Today is my first day participating in Reverb10. If you’re not familiar, this is an annual challenge held during the month of December and you – the writer are given prompts each day to tell the story of the year and look forward to the new year. That’s my interpretation and I think I’m on point.
So I’m five days behind and I would start on the day they pose the tough prompt. So herei it goes!
February 27, 2010
Have you ever woke up and gone through the day without a clue as to the devastation and pain that was quickly approaching? Well that is the only way I can describe the day I had to say goodbye to my mother, Chris Shockley. I’ve never felt so much pain.
The day started at my parent’s house where I had spent the night with my Mom. She was having a difficult time at night, but I never thought the end was this close. Mommy was restless Friday night constantly going from bed to chair, from bed to chair. It was almost as if she didn’t want to sleep, and now as I reflect I wonder did she know the end was close and she wasn’t quite ready? I think maybe. I now know that she was telling me the time was near, but I continued to hold on to hope that she would continue to fight.
At one point during the night she would wake and ask me to hold her as she went back to sleep and then a few hours later she woke with a start and yelled “I’m leaving” and I quieted her and said I was there and everything was okay. Today I know that she was letting me know that her journey was coming to an end.
I left my parent’s house the next morning with my Mom seated on the side of her bed. She said “I love you,” and I told her the same and that I would talk with her later. When I got home I went to bed and slept for most of the day. That evening I was to attend an American Legion dance with my husband so I got up and got dressed to spend a night on the town.
Less than an hour after arriving at the Party Center I received a call from my sister saying Mommy’s pulse was thready and weak and I needed to get to the house. I grabbed the keys from my husband and began the fifteen minute drive to my parent’s house. We were in the midst of a snow storm and I traveled as fast as I could – praying all the way “Lord, let her hold on until I get there. Lord, please don’t take her.” The snow was coming down thick and heavy and the roads were becoming slick, but I made it.
I drove into the driveway and ran to the back door where I was greeted by my aunt, and I knew before she said anything that I was too late. The pain grabbed me deep within my stomach and a scream of “Noooooo!” could be heard throughout the house. I slumped to the floor and cried before going upstairs and laying with my mother and saying goodbye.
Cancer had once again knocked on the door of my family and taken a cherished member away. My world is emptier and I am regularly reaching to call her on the phone and recount something special, interesting or funny going on in my life.
A piece of my heart has gone, but I now have my own personal angel watching over me. Below is the tribute I wrote in honor of my Mom.
The Birdie on My Shoulder
From the beginning you fought for me
That fight would continue for many years in many forms.
Your strength was always present even when we were apart.
You assured me that whenever I had trouble all I had to do was look on my shoulder
On my shoulder a little bird sat watching – that Red Robin was you.
You watched over me as I spoke my first words, took my first steps and ventured out into the world.
As I ventured into the world you assured me that you would be there, “I’m the little bird on your shoulder” you said.
With every step I’ve taken since I’ve paused to think “What would my little birdie think?”
My birdie said “Reach for the sky, there are no limits if you work hard at it.”
When the ceiling seemed short and I couldn’t see my birdie. You said take your arms, wrap them around you and squeeze.
That ever present hug is what I’m holding on to, because my birdie still watches over me, but she has taken flight and is perched on the right side of God.
From that perch on high she will guide and protect me.