Thursday, April 19, 2018. Hell day. I walked into the hospital room around 6:00am and squeezed Mom’s hand. She looked terrible with the intubation tube down her throat and the wires coming out of everywhere. They’d used all her access points and made us give permission to use the more dangerous ones. Clearly her heart was done, but we were going to get her an artificial one. The doctors were doing their early morning huddle at her feet. I went to find Dad.
We’d overflowed the waiting room with family and friends, and friends of family over the last week. People brought food, brought blessings and laughs, and people stayed out in the cars with the baby so Karissa could be with Mom, and us, in spurts. Wednesday night we’d had an informal ceremony of sorts for Mom. Everyone telling beautiful and funny and ridiculous stories of her. Not knowing we were saying goodbye, we thought our collective positive energy was doing its magic.
The whole vibe of the waiting room this morning was off. Dad was hunched over crying on a bench, and a family friend, who’d brought essential oils and crystals and Mexican food (all essential components to any healing environment), was sitting next to him and rubbing his back. When they saw me, they got up and gave me a hug, then left us alone. The doctors had told him moments before that her organs were shutting down and she wouldn’t survive a surgery to replace the heart. He said five words I never want to hear again, “We have to say goodbye,” and with them, every ounce of hope in my body that I’d been holding onto so desperately that week, flushed out of me and swam at our feet.