In My Memory of My Mother
My Mother was the person who knew me the best, besides the Lord. She knew what I would say before I would say it. So many people told me that I was "just like my Mother" and that is very true...she used to say "Your your Mother's child". In other words, she knew just how much I was like her.We were always on the "same wavelength", we would always say "We're right here" and look at each other. It is hard to describe the relationship that we had, it was such a special bond. We were indescribably connected in so many ways. She was my Mother and I respected her as my Mother. But she was also my best friend, closest allie, I always knew she was in my corner. We helped each other through the tough times that we had. I remember when my grandmother came to live with us and she took care of her. I remember when my grandmother passed hard it was for her. She never got over it. I never understood WHY she could not go on with her life. Now I know. Now I feel the pain she had for so long.

What I know is that she was saved, and that I will see her again...praise the Lord! I am so glad for that. I don't know how I COULD go on knowing that I would not see her again. She was special, she IS special and someday I will enter in the gates of Heaven and see her there. Until then, I will remember her here.
My Mom and Doug
My Mother had intestinal issues for a long time, she had Irritable Bowel Syndrome for years and recently had pain in her abdomen. She was up all night one Saturday night, vomiting and in pain. The next morning, it was unbearable. My brother and his girlfriend took her to Urgent Care. They wanted to call an ambulance for her to rush her to the hospital, but she would not let them, I am unsure WHY she would not let them. The Dr.'s told her if she didn't get to the hospital, she would be dead in a few hours. She went back home and within 15 minutes collapsed on the floor with pain. My brother and his girlfriend called her an ambulance and they rushed her to the hospital. My brother's girlfriend called me, and I went out to the Emergency Room. The first thing my Mother said to me when I came into the room was..."I knew you'd be the first one here". She kept saying how thirsty she was and how much pain she was in. They had given her pain medication, but she said she was still hurting tremendously. I noticed how "out of it" she was. She would try to talk to me and trail off and sleep, then wake up again. She said they would not let her have anything to drink, but I snuck down the hall and bought her a juice anyways. In between quick sips, I jokingly told her "If they catch me, I'm gonna get you". I stayed with her for about 5-6 hours. Dr.'s came in periodically. When her bloodwork came back they said that she had acute pancreatitis and that they would admit her and treat her. She kept saying she was going home and I said "Over my dead body" and she knew it. Then Doug, her fiance came in. I told him that I was leaving and he wanted me not to leave because he said "She's afraid of you, she'll stay if your here, she'll get up and walk out on me".I had to leave and get home to my husband. The next day I called her about mid-afternoon and talked to her. I told her that I had to go to court the next day, and we basically talked about stupid stuff. What I noticed was that she was still out of it and could not keep a straight conversation, the thing is she was "out of it" but she KNEW she wasn't making any sense because she kept saying.."listen to me I can't even talk". She said that she was feeling out of breath and like she was having a hard time breathing. I asked her if she had told the nurses, and she said yes, they had just came in to give her a breathing treatment and she would call me back later around 5 or so. I told her I loved her...not knowing that would be the last time I EVER spoke to my Mother.

The next thing I heard was about 9:30 PM on the Monday night. I got a hysterical call from Doug on his cell phone saying that my Mother was in cardiac arrest and they were trying to resisitate her now. In between sobs and hysterics he said that he came in and she was convulsing, he grabbed her up and looked in her face and told her "don't leave me, Cheryl" and her eyes met his and then they rolled back into her head. The trauma team had came in at that point. It took them 11 minutes to get her back. 11 minutes for your brain to be deprived of oxygen is a LONG time. The moved her to the Intensive Care Unit, she was in a coma and on a respirator and a ventilator. I finally got there around 10:30 PM and we had to wait to see her, they had to clean her up.

When I went in to see her, I was SHOCKED. It did not look like her, it felt like a bad nightmare. I just could not believe this was happening. I just looked at her, tubes everywhere, blood, I could not grasp that this was MY MOTHER, this was not happening to someone else. I just broke down and cried and cried and prayed by her bedside. I stroked her hair, and stayed by her bedside. Doug, I and my brother alternated between quiet stillness staring at her, and sobs of sorrow and shock.

