Eight years ago today, I was visiting with my parents in the apartment I had moved them into months before. Assisted living was my first choice. Mom had Alzheimer’s and it was difficult for Dad to take care of things and her all by himself. I thought assisted living would be the best thing to do. But mom hated it and so I moved them into an apartment and cared for them myself. I made visits to take care of laundry, housekeeping, shopping and whatever else might need tending to. Some days it was just to keep them company.
For some reason on January 21st, 2006, I had a feeling I should stay a little longer with Mom. We layed on the bed together, holding hands and just talked about old times. People afflicted with Alzheimer’s really only remember old times. When interviewed at the assisted living place, Mom was asked what it is she likes to do. She said, “Oh, I like to ice skate and play tennis.” Growing up near Lake Erie – she was an outstanding ice skater as a teen. She also excelled at tennis. But let’s face it, you probably won’t be so great at this in your 80’s. LOL – Dad and I smiled.
I went on home later that evening. A few hours later I received a phone call from Dad. The paramedics were there and taking Mom to the nearby hospital. I rushed to the ER to see her lying lifeless, with a tube down her throat. Dad was sitting next to her in a state of disbelief. The attending physician told me she probably wouldn’t pull through. Her heart had failed and her pulse was extrememly faint. Looking back, I whole heartedly believe Mom waited for me to get there and be with Dad before she took her last breath. That would be just like Mom.
Shortly after I had arrived, the doctor said, “Go ahead and call it.” Next thing I heard was, “Time of death, 10:08 pm.”
Eight years ago tonight, I said good bye to Mom. But more importantly, previously that evening as we lay on the bed together, holding hands, she had said, “I love you, Peggy Jo.” And I had said, “I love you Mom, I love you too!”