rapidly heading north to Heron Point.

for worse, in sickness

I entered what had been my mother’s room for the past two months to find my father and sisters, Cindy and Debbie, by her side. We shuffled around in that tiny space so I could get in to the bedside to say my hellos to mom. She was verbally unresponsive. But she squeezed my hand when I kissed her, letting me know she knew I was there. “I love you,” I whispered and her hand held tighter. I ended up sitting down beside her because she did not relinquish my hand. I gladly obliged.

IMG_6683I sat holding my mother’s hand for hours it seemed as waves of pain flooded her body. Every twenty minutes or so she would tense up,  squeeze my hand then pull it tersely down her body.  I asked my Dad about pain management.  He said the Hospice nurse was on the way and that no one in the rehab was authorization to administer her morphine yet.  The hospice nurse didn’t arrive until 8 that night, two hours after the staff moved us to a private room. By the time mom was comfortable, the entire family had gathered (except our sister, Kristen). Some were staying late that night with her, Dad stayed until a returned in the morning. On the way home that night I wrote this poem. Until now, only my mother has heard this.

I read this to her the next day shortly before she passed away.


Sooner than you think2



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