Have you ever been through something so dramatic that it changed your life forever? I have experienced this in my life all too many times. None had ever been as drastic as the event that left a lasting scar in my life. The day I’m speaking of was the day my mother left this world, in other words the day she died.
December 28 2013, began with quite a start. The night before my brother, father, mother, grandmother, and I had planned to leave Zephyrhills and head back to Melbourne for a visit. Unfortunately the day wouldn’t see that plan come to fruition. Instead I woke up to my dad shaking my shoulder. He had a very disturbed look on his face. He told me that he could not get my mom to awake. I, knowing how mom did like to sleep, did not get very concerned. I walked into my mother’s room and found her on the bed looking blissfully asleep. I began to shake her shoulder and speak her name. After a couple of failed attempts I began to shake her a little harder. All of a sudden a green liquid began to seep from her mouth. Panic began to stir inside me, and by the looks of it my father too. Suddenly my brother came into the room and began shaking her harder and started yelling her name. My dad then asked me to lift her head up. As I did what I was told and opened up her eye lids both dad and I noticed right away. Her eyes were dilated and were rolling back in her head. My father looked up at me with fear in his eyes and said three scary words “call and ambulance!”
As the ambulance arrived in the front driveway, my brother and I ran outside in a panic telling them what we had just witnessed. Three paramedics with their medical equipment ran into my mom’s room. Almost immediately they checked her pulse and then lifted her off the bed and onto the floor. Without any hesitation one of the paramedics began performing C.P.R. on her. Knowing exactly what C.P.R. meant made my father, brother, grandmother, and I begin to panic. My mother was strong woman, she was actually a registered nurse, and she was usually the one helping someone else. The paramedics lifted her up on the ambulance bed and prepared to take her to the emergency room. The irony being that she actually worked in the same E.R. that she was being taken to.
After witnessing all of the traumatic things that had just past with my own eyes I began to realize that something very bad was going to happen. But a big part of me wanted to believe everything was going to be fine. My father and brother went with the ambulance and I decided to stay and watch over my Nana. Two hours went by and I began to get more and more anxious by the second. Finally I had reached my limit with the anxiety and called the hospital E.R. already having there number on speed dial. When the nurse answered, a nurse I knew personally due to my mom being one of her coworkers, I asked straight away how Linda Rhoads’s condition was. Then I realized the nurse’s voice sound choked up like she had been crying. That immediately sent long shivers running down my spine. She asked me if I was her son and I responded with “yes please tell me what is going on”. She then told me that she was going to let me speak to my dad. When he answered the phone I spoke rapidly begging him to tell me what was going on. He then answered with the three most painful words I have ever heard “Chris she’s gone”. All of a sudden I was on the ground and screaming begging my dad to tell me it wasn’t true. I felt like a piece of my soul was gone. All I remember from there was crying and pain. I remember thinking to myself that I wished it was just a bad nightmare. But it wasn’t it was real, my mom gone, gone forever and I would never see her again.
My life from that day on was changed forever. Linda Marie Rhoads wasn’t only my mother but she was my hero. She was always so determined, especially when it came to her job saving lives and caring for her children. She was the most selfless person I have ever known and I am proud to be her son. She taught me right and wrong, how to control my anger and make it something better, and how to be a good man. Losing her taught me that one should hold on to the people they love, because in the end none of us have very long on this earth. Life is a fleeting thing and you never know what your future entails. I will always miss her in one way or another. But I do know that one day I will look up, and I will see her again.