Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The 3rd Anniversary of Mom's Death

Today is the 3rd anniversary of my mom's death. Everyone has written something about it except me. I guess I should.

I will never forget the events of that week.

On April 28th, 2005, I was driving home from work and I called my dear friend, Emily Miller, in Kansas. She used to live in the house across the street from me. She moved to Kansas about 3 months before Rex left. For some reason, I was impressed to call her that day on my way home from work. We were having such a good conversation that I didn't want it to end and I knew as I got closer to home, I would lose my cell phone signal, so I pulled over in the Lowe's parking lot. We talked for over an hour and a half. She shared a lot of personal things with me about her first marriage and how her first husband played both sides of the field while they were married, if you know what I mean. We had such a great talk. Little did I know at that time how inspired that conversation was by the Lord.

Later that night, I was working on some things on the computer - probably orders from my business - and I got an email from Rex. We emailed back and forth for a few hours and finally, after I didn't hear from him again for a while, I decided to go to was after 1 a.m. and I had to get up for work in a few hours. I got up at 6:00 and started to get ready for the day. I have a routine that after I get out of the shower, I come into the office, read my email, and put on my makeup. Well, as I started to read my email, I saw that he had replied so I opened up the email to find this:

I just want you to know that I appreciate everything that you have done for me in the past. I want us to be able to be friends. It has been a rocky time for the both of us and I know that I have not made your life an easy one. I want you to know that I have found out many things about myself since our separation and our divorce.... I guess most of all I have been able to find out who I am.

I think that you may have known for a while. Even though I just discovered for myself. Your comments about butching up and being more masculine. I have come to the conclusion that I am gay. I feel that this is something that has been bothering me for a while and I just did not know what it was. I have been going to therapy and group sessions. I have come out of my shell with this revelation and feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

I just about vomitted all over the desk. I started bawling hysterically. I sobbed. I read it over again and again. I forced myself not to throw up. I called my parents. I told them what it said and I asked, no, begged them not to share it with anyone - nobody - not their friends, not their co-workers, not their siblings, nobody. Okay, they could share it with MY siblings, but nobody else. I would do that when I was ready.

That was Friday, April 29th. I planned on staying at Lisa's house that night because we were going to go do some shopping and girly stuff the next day. I got off work and headed over. When I got there, Auntie Sigie said to me, "Oh honey, I'm so sorry." I asked her about what and she said, "About Rex." The look on my face must have told her I was instantly becoming furious inside. She said something like "Please don't be mad at your mom, she just needed to get her feelings out and so she told me." I was enraged. I was so mad I wanted to scream. So, then what happened? The phone rang. It was her. For only the second time in my whole life, I yelled at my mom. I was so mad at her. I told her, "I asked you not to say anything to anyone and you did it anyway! I'm so mad at you! I don't want to talk to you anymore right now!" and I hung up.

That was the last time I ever talked to my mom. EVER. She died the next day.

Lisa and I were on our way back from having lunch at ClaimJumper in Tempe after shopping at Ikea when we heard a noise. I asked her what that noise was and she said, "Oh, it's my phone." Then I heard my phone ringing too and said "No, it's my phone." We both pulled them out of our purses and it was both of our phones ringing. We both answered them. My family was trying to find me. All I heard on the other end was "Mom's dead." I was confused and asked, "What?" My sister said it again, "Mom's dead."

I whizzed across two lanes of traffic and pulled over on the side of the road. I asked for more information and quickly assessed the situation. Mom had been afraid of this and had put the appropriate plan in place. She had a Do Not Resucitate (sp?) order and I had medical Power of Attorney for her in case my dad was unable to make a decision as to what to do. That's exactly what happened too. He couldn't make a decision. It was so hard for him - this was his sweetheart of 37 years. I talked very quickly to the paramedic to assess the situation, talked to Dad, and gave the order. They could try to bring her back ONE time, and one time only. If she didn't come back easily, they were to let her go. I knew that's what she would want. She didn't want to live as a vegetable. They put the paddles on her and did their thing. They got a very faint heartbeat and so they rushed her off to the hospital in an ambulance.

That was the last thing I remember hearing on that phone call - the sound of an ambulance siren whisking my mother off to a cold, gray hospital. Had I done the right thing? I think so. At least it gave my family the chance to say their last goodbyes to her all together as a family...except I wasn't there. I was okay with that though. I had made my peace with the Lord 3 years earlier when I finally told him he could have her back and I would be okay.

Lisa and I got back on the freeway and headed for her house. I quickly made a plane reservation for the next flight out and gathered all of my stuff together. We jumped in my van and headed for my house. As we were driving, I got the call. Kurt was on the other end and said everyone that was going to be there was there - she was essentially gone - there was very little brain activity - did I want them keep aspirating her until I got there? I can't remember for sure, but I think I said, "Let me tell her I love her" and he put the phone up to her ear. Then I remember saying, "Let her go." He told the family and the nurse or whoever was in there what I said and they stopped pumping air into her lungs. Immediately, she was gone. My mother, my best friend, was gone. There were only slight tears on my end...I had to be strong for the family. I was the oldest child. I HAD to be strong. I drove to my house and packed a suitcase quickly, put a short, quick note on my business' website about what happened and we left for the airport. I couldn't get to the airport fast enough and it seemed like every road was either under construction or backed up. I finally got there, got on the plane, and got to my family. I didn't get to see my mom until the day we went to dress her for burial. That was about 5 days. The good thing was though, was that I got to spend about 15 minutes with her all alone. I told her how sorry I was that I had yelled at her and that I understood why she had told her sister about Rex and that I forgave her. I felt her forgiveness too.

The rest of the story is about the same from everyone else's perspective - the burial, the special tender moments that we experienced which we all felt were her presence - so I won't cover those because this entry is certainly long enough already, well, except one. Colton and I had to run to Walmart in American Fork for something. He was just learning to drive and had his learner's permit so I let him show me how well he could drive. We drove to the WM and went inside to get our things. We came back out and got in the van to head home. We were sitting there talking and he turned on the van. Within just a few seconds, the air conditioner came on - ALL BY ITSELF. Colton didn't turn it on, neither did I. We turned the knobs to check it - it was still off. Finally, it went off - ALL BY ITSELF. We sat there puzzled asking if the other person did it. I asked Colton if it normally did that and he said no. As we were sitting there trying to figure it out, it happened AGAIN! Needless to say, we were a little freaked! Then, we just realized that it was Nana telling us she was with us and now that all of her health problems were gone, she was finally warm and to turn that darn A/C on!

After I came home from the funeral, I called Emily and told her about my mom's death. I then told her about Rex. She said, "I know, honey." I asked her how she knew and she told me that she and Heath, her husband, had "known" for a while - it was just obvious to them. I told her how much our conversation had meant to me and asked her how she knew to talk about those things with me which she had shared. She told me the Spirit had guided her to tell me about them in order to prepare me for what was about to happen. Isn't it amazing how the Spirit works? Even though she's not a member of the church, she has such a firm testimony of the Lord that I feel He really did send the Holy Ghost to her to guide her in what she said to me.

As for this year's remembrance of Mom, it was really odd...

Usually the family in Utah goes to La Frontera in honor of Mom's life and memory. This year they decided to go to Golden Corral. Without knowing, Clint and I did the exact same thing! Now, isn't that interesting?!?!?!

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