February 9th 2006 11:45pm --- I sat in a chair next to my mothers bed. It had been 4 days since she had lost consciousness. The last time she ever spoke to me was on February 5th. On the day she barely opened her eyes as she ever so slightly turned her head towards me. she cleared her throat and asked, "who won the superbowl?". It was Superbowl sunday that day. "The Steelers won mom", I replied. "Oh good, your sister will be happy." she said. My sister has always been a huge steelers fan. "She is" I said. "Oh good......I'm sorry but I can't talk, I have to sleep..I love you." She said. "I love you too mom". I squeezed her hand tight as she drifted back out of consciousness.
She deteriorated badly those last 4 days. until the 9th when she lay there emaciated, her skin seeming to be on fire it was so hot. I sat there holding her hand tight and looking at her. Her jaw was unhumanly slack causing her mouth to be agape as she slay flat on her back. Her body racked with cancer and dehydration. She didn't even resemble my mother anymore. She had built up a huge tolerance to morphine in the last month. She was currently full of enough of the drug to kill a large animal if it was given the same dosage cold turkey. I Knew full well that this would be the last time I would ever see her.
The weekly commuter flights from Minneapolis to Phoenix had taken a toll on me and my pocketbook over the last 2 months. I had been spending long days at work and then racing to the airport to spend the rest of the week at her side. Hoping not to miss anytime she may have remaining. I knew it was over now. I knew I wouldn't be making another trip. I had a plane to catch. I had to go to work and my family needed me back home.
I held her hand tight. I kissed her forhead and wispered in her ear. "Mom, I have to go now mom. You know I don't want to but I have to go. It's time for me to catch my flight. I want you know it's okay for you to go now too. You can't stay here anymore. Your body is falling apart. It's time for you to leave us and go and live with god. We'll take care of dad, I promise. I love you mom. I love you..good bye.
My flight landed and I called back to Phoenix right away. There was nothing to report. Only a few hours later I received the call at home. My mom died with my dad and my two sisters by her side, February 10th 2007, one year ago today.
That is when the year 2006 changed for me. I don't even really remember New years day 2006. But I remember February 10th.