Friday, December 24, 2021

Somber Day

Even though it's been 27 years since my mother died suddenly on Christmas Eve, it's difficult for me to celebrate the day as many others do.

I had taken her to a local hospital on November 2, of 1994, to have a metal staple removed from her leg.  It had been put in her leg after a fracture and the doctors never removed it.

Periodically, she said it caused her pain and that she thought about having it removed.  I told her that if it was hurting her she should talk to the doctor about it because my opinion wouldn't mean much.  So she did, and he gave his approval.  It was supposed to be an outpatient procedure, with her being in the hospital less than 24 hours.  How dangerous could that be, I thought?

But things didn't go quite right during her recovery and the hospital staff recommended that she spend another day or two until they were confident she was fully recovered.

However, one thing led to another and what started as a one day procedure stretched beyond 50 days.  Finally the week before Christmas they placed her into a rehabilitation unit.  What had happened is once she was able to walk again her leg fractured in the same place and they had to put another piece of metal in her leg for support.  She finally recovered enough that they scheduled her for release on Christmas morning.  My brother and I would pick her up when she was released.

I still remember the call from the hospital at 4:15, the evening of the 24th, the day before Christmas.

The nurse told me my mother had suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in her lungs, and had passed away about 15 minutes earlier.  She said she died within a minute of the formation of the clot.

Needless to say, I was in shock.  As I drove to the hospital I had tears running down my face because just like that I had lost my best friend - a woman who had encouraged me all my life.

In honor of my mother I remember her passing every Christmas Eve by writing a few words about her because she was such a strong influence on my life.  I still miss her all these years later.

Click here to email John

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