The Mom Connection

December 4, 2018
  • December 4, 2018
  • Living with Cancer Blog

By Jon B.


I lost my mom recently. It was incredibly devastating. I’ve always had such a close connection with my mom.

For instance, five years ago, I was having lunch with a friend, and all of a sudden I said – I have to go, something’s wrong with my mom. She looked and me like I was crazy – you’re not going to finish your Pho? This was ridiculous! We both love Pho and it had taken us forever to coordinate our schedules to make this lunch happen. She was totally shocked. I said, I’m sorry, but I have to go to my mom. She said, call your nephews – they live close by. But I couldn’t do it – it had to be me. I had to go.

When I got to my mom’s place, I opened the door and there she was laying on the floor unconscious with blue lips. She had fallen. I called 911 and to my relief, almost immediately I could hear the sirens coming. The dispatcher asked if I knew CPR and when I said yes, she said to go ahead and do it. Well, my mom was in her 80s and with CPR you have to go hard … I knew this and I knew that chest compressions would either save her or kill her. Also, my mom had always made us promise to never revive her. She didn’t believe in that or life support – not at all. So I stood over her for about 10 seconds, my hands just hovering above her chest, trying to decide – should I do it or not. I didn’t want to break my promise to my mom.

Right about then she started having a seizure, which is how I knew she was alive. Less than a minute later the paramedics arrived and took over.

She had broken her shoulder badly and she had a concussion. She was unconscious for the next seven days. When she woke up in the hospital, she didn’t know me. It took her some days to get her memory back and it took weeks to get her back on her feet.

After that fall, we got her into a retirement home. We were relieved to know that she would be cared for and constantly monitored. My sister lived nearby and visited every day.

Now, fast forward to a few months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and I had had this horrible dream. It was awful. I dreamt my mom was trapped – that the house we used to live in had collapsed on her and she was calling for help. I paced around my condo – totally tense – trying to catch my breath. I told myself this was just a dream. I wanted to pick up the phone and call her but then I thought, she’s in a place where she could ring for someone if she was in trouble. They check on her regularly. And anyway, she wouldn’t have her hearing aids in so she likely wouldn’t answer. Finally, I went back to bed.

inline_943_ next day someone opened her door and found my mom on the floor. She had gotten her arm stuck in her recliner and it was badly broken. My sister hadn’t been able to come by that day and no one had checked on her. A week later she succumbed to her injuries.

It was really hard to think of the pain she suffered. It’s hard to forgive myself for not driving out. This is something I’m still struggling with. Why didn’t I go? It’s funny how you can forgive anyone else, but it’s so hard to forgive yourself.

I know it was my mom’s time to go, she was ready to go. I just wish it had been different.

And I miss her every day.

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