Thursday, October 8, 2015

I miss you mom

"Hello Mother"

"Hello hija"

This was the way we started our telephone conversations every single night.  Four words.  I miss you mom.

Monday, October 5, 2015

ELENA VIGIL October 26, 1935 - September 27, 2015

I have lost my mother.  We buried her on October 1st.  It still does not seem possible that I lost her so quickly.  She went to the hospital while I was in Europe.  Nobody told me.  It's mom - she has been in and out of the hospital a million times.  Nobody wanted to ruin my vacation.

By the time I got home on September 23, 2015 she was no longer speaking.  I don't know whether or not she could hear me but I really hope so.  I had spoken to her on the phone while I was in Europe but I never got to say goodbye.  It bothers me.  A lot.

She didn't have much pain.  I didn't let her.  I gave her meds every time I even THOUGHT she was in pain.  She died peacefully.  She was 80 years old.  She had a very good life.  I am grateful.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Another day of waiting

It is so sick - this whole death vigil.  It tears you apart, it is horrific.  We all just look at her..  Is her breathing worse?  We raise our voice to her constantly trying to elicit a reaction, a response...  Are you ok mom?  Mom?  Are you in pain mom?  I love you Mom.  Can you hear me mom???  MOM!!! 

The desperation grows along with the fatigue, the anger, the circle under your eyes.  You second guess every decision we have made.  Should we make them insert a feeding tube?  Are we starving her to death?  Did we give up too soon?  Isnt her color better today???

My daughter feeds her juice and high vitamin milk so she doesnt "starve"....  This is all too much!!!

I have put numerous dogs down when they have been dying and in pain.  We dont sit around and watch them die!  Why do we have to do this over and over again with the people we love?!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday 9/24/2015

Just met with hospice.  It's now official.  My mother is dying.  I sit here by her bedside listening to her struggle to breath.  So much pain.  The morphine knocked her out.  I may not be able to speak to her again.  It's surreal.

She has been sick so many times.  We have been told so many time she would not make it.  Yet this is still a shock.  In two months she went from just being old and frail to stage 4 liver and lung cancer.  This morning she was crying from the pain and asked me when she was going to get better - it broke my heart.  She has no idea that she wont.  That she is dying.

She will be going home with hospice today for the last part of her journey here on earth.  I have to believe - I DO believe - that she will be reunited with my grandmother, my father and my uncle... People she loved and who loved her.  I have to believe that I will see her again or this would be totally unbearable.

9/21/2015 - 9/23/2015 Coming home

Monday, September 21, 2015

We both love Barcelona.  It's a very very busy city with lots to see and do.  Mostly we walk around, sit at cafes and drink coffee, sangria, beer, wine... whatever strikes our fancy, and eat some of the wonderful Serrano ham that I can't seem to get enough of.  

Bernie went to a miniatures store and bought some great kits.  It was great to see him like a kid in a toy store.

Then I get the call from my daughter.  My mother has been diagnosed with stage 4 liver and lung cancer.  She has been in the hospital for the last 10 days because she was having trouble breathing.  Nobody told me until today. The diagnosis was given today.  It's amazing to think she was in the hospital for several weeks in July and nobody found it!  It kills me to think that all her aches and pains over the past two months - the ones we kept blowing off because she has been such a drama queen all her life were real.  Stage 4!  How the hell did that happen without us knowing?  This woman goes to the doctor constantly.  And nobody knew?  Nobody suspected?  How can this happen to BOTH my parents?  

By the time they found my father's cancer it was too late.  He only lived nine weeks.  I can't go through this again.My poor mom.  I tried to talk to her on Skype but she is not conscious.  It is killing me to be this far away from her. 

De ja vu.  When we were in on a cruise to Canada in October 2010 we had to rush home because my wonderful father in law had a stroke.  He died on November 6.  It was devastating to be that far away but we were able to make it back the same evening.  From here, it's not so easy.


Tuesday,  September 22, 2015 

Went out walking again today.  Bought some fantastic art supplies.  Some I was familiar with and some that are brand new to me.  I especially love the new graphite pencils from Portugal.  I had never seen or heard of them before.  I tried them at the store and they are truly fabulous.  Too much money.  Oh well, you only live once. 

