My mother was a beautiful woman, inside and out. She lived her life for her children and her children were her life.
She was generous yet frugal. She would loan money to employees who were struggling but always reminded them that they had to pay it back. All but one of those helped paid her back. She was a strong, proud woman who always told us nothing was ever given to her and that she worked for everything she ever had. Despite trying to teach her children this lesson she was determined to leave a legacy to each of us.
Her health battles started many years ago when she was diagnosed with diabetes. Her strength and determination along with diet and exercise kept her away from insulin for nearly 30 years. Unfortunately, the medications she was given took their toll on her kidneys which continued to decline. She had always known at some point she would end up on dialysis though she fought hard to try to prevent it. Then she was told she was anemic. She began with iron supplements but they didn’t seem to improve anything. Then came the MDS diagnosis. The first transfusion in February really gave her the boost she needed. Dialysis finally came into play and the transfusions became more frequent. It became a battle to make sure her blood was tested frequently enough to stay on top of her dropping hemoglobin. The family learned to recognize all of the signs of when it was dropping but could never get the blood results fast enough to be able to get her transfusion on an outpatient basis and she would end up hospitalized at critical levels. With Covid-19 and no one being allowed to be with her in the hospital we relied on friends that worked at the hospital to check on her for us. After having been taken to the hospital three times in the last month, six in total and each transfusion lasting a shorter and shorter time with the last one having lasted only five days the family knew we were only buying time that was quickly running out. The family fearful if we had her hospitalized one more time she may not come out. Her desire was to pass at home surrounded by her family and the only way left to ensure this was to place her on hospice. My mother was the energizer bunny and could easily run circles around those half her age. Had she only had to deal with dialysis I have no doubt she would have managed that just fine. It was the MDS that continued to rob her of her energy to fight.
Hospice began on Sunday, she was quite tired and slept often but always knew when someone came in the room or heard a different voice she would open her eyes and say hello. She knew her cousin and his wife were coming in from out of state to see her but was afraid she may not make it and wanted to bargain for one more transfusion. Her granddaughter and medical power of attorney had to explain to her why this was no longer an option. Her cousin and his wife got there and were able to visit with her. Another cousin was scheduled to come in the next day and he made it as well and was able to visit with her. Friends and family continued to come to see her and she fought to greet them all. Together we laughed, we cried, we prayed, each of us spending precious time just being with her. She drew her last breath peacefully surrounded by her family on Wednesday morning just as she had wanted.
God in his infinite wisdom knew what he was doing when he gave us you as our mom. Our love for you will endure. We can feel safe in knowing you will continue to watch over us and guide us all until we can be with you again.