8.5.07

Unplanned Poetry - On Mom - Guilt

Guilt

The phone rang -
Hello?
She is dying,
rapidly now.
Your brother is here.
Ok, I said.

I am far away
and turn to tell
my strength,
my rock -
we had returned
one day
too soon.

Guilt.

Realization dawns -
my brother
could
hold the phone
to her ear
for one
last word,

I. . .

the phone
rang again.
Hello?

She has passed.

I looked at the clock;
ten minutes
had passed
since the first
Hello?

Guilt.

Marcia (MeeAugraphie)
07/27/06
R05/07/07

May 8th - Mom's birthday - This is the second of five posts for this week on Mom.

Please, the words are mine, do not copy them without permission.

4 comments:

lisa said...

This is so well written. Your words just flowed through me as I read them. I can understand your feeling of guilt. At some point, won't it be too late for all of us?

Marcia said...

Lisa - Yes, at some point. . . I am so glad you read and commented on this poem. I've let go of the guilt (for the most part); the hardest was to let go of the fact the nurse didn't tell us she was that bad - and I honestly think the nurse knew. We could have stayed another night, but since she was sleeping because of her fever, and my brother and his girlfriend were going to see her later that day (he was local), we left and were driving back up the following weekend to spend time with her, thinking she would feel better and would appreciate another visit. I'm just grateful we were there the day we were and that she was awake for the short time she was.

Matty said...

Marcia,
We will all have guilt no matter what we do! I've been visiting my mom 3 times a week since last July..I am fortunate that I was able to tell her how much I loved her. How much I appreciated her. I thanked her for making me the woman I am today.
The nurse probably knew how bad your mom was,,but they are afraid to be wrong as well.
When my brother was dying a few years ago.....the Dr. told me he had about 3 weeks to go, so don't panic. The nurse said he had about 2 weeks,,,,,but I knew it would be that night...I just knew. So I called my brother and he drove 4hours to be with me....and sure enough my brother died that night.
I think your mom knew you came, and then she was ready to 'let go'.
God bless her!

Marcia said...

Matty - I am so glad your instincts kicked in before your brother died (and I am so sorry he did.) -- And that you are able to see your Mom so much!

Years before Mom died, I had a migraine, so did not go pick my mom up at the nursing home as early as I had planned (and was going to spend some time with Dad at the same time). Before I left the house, I got a phone call that I needed to get to the hospital -- My brother had no transportation at the time and was in the opposite direction. I ran next door to arrange for a child to spend the night at our neighbors, but before we even got in the car to go get my brother, they called back -- so my poor mother was alone after he died for about an hour -- at least the Hospice worker was there for her!

No real forewarning - he had Alzheimers and had been in the nursing home for some time, but had seemed no worse. . . Amazing how that all happens, though, isn't it.

I do understand what you mean about the nurse - Mom's doctor at the beginning of all this called to tell me she would be surprised if she made 6 months, then the Hospice nurse who evaluated Mom, said, "No, your mom has a good two years left. . ." The freaky thing is, it was closer to the 6 months, if that. She got a urinary tract infection those last few days -- I read many months later that those often put severely ill people over the edge and ultimately kill them. . . Had I known that then I would have stayed. She was on a no resuscitate; I had no idea that infection could put her over - I just had not been around any severely ill people. I know now the nurse had to have known, and honestly, I felt I should have been told the possibility existed -- since I held the power of attorney and all that stuff and they knew I lived about 5 hours away. But, that said, I can't jump in her mind - and she did call my brother once it became apparent so he could get to the nursing home and make a few painful decisions -- I feel for him, because I had the power of attorney, although I had told the nurse the week before verbally, that he was quite capable of making any decisions and I was OK with that if a decision needed to be made -- but she did NOT call me until the decisions had been made and he had gotten to the hospital and been with her a little while. Based on the info he was given, he made the right decision, the same one I would have, but as the big sister, I hated that he was put in that position simply by proximity.

And all that said, a week or two before she had not been herself at all, barely wanted to talk, did not get excited over the grab bag of little gifts we brought as a surprise -- I just thought she was feeling a bit yucky and back in a depression, I was so used to her going in and out of depressions. I should have put two and two together, I didn't. I just had no experience with ill people.

So, I do not hate the nurse and am not angry with her, she gave me no other cause to dislike her or question her other decisions - I am just a bit frustrated and wonder why she didn't share it -- as a person, I mean, not just in general.

Death at that point for Mom was a blessing - she hated living in those last few months, she was ready, past ready, I think.
And up to that time, Mom was a lot like me, she found joy in the little things, in the every day.