|Being silly only 36 hours before that dreaded morning.|
She was worried because she wasn't able to get my mom on the phone for their usual morning chat. It was only about 9am at this time and I told her not to worry and that she probably just decided to sleep in because she hadn't been feeling well the day before and was probably exhausted after all the Christmas craziness.
But in the pit of my stomach I knew something was wrong. My sister and I continued to call and still no answer. For the normal person the fact that she wasn't picking up the phone would probably not have been a big deal but my dad needs around the clock care after having several strokes so my mom never left him. We called at the time my mom should have been giving my dad his meds and still no answer.
We tried calling the neighbors but nobody was home. My sister's fiancee then drove to the house because he was closest at the time. My husband and I also decided to head over there. That was the worst drive of my life. My sister called hysterical that my dad who cannot really articulate and is difficult to understand finally answered the phone. She asked "Where's mom?" and all he could get out was "on the floor."
I knew it was bad but I kept trying to tell myself maybe he just meant she was lying on the air mattress she sometime slept on but that's when I got the second phone call of that drive and heard my sister's sobs on the other end. I then knew she was gone.
We got to the house shortly after that and the police and an ambulance were already there. My sister's fiancee confirmed what I already knew, she was gone. I went in the house and they tried to usher me to my dad's room but I saw her, I saw her collapsed on the kitchen floor. An image I will probably never forget.
I had little time for a meltdown because my dad was already past due for his many meds which we now needed to try and figure out. Plus since he was already in a fragile state I needed to stay strong for him because he got upset every time I broke down. I really need to hand it to the guys for keeping themselves together that day and making calls to the funeral home, relatives, doctors, pharmacists and everyone else we spoke to that day.
My sister and I really had no opportunity to truly grieve because we needed to jump right into caretaker mode. Where most people in this circumstance would be in bed and getting themselves composed for days, weeks, hell months we had no time for that. We needed to figure out how we were going to care for my dad and what was going to happen long term. Not to mention my sister is giving birth to her second child next week.
We went from being so joyous and silly as a family on Christmas Eve, being excited for Disney and a new baby to mourning the completely unexpected loss of our mom not even 48 hours later. She wasn't sick, She was happy, vibrant and full of energy and only in her early 60s. This was last thing we thought would happen. Our dad is sick but our mom was healthy, she was fine and in the blink of an eye she was taken from us. Goes to show that you you have to treasure every moment because when you least expect it someone can be taken from you with absolutely no warning and your life is changed forever.