Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sundays With Sande

PS .... Pretty Sande ~ The Beginning of The End: Chapter 13 in her life

Monday, February 28th 2000. I was lying on the couch with Bodde in the bassinet next to me. He was sleeping and I was trying to do the same myself. The phone rang and I was sure it was my mother wanting to hear how her grand baby was doing that day. I was surprised to hear my Aunt Susie's voice when I answered. I had lived in California for five years and she had never called our house. My stomach churned as my mind told me to be curious as to why she was calling now. Then again, I had just had a baby so perhaps she was calling to find out how we were doing. I was right to think that because she did start asking questions about Bodde and the delivery.

However, that relief was short lived. "So sweetie, I am calling because your mom is in the hospital." I thought I would throw up. My mother had never been in the hospital while I was alive. She had had a couple of outpatient surgeries here and there, but never actually stayed over night in the hospital. My worst fears were coming to light, I now knew that this was much more serious than anyone had previously lead me to believe.

"What? Why is she in the hospital? When did she go into the hospital?" I asked full of anxiety and now pacing the floor of my apartment.

"She went to see the gastronologist this morning and he admitted her because her stomach is disdained and she was in quite a bit of pain. She is at St. Joseph's and your cousins Renee and Susie are with her. I am sure this is a precautionary measure to make sure that she is alright", she said trying to reassure me that it would all work out.

"I know she has not been feeling well and now this is something that makes me worry. Have you seen her?" I asked.

"No, Susie and Renee just wanted me to call you to let you know. They are going to stay with her until the doctor decides what he wants to do. I am sure that your mom will be fine, she is so strong Kelsey. She is the strongest woman I know. Let's just pray that they find out what it is that is giving her pain. Besides, that is one of the best hospitals in the city." There was a long pause. I could not utter a word. I was now standing on my balcony looking at the mountain across from my apartment following a teeny tiny car driving up the windy road in the distance. My mouth would not move and neither would my body.

"Are you alright?" she asked, and I am sure she knew the answer.

"Uh, no. I know she has not been feeling well and this tells me that something is seriously wrong with her." My voice was weak.

"Oh sweetie, now I have made you worried. I am so sorry to do that. I am sure that this is the beginning of something good, at least she is getting the medical attention that she needs. Please do not worry yourself about this, they will help her. Is there anything I can do for you?" she asked in all sincerity.

"No. Not much to do but wait. I do appreciate you calling and letting me know. Please let Susie and Renee know that I also appreciate them being with her. I am sure you are right, this is probably the best. They will find out what is going on and hopefully she will feel better soon." What a liar I am.

"Well, you just let me know if you need something, Mike and I are happy to help. I know it is hard with you being so far away, but she really is in good hands."

"Thanks Aunt Susie. Just tell them to call me once they know anything, alright?"

"Absolutely. I want you to go get some rest. You know, every time the baby sleeps you should sleep too. It is the best advice I can give you right now, you need to take care of that baby ... and yourself. Let me know if you need us..."

"I will. Thank you for calling..."

"Your welcome. Give Bodde a kiss for us!"

"I will." I hung up the phone as the tears began to fall. Dread. That was what I felt. I knew that she was in the hospital because of a serious illness. I felt in my heart that it was something, something that I did not want to admit. I dare not say it out loud, I would not let the word form on my lips ... but it was plastered all over my brain. I tried not to hear it. I tried to get my mind onto something else, but it kept showing up with a capitol "C". The rest of the day was quiet, just me an Bodde spending time together. I tried not to cry when he was awake. Not that he would know what I was upset about, but I knew that babies could sense when something was wrong with their mothers. I never even got dressed, just stayed in my pajamas.

Bruce came home about 4:30, bounding in the door wanting to see his wife and baby boy. His smile soon turned to concern when he saw my face. He knew that something was wrong.

"What is wrong?" he asked, stopping in his tracks trying to read my face. I wanted to lie to him, tell him nothing was wrong that I was just exhausted. But I knew I could not lie to him.

"My mom is in the hospital..." was all I could get out before I started to cry. This sent him into shock.

"What? Why?" he said as he came to sit next to me.

"My Aunt Susie called this morning to tell me that they admitted my mom to St. Joseph's. You know she has not been feeling well and ... well .... this new doctor said they wanted to run some tests so they put her in the hospital." I said. Then out of no where I admitted my worst fear. "I think she is dying, honey."

"Kelsey! Don't say that! She is not dying, you are just being paranoid. If she is in the hospital then I am sure she will get the care that she needs. Stop thinking like that."

"Bruce, as long as I have been alive my mother has NEVER been in the hospital. I have a feeling that something is very wrong, that she is far more sick than anyone might think." I could not believe I was saying this. In some way it felt good to get those thoughts off my chest. But at the same time, I felt that I was admitting the inevitable. I knew in my heart that she was dying, and this hospital stay was going to be the last straw.

He sat and held me as I cried, trying to comfort me and convince me that it would all be alright. I think he was much more worried than me. I was already accepting that she may be leaving, but he did not want to admit that I might be right.

Next week, we delve deeper into the end, and as my fears come to light I face the biggest challenge of my young life: facing death.


gorsmom3 said...

Oh Kelsey, reading this post so takes me back to the call I got from my mom telling me she had lung cancer. Some moments in time you never forget.

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Yeah, it is hard to revisit all of this but it is important to me to get the whole story out. She was my rock, my confidant, my best friend and the ultimate hero of my life. She was the one who always lifted me up when I needed it, and reminded me that we are all only human. She touched so many people in her life, and mine, and I think it is important to share the final part of her life so that people out there know that life can move on, no matter how difficult the circumstances are.

I thank you for reading, and hope that this posting did not leave you sad.

gorsmom3 said...

No, not a lasting sad. Just a bittersweet moment. There are always those. Keep writing! I love hearing about the special relationship you had with your mom :)

LeMira said...

Oh, wow. . .Thanks for writing this even though reliving those emotions and moments can be so difficult.