In loving memory ♥
posted 14th Jan
Tomorrow makes a month since the worst day of my life. Just a single month has felt like an eternity without seeing her smile, hearing her laugh, watching her play with my daughter..
My mom left this world too soon. 45 years old. A whole lifetime ahead of her. We had so many plans. She was supposed to give me away at my wedding in March since she raised us alone. She was supposed to be by my side for any future babies just like she was by my side for Ryleigh's birth. She was supposed to get old & gray & maybe even meet some Great-Grandchildren one day..It's not fair. We had so many plans. Even though we know tomorrow is never promised, we as humans, take that for granted & plan anyway thinking that person will still be here years from now.
My mom was one hell of a woman. I mean that with every ounce of my being. She was born with severe spina bifida. One leg was extremely shorter than the other. Her back was very deformed. She wore a brace to walk & never let it stop her. She didn't have a lazy bone in her body. Her parents were told that she wouldn't live past the school years, & she survived that. Then it was by age 22. She made it then. She was told she would never have children, the one thing she wanted most in the world. She fell pregnant with me at age 23 & the Dr's strongly urged her to abort, stating that it would kill us both. She refused. She gave birth to me at 24 years old. I was a tiny 4 lbs 13 oz, but I was healthy. 18 months later, she had her boy, my baby brother. One of each. Everything she wanted.
As the years passed, she dealt with abuse from my "father", got away when I finally told her he was molesting me at age 5, raised my brother & I by herself, met her SO Chris who eventually became the closest thing to a father we had, got me through my miscarriage, welcomed her first grandson into the world in January of 09, her second grandson in December of 2011 & then stood by my side through labor & the birth of her first granddaughter in February 2012.
Her grand-babies were her pride & joy. Nothing made her happier.
The past two years, she started getting pneumonia so bad that it was putting her in the hospital with dangerously low oxygen levels. After a lot of scares, she always ended up coming home ..Eventually, she had to start wearing an oxygen mask everyday.
In July., her SO got into a bad four wheeler accident that left him brain dead. She had to say her goodbyes & let him go on July 3, 2012. It broke my heart to see her's breaking. Even though she stayed strong through it, I couldn't help but notice the sadness in her eyes every time she talked about him. Not a day passed that she didn't tell one of us how much she missed him. A month later, she suffered from a heart attack, but pulled through & finally quit smoking. We were so proud of her. She seemed to be getting better with each passing day.
December 2nd, my mom called me. She left a voice mail & said she was really worried about a dream she had & needed me to come see her. I did, & she told me in the dream, she fell asleep & then heard me screaming her name & crying for her. She said she kept trying to get to me, but it was dark. & no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn't. She was so worried that something bad was going to happen to me. I promised her I would be okay. Little did I know, I'd be the furthest thing from okay exactly two weeks later.
December 15, 2012.. 10 days before Christmas.. My mom left all her pain, suffering, & burdens on this earth & went to be with Chris again.
It was a typical Saturday. I woke up with plans to go see her. We were texting the night before & she told me she wasn't feeling very good & hoped to start getting rid of it soon. I asked if she needed me to come take her to the hospital, because I was worried she was getting pneumonia again. She said she was okay & that Bub (my brother) was there with her & he would take her if she needed to go, but she wasn't that sick & she was just excited to see Ryleigh & I in the morning.. I don't know why I let myself believe her. She was the most stubborn person I've ever known & hated the hospital..I should have known better..
I was on my way to her apartment & decided to stop at Subway on my way since it was her favorite. I called to see what she wanted from there.. No answer. I called a second time, no answer. My brother called me back from his phone, & he was bawling. He was crying so hard that I couldn't tell if it was him or my Mom on the phone. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but I knew something was wrong. I gave the phone to my SO, & saw his face & then I knew. He flew the rest of the way there. It's all a blur. I remember screaming, punching the dashboard, & the second he started to pull in front of her apartment, I jumped out while the vehicle was still moving.. I ran up the stairs & my brother was standing in the hallway crying. I fell into his arms & started bawling. I had to go see her.. try to save her. I ran into her apartment room despite everyone trying to hold me back.
She was on the couch.. laying there with a blanket up to her chest. The second I saw her, I knew it was too late. She was gone. Her eyes were open, her mouth was open. She died scared.I touched her & she was stiff & ice cold. I started screaming.. crying.. bawling.. begging her to wake up. Exactly like what she described me doing in her dream. The single worst moment of my entire life. I laid by her crying & just wishing it was all a bad dream. The EMT's came & made me leave. I didn't want to leave her, but I had no choice.
My brother explained to me that she had started talking out of her head the night before which is what she would do when her oxygen got too low. His girlfriend was staying with them & they stayed up & talked to her for a little while until she told them she was ready for bed. His girlfriend woke up in the middle of the night & my mom was in the bathroom & so she went back to bed. They woke up the next morning, & she was half off the couch without her oxygen mask or brace on. Her pants weren't completely on because apparently she couldn't get them back on. Her brace was in the bathroom, so at some point through the night she took it off in there & somehow made it back to the couch, but didn't get her oxygen back on.
Of course, my brother lost it when he found her. He said when he touched her, she was already cold. When he laid her down, she was already stiff.
I have so many questions.. What happened, how she was feeling when she died..What she was thinking? Did she try to yell for my brother for help? Can she see us down here? Was her dream what dying was like? She could hear me crying, but couldn't get to me? I wonder these things EVERY single night when I lay down to go to sleep. I know she wasn't ready to go.The last time I was there, we were making Christmas plans, birthday party plans.. She just wasn't ready..
The autopsy came back, & just as we thought, it was pneumonia again. In a way, I'm SO mad at my brother for not taking her to the hospital when she started talking out of her head. Even if she told him she didn't want to go. I wish he would have called the ambulance. But I know that he is putting enough blame on himself. I would never tell him how I feel.
I'm also mad at myself. I read back through my old texts & she was dropping hints that she hasn't been feeling good, yet somehow I still felt like she would be okay until I got there Saturday morning to check on her. I will never be able to forgive myself. She could have been saved. She could still be here to watch her grand-babies grow..
My mom was truly my best friend. Not a moment passes that I don't miss her. Not a day passes that I don't go to her grave & tell her how sorry I am that we didn't save her. How much I love her & how much I miss her.
She was a tiny person with a big heart & lived & loved more in her short life than most people do in a lifetime.
Rest peacefully Mommy.
Elise "Lisa" Mae Shugars