Sunday, February 12, 2012

When.." I'll See You In an Hour Never Happens."

After a long restless night, filled with worry and doubt-I slept. I went home from the hospital late thinking Shanny looked fine, although anxious. I felt I needed to get sleep in a bed and not a rolling pleather chair that stayed cold and the blankets smelled of antiseptic. Besides, I decided work had to be a priority for now, unless issues changed and things took a different turn. For now, all was good with the world. I got up early and called Shannon, guilt for leaving the hospital set in and I thought if she really felt I needed to be with her, I'd go back up...work could wait another day.
Shanny told me to go on to work, the doctors hadn't been in, actually no one had been in yet and it was already after 7:00 am. Whatever happened to shift changes and nurses popping in to check on you an doctors making rounds, and the patient never getting sleep because there was always medical people in the room asking questions or adjusting something or administering meds. I guess if Shannon had been on any machines or i.v.'s, we would have seen someone. Honestly, I had to hunt someone down most of the time to ask a question or get an answer. This day wasn't starting out any differently.
Jas got to the hospital after he dropped off the kids to school and Gus to pre-school. I called back and there was still no news about 9:00 am. Jas went on a hunt of his own-a hunt for some answers.
My phone rang about 10:45 and it was Jas..they scheduled Shan for a cardiac cath at 2:00 pm. WHAT?!? WHY!?! I'm not sure but that is the plan. OK-I'll leave at lunch time unless you think I need to get there earlier. No, that should be fine-if anything changes-I'll call you back.
At 11:15 my supervisor said Rose, when are you leaving..in a minute, I said. Just let me finish this last whatever it was that was so important..I walked out of there at 11:30 or so and by the time I got to my car, I was in a panic. I don't know why, probably guilt. Guilt for not staying the night before, guilt for not asking enough questions, guilt for not being a good enough mom, guilt for not leaving work earlier and what if I don't get there on time and they take her early and my phone is dead and Jas tried to call but couldn't reach me....

I walked in her room at 12:10 and she was on her laptop and looked up and smiled. Hi, mom...
(Breathe)-Hi,Shanny-bug..

And we waited..we talked, I held her hand, she whispered she was scared, I told her how proud of her I was that she was doing this.I rubbed her forehead, it usually soothed her, today I was trying to soothe myself. The longer it was taking, the more anxious I became. I know very little about medical procedures. But I knew this was way more invasive than a stress test with dye. I knew of people who had them and said it was routine now; nothing to worry about, stop being over dramatic.  She wrote in her journal, she wrote notes, she prayed, she spoke on the phone, she smiled, and then about 2:10 a nurse came in and said there had been an emergency and the cath lab had called, Shan's cath would be pushed back. It would be done today, but she didn't know what time. And so, we waited. About 2:30 Shannon said...I'm so hungry, maybe I should just wait until tomorrow for this test, I haven't eaten since yesterday. What if the doctors are too tired to do it now. Really, I think I should just wait. Fear or premonition or the knowledge of what was to come?
Jas finally spoke and said.. I'm not sure if that's an option, honey..let's give it a little time and if they don't call for you soon, we'll see what we can do about getting you something to eat. And so, we waited. You could feel the tension in the air..the frustration of dragging this whole calamity out. No communication, no real plan or direction, no answers to questions, nothing but a ticking clock. At
3:15 a gurney was rolled into the room and Shannon was moving from the bed to the gurney and
all of a sudden, we were in the hall exchanging kisses and hugs and I ran back for one more..I made the sign of the cross on her forehead and said God bless you, God be with you..I love you and I'll see you in an hour. She said,"  Love you, too, Mom."

That hour turned into 5 hours of hell. I never got to feel her beating heart again. Her hug was just a memory now and I will always think of her last words to me as my final gift."Love you, Mom.."
My baby would not wake up and kiss her husband and hug her babies..which is truly what she lived for-her family. She wouldn't attend the Justice for All Ball in 2 weeks and wear the new sash she just bought for her dress. She wouldn't see J-Bug take 4th in the Pinewood Derby, or Gus have his party at the pizza parlor, or Evie sell over 200 boxes of GS cookies. She wouldn't fuss at her sisters about how to raise their kids, or annoy them with her phone calls, or tease me about waxing my moustache or making sure I was flossing enough...

God, what I wouldn't give for just one more day...but that wouldn't be enough either. The truth is, I would never be ready to give my babies back. Even though I know they are only on 'loan' from God..they are mine while they are here and that won't ever be long enough. I took so much for granted, right up until the end.  I believed with all my heart I would see her in an hour..and that hour never came.

Now, I am learning to say "I love you" more often..
To listen more closely...
To make memories while we have the opportunity...
I am only sorry it took losing a daughter to teach me such simple life lessons-lessons she tried to teach me while she was here...when I was too often too busy or too tired. Shannon knew the true gifts this life had to offer were born of our faith and our family. She lived her life in pursuit of both.
She left this world a better place for having been in it-she wrapped her arms around life and gave it one giant hug!

She left this world having been loved by so many...including a mother who leaned over a bassinet 34 years ago and whispered, "I love you, sweetie," just like I did today...only today she whispered back
"Love you,too,Mom."