19 years ago today my mother was working at an office on Maiden Lane near the World Trade Center when she heard an explosion. She and her coworkers grabbed hands and began running as a cloud of black smoke followed them. My mother ran all the way to Grand Central Terminal; the farthest she’d ever run. She told me her desire to save her life and get home to her family kept her legs moving.
Yesterday, I got a call that told me that the drive to survive against all odds had faded inside my mother.
“Miss Beamon, if you can get here today I would,” the doctor said on Thursday morning. “I will have the case manager make an exception so you can come up with your dad. Your mom has asked up to stop all media an intervention and has said she’s ready to go.”
My father and I had our licenses and temperatures scanned before we headed up to my mother’s room at the end of a long, desolate hallway in White Plains Hospital. The only noise was a man near by constantly screaming out in pain.
As soon as the door to her room opened, my mother said, “I have to go now.”
“Where?” I replied as I looked around and noticed all the monitors, tubing and medical equipment was gone.
“Home,” she said in a confident tone. “I’ve fought for so long. I tried but it’s time. I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want any more needles, tubes, endoscopies. I just want to be comfortable.”
“Okay, I can understand that,” I replied.
“Do you want to come home?” My father asked.
“No I want to stay here,” she said.
I could see the pain in my father’s eyes, knowing that after 54 years his time waking up next to my mother were over. Still, he replied, “hospital hospice it is, honey.”
My mother’s doctor gave us each an elbow hug and asked if we were okay.
My father replied that the key to their long union was friendship, communication and a mutual respect for each other’s personality, values and wishes. So, he had to accept this.
I shed no tears even though I could feel an intense pain in my chest like my heart was breaking. I looked at her and said, “you’ve done enough.”
#september11th #scleroderma #cancer #cancersucks #covid19 #mothersanddaughters #blackfamily #invisibleillness #chronicillness #chronicpain #spoonie #dying #hospice