"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn

"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn
it's a jungle out there

Monday, June 21, 2010

And so it goes...

I kept waking up with heartburn.

I never have heartburn. Especially at night.

And heartburn that's so bad it's waking me up? NEVER

I kept waking up and thinking I should go get a Pepcid AC. And then I'd think this is ridiculous. I don't get heartburn. I'm going back to sleep.
And I'd roll on my side and fall back to sleep. Then I'd wake up from the heartburn again.


At 7am my phone woke me up. A text from Sister Melanie.
Mommy says she wants to move on...

By noon we were all there.
Mia gave Her the pink fuzzy monkey she's been wanting to give Her all week, but kept forgetting in the car.
Which was OK with me as contact precautions had been put into place and nothing sticks to pink fuzz like C. diff.

Jacqui came in and said oh She found her pink fuzzy thing and pointed to the monkey Mia had balanced on her Grumsie's chest.


Jacqui said She kept asking for it last night. Kept looking in the bed sheets saying where's that pink fuzzy thing?
It's important. It needs to stay safe. It must have changed color...

Guess She knew there was a pink fuzzy thing in Her future.

She kept asking for the time. Asking how long before everyone gets here? What time is it now? How much longer?

There were a lot of people in that hospital room.

By noon we were all there. Sister Melanie got each of the west coast siblings on speaker phone. She was their Big Sister.
Five phone calls later and She had said Her good-byes.

She even said Her I love you-s. And each time She said it, the words came more easily.
Until finally, speaking to Her baby brother, She said the words first.

will wonders never cease

She searched all our faces as we huddled around Her hospital bed. Back and forth. Back and forth. Making sure we were all there.
She whispered something to Sister Melanie. I heard Her say communicate to Michelle...

She wants Ty to play Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring at Her funeral.

Sister Adrienne looked at me and said She does NOT have a tin can heart

Then She was ready.

The nurse stopped the IV meds that were keeping Her heart pumping. After a while they started a morphine drip.

We held Her hands.

And we waited.

Over the hours, we watched Her heart rate slow. Watched Her respirations slow. Heard them get jagged. Watched Her O2 drop.

We brushed Her hair.

And we waited.

They increased Her morphine.

We held Her hands some more.

And we waited

Around 11pm things got pretty raucous. We were cracking ourselves up remembering the wild parties thrown when we were teenagers and They were away on vacation. Who smoked what when. Who drank what where. Who did donuts at the top of the hill. Who answered the door when the police knocked. Who set fire to what.

Good times.

Then suddenly, at 11:25, we all got quiet. Like a gong had rung. The stories stopped. The laughter stopped. We were quiet. And waiting.

At 11:45 I collected Mia up from her napping place in the waiting room. At midnight Ty looked at the clock and said it's 12. At 12:08 I looked at the monitors and tapped Sister Adrienne on the arm. We all gathered close. Watched the blips. One breath. Watched the lines. No breath. Saw the zeros. No breath. Saw the red flashes. No breath.


She wants Her ashes mixed with His and divided up so we each can sprinkle them in our gardens


She wants Ty to play the cello at Her funeral


She tried damn hard to hold out until Her 9th grandbaby was born


but not so heartless after all

June 21. Summer solstice 2010


  1. Aw, Michelle. I'm so sorry, honey. My mom passed away last summer (June 12th) in a very similar way. My dad, my aunts, and I all stood vigile waiting for the last breath. It was so hard, but I was glad I got to be their when the angels came for her.

    Just think of the overwhelming love you have for your kids. She totally LOVED you that way, too.

  2. that was perfect, sister michelle.

  3. ps. maybe that heartburn was the pomegranate margarita...?

  4. Michelle, I'm sorry. I'm thinking of you today on this Summer Solstice.
    Your writing is beautiful.

  5. Beautiful words, they made me cry. Thinking of you and your beautiful family today. Glad your mom is at peace now. I hope to be as in charge of my own passing. Truly amazing. Sending hugs.

  6. thinking of you, with tears in my eyes.

  7. I love you, Michelle. I am wishing you and your family peace and your mother a good journey.


  8. How lucky she was, to have you all there.

  9. So much love. So much. Lighting a candle for your family today. XOXO

  10. Much love to you and your family.

  11. Michelle, I am so sorry. I cannot imagine the pain of losing your mother. I wish I was there to give you a hug (and maybe a cocktail).

  12. I'm so sorry. My heart to yours.

  13. Dear Michelle, I am sending love and light and affectionate thoughts like warm blankets and cool breezes. I am imagining your mother, settling down onto a comfy couch or pile of cushions with my mother and Rodney's mother, looking down at us with an endless stream of finally unfettered comments. And I do love you.

  14. Love to you. This was beautiful. I'm bawling.

    And going to download Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring and listen to it all day.

    Peace Sister.

  15. Oh fuck me running. I send YOU hugs, feelings of peace, and the surety of resolution. Love you.

  16. It's amazing you were all able to be a part of her last moments. Thinking of you and your family.

  17. I may not know you... but I send you a big bear hug.

    But apart from that... you really got me with this story.
    It is beautiful and touching.
    You made me see death trhough your eyes and not through mine which by the way I desperately needed.

  18. Big hug- a beautiful description of her end.

  19. Sorry it's been a while since I've visited. Thank you for sharing this powerful, important, moving, intimate story. I'm sorry it took so long for your mom to reveal the soft side of her heart, but I damned glad she did. Love to you...

  20. I'm so very sorry.

    (please ignore my stupid smiley avatar)


so... wadaya think?

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.