She Walks With Angels Few things in our lives will ever prepare us emotionally, for the death of a loved one. The sadness, anger, and comfort that fills the heart cannot be imagined. It was within the last five minutes of my mothers life, that I realized that I was not prepared. As I stood on the side of the bed and watched her gasp for precious air, my emotions took control. My first thoughts became those that were filled with sadness.
I felt deep sadness and regret, and wondered if my mother ever knew how much I idolized her. Did I really ever return the love and care that she gave me? My eyes saw sadness when looking at the lifeless figure of wrinkled skin that my mother had become. This by no means was the same woman who used to wrestle with me and my brothers, and beat us all. No way could it be the same strong woman, that used to play tackle football with me when I was little. I remember one time, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, I came into the house crying.
My mother asked me what was wrong. I told her that my two older brothers were ganging up on me in tackle football. She asked the usual mother questions, and when she found out that they had chosen the teams as them against me, I quickly had a new teammate. She grabbed my hand smiling and then we marched outside, with her striding like a defensive lineman going up to receive her most valuable trophy award. As soon as my brothers saw her come around the corner of the house, with my hand in hers, they knew that it was a whole new ballgame.
Now my mother was no giant by any means. She was 51″ tall and about 140 pounds, but on the first play of scrimmage, I hiked the ball to my mother and she went around the right end running over both my brothers. Not only did she run them both over, but then she even taunted them with the ball. Both my brothers got up holding various body parts and cringing in pain. Though she told them that she didnt mean to hurt them, we all knew the truth.
It was only a little retribution for me, and to let them know that she didnt approve of their unfair tactics. On the ensuing kickoff, my brother Wes tried to block my mother, it was a foolish attempt. My mother tossed him aside like a hay bale being thrown in the loft, and then proceeded to make my other brothers body become one with the ground. That would be the last play of the game, as both my brothers started whining about how unfair the teams were. It was just what she had wanted to make them understand.
As my teammate and I went into the house, I had gained a new appreciation of her. It was sad to see what used to be a vibrant, dark- haired, attractive woman, turn into a living corpse void of any coherent thoughts. As I processed these thoughts of sadness I soon became angry. I was mad! Why in the hell did I have to lose my mother, my teammate? “Why god, why her?” God had chosen the one person that had been a steady and very influencing factor in my life to join his band of angels. All my beliefs, values and ethics were strong willed from the hand of mom.
I was mad at the fact that my mother was being consumed, eaten, by a disease that didnt play fair. My anger only grew worse when I started to think of the pain and suffering that she must be enduring or had endured. Why does she have to lie her and struggle to live? Why the hell isnt the brain smart enough to know when to shut of the autonomic response and rest in peace? As my mothers breathing increased even faster, I started to feel comfort in the fact that this senseless act of living, even when dead, would soon be over. I took comfort in the fact that this body would soon take its rightful place beneath the dirt, and also in the fact that my dad would be able to start living again. He really was the one who suffered. My father had watched his wife of 37 years go from a strong-willed woman that could take care of herself in any situation, to a childlike dependency state.
He had watched over the course of a year, my mother who he was very dependent upon, become more and more dependent upon him. I dont ever remember a time that my mother needed my father for backup or support, but my father was a different story. He was the one who needed her praise. He was the one that needed her to take care of the fires and also the one he needed to rely upon. It was my mother who was my fathers rock and foothold in the cliffs of life. It was odd and out of place to see that the proverbial table had turned.
As my mothers breathing again became more sporadic, and the veins in her neck began to show the push of all her muscles trying to grab all the oxygen that they could, I pushed the morphine overload. As I pushed that damn, soothing yellow button, with its green letters, I took great pride and comfort knowing that I would help to end my mothers suffering. To know that the comfort that I would provide with the morphine, would be like that of which she made me feel many times throughout my life. It made me feel as though I was coming to her rescue, like she had done on that day we thrashed my brothers in the football game. As she gasped for the last time, I bent down and hug my eternal teammate, my angel for the last time.