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Living With Cancer XX

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It was the morning of March 22, 1979 and my Grandmother and I were both up early. As time passed we noticed Mom hadn't woken up. The day nurse arrived around 7:30 am. She came in and saw Mom and she immediately called the Doctor. The nurse explained how Mom was and told us that she had gone into a semi-comatose state and that there was nothing more to do but wait.

I became agitated about what the jackass Doctor had said. We were to just wait. Mom wanted to die in her own bed. So that was it, we were to wait. Wait for my Mom to die. How do you just wait for someone to die. Do you take a shower? Do you do laundry or clean the house? How do you just wait for someone you love to just die? I didn't know what to do. I told my Grandmother I was going out and I would be back in about an hour.

I had rolled up a couple of joints and I was going to go for a drive in the country. I found myself out on a road we had marked off for racing. I had a Chevy Station Wagon and it had a nice motor. So I put some Pink Floyd on the radio and lit my joint and buried the speedometer. I hit 115 mph and thought that was cool. So I turned the car around out in Pasco County and did it again coming back. This time I almost hit 120mph but I backed off before I blew the engine. I pulled off onto a dirt road and got out and yelled at the top of my lungs and broke down crying.

Grandma was sitting in Mom's room when I got back and we talked for awhile. She wanted to do last rites and I said no not yet. I knew I was going to eventually lose that argument but I still had to hold out for hope. Mom would drift off and talk to people that she had known in her life and when she became coherent she would deny it. Grandma and I would laugh but we knew better. Mom and I had some real heart to heart talks when she was around . The rest of Thursday was like this. It was kind of neat listening to Mom talk to her old friends. It was about this time I started to believe that there was an afterlife. You almost thought these people were in the room with us.

Friday morning came early. Mom had to go to the bathroom and Grandma couldn't hold her. So I went in and picked my Mom up with one arm and carried her to the toilet. I then held her in my arms while she tried to go the bathroom. Grandma said that it was enough. We cleaned her up but there wasn't nothing to clean up. It was just her nerves playing tricks on her. I carried her back to her bed and made her comfortable. We talked for a few minutes and then she drifted back. I left the room and went and looked out the bay window. My Grandmother came out and gave me a hug and said something that I really needed to hear from her. She finally admitted that she now knew just how hard all this had been on me. I was 18 years old and just picked up my dying Mom with one hand. There was nothing left of her.

Later that morning, I consented to the last rites and Father came about 4pm. Some of my Mother's friends along with family came and were with her for the rites. I stayed outside and my Aunt wasn't allowed to come and show her face. That felt good. All was alright until the Priest came out and yelled his lungs out at me. He read me the riot act and I deserved it. He later hugged the shit out of me but for awhile he was pissed. In all the years I knew this man he had never raised his voice.

After everybody came out of my Mom's room I went in. She told me to close the door and lock it. I came back and sat down on the bed. We sat and watched "Dallas" together. We used to watch that show together sometimes and my Mom was coherent and all for that moment seemed right with the world. It was the last time I would talk to my Mother. Saturday March 24, 1979 came way to early. So long to Happiness.

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