When we got home from the Cancer Treatment Center, Hospice had everything set-up. There were four oxygen tanks lined perfectly in a row by the wall of her bedroom. A bigger oxygen machine was plugged into the wall, with a long plastic cord hanging from her lamp. I guess what hit me the most though, was seeing the hospital bed that was awaiting her arrival. It was perfectly made with fresh sheets and a bed side table that she could use for medicine.
We had arrived back home early that morning, 4:30 or so, and the head nurse of Hospice had already called to let us know she would be arriving later that day to go over paper work and assist with questions. I knew the questions that I had, she didn’t have the answers for though. It was a long, draining few days from that Saturday when she was still delivering mail. We were all so tired, and it felt like we had been in the boxing ring for 48 hours straight. And, the hardest part still wasn’t over. We still had to tell my son about his Nanny dying.
That afternoon the nurse came and went, as we found out that it was just standard procedure – like we were just cattle going through the gates. The nurse told her what to expect, like how her eating habits would change, she went over medicine she brought and then she started checking her vital signs. It was like she had her system down.
I was also dreading this day. I always envisioned her dying on morphine, her sleeping a lot and not really knowing who I was anymore, with her being so in-and-out of the processes of dying.The Hospice nurse did give her, her fist drop of morphine under her tongue. She said, it was to help her breathe better and to stop her heart rate from beating so fast. It did/does make her sleepy, but thankfully she isn’t at her worst right now, and it made me feel better that morphine helps her breathe better. I remember her looking at me, as I was sitting on the bed and her grabbing my hand that day, she said, “Kacie dying really isn’t that bad”.
That afternoon, Cameron walked into her room and sat down on the side of her hospital bed. I could tell he was nervous. He didn’t look at her much and was kind of humming one of his little beat boxing noses. Then my mom sat up and said, Cameron do you remember how Nanny has cancer here *as she pointed to her lung. She said, well, the doctors did everything they could, and now Nanny has to go save us a seat in Heaven. And she began to point with her little finger, that I want a seat saved right here, here, and here.
Cameron was quite for a moment and then he fell onto the side of her leg and started bawling. My dad was sitting beside them and he leaned into them and said, we will get through this buddy, as he started bawling his eyes out. Then, I piled on top of them, as I started bawling my eyes out. It was like that for a little while – which felt like minutes.
I said, come on dad let her and Cameron be by themselves for a while; so that’s just what we did. We stayed in the living room,but we could hear their cries and their voices through the door. It was one of the worst days of my life, one which I will never forget it. However, it got worse. As we were leaving to go home, Cameron walked out before me, and he literary threw himself on the hood of his Nanny’s mail truck. I’ll never forget how he cupped his little hands and his face dived into them. He was sobbing his heart out.
Fast forward two weeks later, Cameron still has his moments,but I think the shock has worn off for now. I take him to see her every chance I get, and I make sure he calls her every afternoon. The thing that is hard for us is knowing that she won’t be able to see the milestones of his life. She won’t be able to go with him to his high school baseball games or see him graduate or get married and have kids. I know her spirit will always be with him and I know her good trails will live in him, but not having her physically there will always be a hole in our hearts.
Cameron doesn’t really talk about it much, and I don’t really press the issue of cancer on him. If he wants to talk about it, I’m always here for him. Before I close with this post, I wanted to mention when we got home that night, he texted one of his best friends. I walked in to check on him and tears were flowing down his little face. I said, Cameron what’s wrong? He said,what my friend just said got to me… he said, Jesus is calling her home.
I hope that when Cameron is older and he finds my blogs interesting enough to read, that he will reminisce about his young life and the journey I went through with his Nanny and when he comes across this post, he will feel at peace.
I hope that he will always feel a piece of his Nanny with him, after she is finally home.
If you’re wondering why I’m choosing to post pictures like this, it’s because I’m trying to find my new normalcy. Here is a perfect example of how to express the direction I’m moving forward too, as a blogger who is facing life without her mother.
One of my very best friends (photographer) said this about one of the pictures she was editing. Her words were so beautiful.