My Mother, My Hero, My Friend...

My mother has and always will be my hero. She was everything to me, and when I lost her on November 13, 2007 my world shattered. We lost her in just five short days and never knew what was coming. She had started to complain of abdominal pains, but being the woman that she was thought she had just taken too many aspirin. We told her to go to the doctor but she was so stubborn, and kept insisting that she would be fine in a couple days. A few days later she told me that she thought she should go into emergency. She tried to get out of her room and down the hallway but she couldn’t make it. She got back into her bed and told me to call an ambulance. I did just as she asked, and when they got there they couldn't really get into the room so she had to walk out of the room in all the pain she was in, to the front door where they then put her on a gurney. I rode with the ambulance and we took her to the nearest hospital. From there it seemed as if everything was moving so fast but at the same time in slow motion. They wheeled her in to a spot in the ER with a curtain around it, got all the necessary information from us and were trying to get her vitals. After what felt like an eternity, they were able to get her vitals under control enough to give her something for the excruciating pain. They then took her to get x-rays of her lower abdomen, and when the doctor finally came back with the results he told us that my mother was going to have emergency surgery. He said that she had a perforated colon, and later we found out that because of that her blood was contaminated. The morning after her surgery I called to find out how she was, one of the nurses had said the previous night before that she might be awake the next morning. What I found when I called was that my mother was in cardiac arrest and that everyone was working on her to try to get her heart to start beating again. We rushed to the hospital and found they had moved her room and that she was under constant surveillance. According to what they were telling us, her blood was so contaminated that the only thing they could do was try dialysis on her to clean the blood. Let’s just say the machine was never able to run more then 5 minutes because of various problems. After that, we pretty much knew what was going to happen. Her arms and legs had started to turn blue because of all the medications they had her on, and because of this she was guaranteed to lose them if her condition didn’t change overnight.

That night I stayed with my mother. The rest of the family went home, but I stayed. I never really slept, unless you could call what I was doing "sleeping." I was in a chair by her bed, have crying fits every so often and then trying to pull it together. I knew that was the last night I was going to be with my mother ever again.

In the morning my sister and father arrived and we were scheduled to have a meeting with the hospice people. It was our decision as to what became of my mother. Our only options were amputation of all the limbs or we could just let her go. Even if my mother recovered after amputating, we knew she would never be who she once was. She never wanted to be a burden to us, which was one of the things she imprinted into our brains. Therefore, we made the only decision we could. We decided to let her go. We got all of our family and friends together and with all of us there in her room her machines were turned off and then she just slipped away.

Throughout everything I was trying to hold it all together. I would have crying fits but never around people, or at least I tried my hardest to never have them around people. I signed the documents that needed a signature when neither my sister nor father couldn’t. I kept a smile on my face just the way my mother wanted me to even as the tears were down my face. As my mother said, she didn’t want us to be mourning her death but instead to be celebrating her life. She was everything to everyone, and I mean that literally. She was a mother, a wife, a seamstress, a cook, a nurse, a vet, a teacher, a mechanic, a gardener, a shoulder to cry on, and a very dear friend to every single person in her life. A day never goes by that I do not miss her. I was 19 when she left me and am 21 now, even after almost 2 years it still feels like it happened yesterday. However, I can say this, always think of the happy times you had with your mom, and never the bad. Never think "if only," "I should have," "I could have," "I would have" ... because it never does anyone any good. So stop playing the blame game and know that wherever you are you will always have a guardian angel looking out for you. In fact the best guardian angel that could ever be, because no one could ever love you as much as a mother could.

~In Loving memory of Martha (a.k.a. Terry) Therese Selby
Born: November 16, 1954- Died: November 13, 2007
Princessjewls88 Princessjewls88
26-30, F
May 22, 2012