We had to go to El Corte Ingles, the Macy's of Spain, to buy a huge suitcase.  Cost us $300!  I had no idea we would need so much more room.  We are hoping to reduce the amount of suitcases (we brought 4) to 3 so that we don't have to pay as much at the airport.  

Sitting in a restaurant, trying new foods when my brother Albert calls me.  My mother has taken a turn for the worst.  They don't think she will make it until Friday.  He tells me I should come home.  But how???  Not only do I not know what to do, I don't have the  money to do anything.  I am desperate now to get to my mom.  She can't die before I get there.  She just can't.  I need her to know I am there.  

Kristina called me on IMO so I can see and speak to her but she doesn't seem to hear me.  She wont respond.  I have a total meltdown.  How the hell can this be happening???  Who can I yell at?  Who can I blame? My brothers tell me they viewed all the xrays and scans from July and there was no cancer.  That her cancer is so aggressive that in two months it has taken over her body.  How the hell does that happen?  How can God allow this to happen to my mother too?  Wasn't it enough with my dad?  Wasn't his death horrible enough? I called my travel agent.  Told her I need to get home.  She will take care of it. Kristina and she make arrangements.  I leave tomorrow at noon.  Will be in Miami by 4:00 pm Miami time.  My mom has to wait for me.  She has to. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

We get up very early in order to have some coffee before the driver  picks us up to go the airport.  I had called the front desk last night and explained what the situation was and how we were unable to get ahold of the tour agency in order to be picked up today instead of tomorrow.  He got my information and said he would do what he could.  He was so nice.  He called me back shortly and told me that he had taken care of it.  The change had been made and driver would pick us up today at 8:00 am.  Such a nice young man.  I am so grateful.

I feel like I'm in a fog.  I don't want to think about what is happening with my mother but can't seem to think about anything else.  I am grateful I can't call or be called while on the 9 hour flight.  I am terrified that she will die before I get there.  I don't know if I can live with that.  Not my fault - not anyone's fault.  Had I known I would never have come on this trip.  I would have spent more time with her instead.  But I can't live with the idea of not being able to talk to her, of letting her know I am there and that I love her.  Yes, she knows it, I know she does.  But I KNOW that my father heard our voices until the moment he took his last breath.  I take comfort in that.  If my mom dies before I get there, I just don't know if I can live with that.  I'm so scared right now.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday - Day Thirteen - Dock in Barcelona - 9/20/2015

This morning we were up early and docked at Barcelona.  We had a private driver waiting for us and he brought us to the Melia Serria Barcelona.  A fabulous hotel in a wonderful - though very quiet - area.  After taking a little nap - well, okay, four hours - we took a cab to the Ramblas at the Plaza Catalunya.  We have been to Barcelona before but this area is totally different than the one we went to in the past.

The crowds are the same - thousands of people from all over the world strolling up the Ramblas which is like a very long plaza (many many blocks) full of vendors and musicians.  Shops on both sides and of course the Spanish ice cream Bernie has been talking about for the past 12 years!

Found a Hard Rock Cafe which always make me happy.  Have cute pin for my journal!

Came back to the hotel early to catch up on my journal.  I am so behind!  I finished VENICE!  That's it.  Oh well, there is just too much to do and see!

I will admit that I am getting very homesick.  God help me I actually miss my children!

Saturday - Day Twelve - 9/19/2015 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

We took a tour through Palma de Mallorca and Valdemossa.  Palma de Mallorca is absolutely gorgeous.  The mountains, the homes, the views - totally stunning.

But Valdemossa?  Oooohhhh la la (or was that France?)!!!  I absolutely LOVED Valdemossa.  Known for its pearls, this little town on top of the mountains outside of Palma is a story book village with it's beautiful homes with overflowing flowerpots everywhere; it's cobblestone streets; it's vendors and cafes.... I could spend a month here just breathing.

Who knew?

When we got back we had dinner on the ship at a Japanese restaurant complete with a "fake Japanese cook" from the Phillipines.  They did a little show on the grill.  The cook was hilarious and the food was good.  A great end to a great cruise.