I cannot say enough about the nurses in the ICU, they were so compassionate and helpful. The Dr.'s, Neurologists, Nephrologists absolutly exhausted every option, every test, everything they could do for her. They could not believe how young she was, and they tried everything they could to help her.

I slept there everynight that she was there. I just could not leave her. I thought if I stayed that maybe she would wake up and I wouldn't be there, and she would think that she was alone. Plus, I absolutly did not want a decison made without me being there.

I remember one of the hardest days of being there was signing the papers to have her taken off the respirator and ventilator. The Nephrologist had told me all week that she was not producing urine at all, and they waited and waited. She was so weak that they said she would not survive a dialysis attempt. Her levels in her body were just through the roof. Her Dr. would bring them in to me, give me a copy and go over them thoroughly with me. The Neurologist came in twice a day. They ran countless EEG's, multiple neurological tests. They all came out with the same bleak conclusion, she would never recover. That day, Friday, they removed the ventilator and respirator. My Preacher was on one side and I on the other.  When they pulled them out, she started breathing on her own. I don't know why, but I just started singing "Jesus loves me"..and then I sung "It is Well With My Soul". I just wanted her to be at peace. I don't know if she could hear me, but I know during the course of the week, when I would talk to her I would see tears roll down her cheeks. 

They moved her upstairs to Hospice and we had a lot of family and friends there for a long time. The hardest part was bring Gabby in to say her goodbyes to Mamaw.  She tried so hard to be strong. Big tears welling in her eyes, but everytime I would look at her she would try to smile at me. I told her it was ok to be sad, this was a sad time. Then she began to cry hard. My brother took that very hard, he is close to Gabby and it was hard for him to see her deal with the pain of losing Mamaw.

Saturday night she started getting a little slower at breathing. We were taking shifts that night, Doug, myself, and Larry. Two would sleep while the other one was up watching her vitals and talking to her. I just remember how exhausted I was, it was almost as if I could not get out of the chair.

I took the first shift, and that is when Anna (a nurses aide) came in. She was this sweet little German lady. She treated my Mom with such dignity, and respect. She cleaned my mom's mouth out, made sure everything was clean and "just so". I helped her while she did it, and she said.."The way you help me, I can tell how much you love her". She told me that she had lost her mother when she was 5 years old.

After that it was Larry's shift. I went to sleep in the chair. Next thing I knew I heard the alarm go off on her monitor for her resperations. I knew it had to be bad because they had set the alarm so low when we first got there on Friday.  I opened my eyes and looked and her resps were at 44. They had been in the 80's to 100. I got up and went to her side. There was more time between her breaths, and I knew inside that this was it. I was very close to her face at this time, telling her how much I loved her, that it was ok, that she was a good mother. It kept dropping and I watched my mother take 2 long breaths. When she breathed in the last time. She passed away. I remember Doug getting on the phone to call people to let them know, I was just on my knees beside the bed holding behind her neck with one arm and the other just holding her hand. I remember everytime Doug would tell someone that she was gone, I would just cry out. The Dr. came in and "offically" pronounced her. After awhile, we gathered our things, her things, and went home. To this day, I don't know how I walked out of that hospital. I can't remember.

I just have to say, even though this has been the worst thing that has ever happened to me, my husband was a solid rock through it all. I stayed everynight, he stayed everynight except one. He was with my through everything, and never left my side. He was such a dedicated and loving man at the point that I needed it most in my life.

The following hours, days, the funeral and everything else is a blur. I know I miss her dearly, I always will. She will always be in my heart
The song playing on this website, is what I played at her funeral.
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
all filled with tears for me,

I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
and each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too.

But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
and said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.

I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
and all the fun we had

If I could re-live yesterday
Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne.

He said, "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew

I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same way
There's no longing for the past.

You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things
You knew you shouldn't do.

But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.
This was our last picture together, New Year's Eve 2004 taken at my house. Everyone was there for my older brother, Mike's birthday party. She became sick the next day.
L to R Mike, Thera, Doug, Nicole (me), Mike II, and my Mom.
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