My Mom had been taking care of my Dad who has been sick since June 2012.  I would help her in between my work hours.  Fortunately we all live in the same house.  I would do all of the cooking for the household and take care of my Dad's meds.  My parents had set up living quarters in our finished basement for themselves and my husband and I live in the main part of the house.  I would drive them to where they needed to go, as my Dad hadn't been driving since he got sick.

On Tuesday December 18, 2012, the day started out just as any other day.  I went to work, came home, went back to work, then I picked my Mom up to drop her off at the store and would pick her up after work.  The weather turned very freaky for December.  We had rain, thunder, and then a huge beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky.  This was very unusual for New Jersey.  When I picked my Mom up, I saw that they had not had any rain where she was.  I said it poured at work and at home.  I told her that I had taken pictures of the rainbow as it was so beautiful.  She said she couldn't wait to see them.  When we got home, I got out of my uniform and my Mom took her shower.  Dinner was ready by that time, so I said I would come downstairs for their plates, as I wanted to wrap the gifts she had asked me to take care of after dinner.  But as I opened the door, there stood my Mom 3 steps away from me holding a plate.  I said to her "give me your plate and I will get Dad's plate and please come up the stairs the rest of the way before you fall"........it was 5:21 P.M., the exact time that my grandmother, my Mom's mother passed away 27 years ago to the minute...that's when my Mom fell backwards down the stairs..knocking my father over...I don't even remember getting the stairs....my Mom didn't make a sound as she fell....she hit the tile floor with her head causing severe brain damage and severing her brain stem.  It seemed so long for the EMT's to get there...I called them twice....my Dad was ok, but couldn't move as she was part way on top of him...I called my sister-in-law to come help me...finally the ambulances arrived....they took my Mom first and then my Dad...I went with my Dad in  the ambulance.  We arrived at the hospital before my Mom did.  I asked the EMT where my Mom was, she said they had to pull over.  All the while on the ambulance, I was making calls, first to my boss at headquarters, then to the doctor for him to get someone from the practice to  the hospital....when we entered the hospital, the first person that came to me was the Chaplain.....I knew right then that my Mom was not going to make it, but I had to keep up my spirits for my Dad.

As they were taking care of my Dad, they finally brought my Mom in, they were taking her to head trauma...the Chaplain said you don't want to see her this way....finally the doctor told us that basically she was gone, but they had to wait for no brain activity...so we all saw her, hooked up to so many machines...by that time my husband had finally gotten home and my son had arrived from NYC....we had to wait till the next morning for the next cat scan...when we called in the morning , they told us that her pupils were blown and the bleeding was severe in her brain....the doctors told us there was nothing more to do for her, so I said we had to let her go, as it was her wish....we let them disconnect her form life support at 11 am, December 19, 2012 and she passed away at 11:35 with my Dad holding one hand, me the other, my husband at my side, my son at my father's side and her baby brother standing at the bottom of the bed.

It seems like it was nightmare and I still can't wake up and believe that she is gone.  Now it is my responsibility to take care of my Dad.  Since my Mom  died, I have had only 2 days that I have not cried, I miss her so very much.  Sometimes I feel that maybe if I hadn't been in such a hurry to get things  done that day, that maybe she would still be with us.  But my son assures me that something had to have happened to her on that staircase, a stoke or who knows what, that it is not my fault....that we will never know, as her death was ruled accidental.  Donna

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Comment by Nirmala Bhattacharya on February 13, 2013 at 11:33am
It was not your fault at all. My husband died suddenly on Dec. 11, 2012. He was a physician, he did not realize he was dying he did not ask me for help, he just died. He was only 50 years old. When the time comes looks like nothing can be done. On thanksgiving he woke me up in the middle of the night telling me he was having nightmares, he felt better talking to me. Now I am living a nightmare, I have been a housewife for the past few years, now I have to get my resume together and look for a job. What a life?

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