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May 15th 2000
Today I had to make the most difficult decision of my life....and I am now preparing to face my mother's death. You see, this morning, I received a call from the nursing home telling me Mom had taken a turn for the worse during the night. Apparently the cold she's had, has developed into pneumonia....and it will not be treated. I have always feared this day...the one where I knew I would eventually have to make this decision.
I'll admit, a part of me quietly hoped I'd never have to make this choice. I guess I wanted her to just silently slip into this "good night" without having it influenced by me. But...that wasn't the case, and I had to decide.
To some of you who are reading this, I know I might very well seem like a cruel and heartless person for choosing this option. But, I want you to know that it's actually the exact opposite. I have made this choice because I love her this much. Do I want her to die? No, my choice is for her to be healthy and strong and full of life. But it hasn't been that way for almost 15 years.
Since mom became catatonic, I have always looked for a singular spark of life. Something that told me a bit of her still lingered in there. But, that hasn't been the case for some time now. So, today, when I was given the option of submitting her to rounds of injections in the hopes of curing the pneumonia or letting God's will be done, how could I choose to be selfish?
I know Mom would not want to live this way and the idea of putting her through more pain is unthinkable to me. Besides, there is no guarantee the injections would even work...and if they did...for how long? Chances are, this developed because mom inhaled some of her liquid "foods". So, do we continue to treat it time and time again because that's the best option? Or, do we take into account the broader picture?
Would treating this improve mom's quality of life? No....the only thing it would do, if successful, would be to extend her existence. And what existence is that? Catatonic, bedbound...seizures....(sigh)
So, today I called a halt to the fight. I can't justify it continuing when I know what mom would say...."let me be...let me go"...
As for myself, I'm trying hard to envision what my world will be like without her in it. We've been connected for so long, I used to find myself wondering "where does she end and I begin"? When you're that blended it's hard to divide one life from another.... Each step was made together....every moment, every joy, every tear was shared mutually.
I know when I lose her, a part of me will be lost as well. But, what will remain is the essences of her and the life she gave to me.
Then there is the other side of me. The one who is at peace with the decision....the one that says "It is God's will and you have done all you can". That, in itself, is the heart and truth of the matter. Yes I will grieve for my mother, we all do when we lose someone we love. But the one thing I never wanted was regrets...and there will be none.
You see, today I did not use my voice to speak of my choices...I used my voice to give my mothers...and that is as it should be. Power Of Attorney is not to voice what WE want, but to empower the person who can no longer speak for themselves. Believe me when I say, I wanted desperately to reply..."do whatever is necessary to help her live"...but I couldn't. My mother entrusted her life to me...and in the end I could not let her down. And know what? I was filled with peace when I hung up the phone. I knew I had made the choice of what she would want, and for that I was given peace without regrets....
In the days to come I won't be making many updates. With only one line coming into the house, if I'm on the net then I can't be reached. For the time being I'm choosing to stay here at home, but as the end grows nearer I will once again be at her side, like always.
I'm on my way to the nursing home...mom's time is very near. I will be back when it's over. Please keep me in your prayers............
I hold you close to my heart...
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