I get a call, it is three in the afternoon. “Mom has had a stroke and we are rushing her to the hospital,” Corina says. The calls are sent out to the rest of the family. Her eight children would be called. I am the outsider looking in; my girl friend, Corina would share the calls with her sister Greta whom she would meet at the hospital. Greta is the tour de force, a health specialist that works for a local doctor in Las Vegas where Mom lives. She would look over Mom’s care and handle the insurance company. Corina and Greta would handle the logistics of where everyone would stay.
Mom was the chieftan of the family, who helped all her children in time of need. Now, they would come to her aid. It is a stroke, but this time it is the second stroke in less than a month. Hence the calls went out. I am scheduled to come out the last week of November. Corina saw no need to change the flight unless mom died. I waited impatiently in Costa Rica waiting for my flight day. Daily phone calls, for updates on Mom’s condition. Mom would be put in a rehab facility forty minutes from home. Greta and Jason would fight with the insurance company to make sure Mom was put in a good clean and efficient environment. The insurance company would try to exit mom out of the hospital before her condition was ready to leave. Put her in the cheapest rehab facility the insurance company could find. The insurance company does not care for the individual needs, only how they can make the largest possible profit. Jason was on top of this; being a financial whiz he knew how to find a place for Mom. He gave the insurance company four facility options: ranging from expensive to moderately expensive. Of course the insurance went for the last of the options, which was what Jason thought they would.
In the minds of the family, the insurance took Mom out of the hospital before she was ready to leave. You pay all the money to insurance and they regulate your health. I always thought the Doctors told the insurance companies when a patient was ready to go to rehab. That is not the case, the insurance company dictates how much they wish to spend. Case in point, I have a friend named Kelly who has little money and family with influence. Was forced into a cheap rehab where the orderly was lazy and refused to take reasonable care of her. She rang several times for help to use the facilities. Could not wait any longer , slipped and fell and broke her hip. The orderly comes fifteen minutes later, even though her calls could be heard down the hall. He came because another lady heard Kelly’s cries for help. The orderly reprimands the other lady and tells her to shut up and mind her own business.He goes to Kelly’s room and yells at her. He was willing to let her do her business in the bed and let her sit in her own waste knowing he was off in a half hour and would not have to clean her up. What would you do to him if that was your mom?
The family will gather today at Mom’s house with Richard, her life partner,and decide the care options and the final decision for her exit from this world, if the worst happens. Mom is paralyzed on the right side of her body and can not talk. You can see the frustration in her eyes. She told her family she does not want to live this way, but seems to be making a recovery. My mother had a similar stroke, but only woke for a few days and fell back to sleep. We made the decision to stop feeding her and giving her water. It was the action that the doctor thought was best for mom. It would be a decision that would divide the family in half. Causing irreparable damages. Sisters not talking to each other. Do they think my Mother is smiling down on them and saying why do you not forgive each other for making me leave that life comfortably with your love?
Decisions will be made today. How would you’ll handle the departure of your beautiful Mother? Mom will be eighty years old next month. I want her to live a comfortable life, her way.
It Came to Pass
It came to pass; the grand old woman went to the great beyond.
All her subjects, her sons and daughters for whom she was fond,
Comforted her as she searched for the light,
Eased her pain to give her clarity and insight.
To search for those who went before,
Those whose stories were legends of lore,
Through the darkness of past pain she traveled,
Through the shadows of light bedeviled.
Soon the glare of white shown clear
Her three sisters she held dear.
Mother and father held out their hands,
Welcoming their daughter to the Promised Land.
Husband, with his head held low,
Asking forgiveness to rescue his glow,
Tarnished by years below.
With her wisdom, she would bestow.
Two figures step into the light,
The last to acknowledge her graceful flight.
Two brothers, her sons long traveled past,
Welcoming the grand old lady at last.
Her journey complete, a life well lived,
Her vessel quietly asleep, it gave all it could give.
It came to pass.
Her rest is eternity; a new life begins.
I will miss you, Mom.