Sunday, June 8, 2008

Remembering Mom

This morning (Sunday June 8th), I realized that one year ago today my family was gathered at the hospice in Salt Lake City around Mom watching her struggle for her life. She was in an incredible amount of pain from the numerous large open wounds as a result from her disease, calciphlyaxis. She was taking shallow breaths and was totally unconscious. I remember sitting in staff meeting at work that morning and getting the call from Janice that the doctors didn't expect Mom to live more than a couple of hours and to come quickly. I called Jake as he was dropping off Elisabeth to go to daycare and getting ready to go to school that he needed to go straight up to see Mom. I remember watching Mom that day wondering why she was facing the trials that she had to. Two days before I had gone to visit her at Pioneer Valley Hospital. One of the last things that she said to me in our private conversation was that she wanted me to keep the commandments and to be strong in the church. She emphasized that over and over. It was difficult to watch someone who knew that she was dying. Mom wanted to be there when Janice had her baby. I had told her only a couple of weeks earlier that I was pregnant with Nathan and she grieved she would not be a part of these two little boy's lives. Jake & I both joked with her that if she met our baby not to tell him too much about his parents for fear he wouldn't want to come to us. Mom has since become that angel to my son throughout all of his struggles. I know she was there to comfort him when he was in the NICU going through his jaw surgery and his incredible amount of pain in the days and nights there I couldn't be there with him. She has also been here with Nathan as he has faced this surgery. Watching Mom die has increased my testimony. Moments before she passed away she awoke and looked all of her children in the face trying to say goodbye. Then she looked up at the ceiling and acknowledged with her eyes that there were people there. That's how I know that Mom has been here watching over us.

I would have laughed at someone if they had told me a little over a year ago that at age 26 I'd lose my mother and that the weekend of her death a year later I would be at Primary Children's watching over Nathan after he had his open heart surgery. It has been a difficult couple of years, but I also realized this morning that I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything. We met other parents of children with heart problems yesterday at a picnic. There were many children there who have struggled so much more than Nathan. It makes me grateful that Nathan only has Tetrology of Fallot and not anything worse. Going through this has made me appreciate our blessings no matter how large or small they might be. It has also made me realize how important relationships are. We couldn't have made it through these past 4 1/2 months without the help of our family and friends.

Here are some pictures of Mom.


Dan & Calli Ellinger said...

What a sweet tribute to your mother, she was a great lady. It is a blessing to know that they are really not that far away and we will see them again. I hope things are still going well with little Nathan. When will he be able to come home? Let us know if there is something you need.
Best wishes!
Love, Calli

Mom & Dad Ellinger said...

So you brought me to tears again! You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself that really puts the feeling behind it. Thank you so much for sharing those sweet thoughts about your mother and to be able to express your testimony about how to look back and see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together of what has happened to you in the past couple of years. You will never go wrong by heeding the words of your wonderful mother - Only true happiness will be the result.

Dan & Calli Ellinger said...

Kierra saw the picture of your mom in her wedding dress and said,
"Her a princess!" I thought it was so cute!