Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Death of My Mom

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you that my mom, suddenly, passed away today at the age of 60. For those that do not know, my mom was recently diagnosed with a carcinoid cancer in her GI tract on June 30. Over the last two weeks, I have had her here in Kansas City with me pursuing further testing and treatment at KU MED. The prognosis for her surgery was promising and was to take place on July 17th. After spending last week in KC here with me, my dad was able to take her home to La Crosse on Friday, July 10th. I spoke with her throughout the day on Friday and at approximately 800pm on Friday night. At 10pm, she went to sleep and never woke up. On Saturday morning, my dad woke up and attempted to rouse my mom. However, she was unable to be roused. Originally, we felt it was from the overwhelming fatigue in combination with her new medications. However, I started an obsessive calling regimen to rouse her. Unfortunately, I was unable to do so. Finally, I requested that our local physician go to our home and check on her. She was then transferred by ambulance to the hospital. Upon further testing, it was discovered that she had had a massive stroke and brain bleed in her sleep. I had her life flighted to KU MED as a last ditch effort. There, she was provided with exceptional care from every staff member that she encountered. My dad and I made the decision last night that she would not want to be sustained on life support. At approximately 830, we discontinued life support measures and transitioned to comfort care. I spent the night snuggled next to my mom in her bed. This am, I made the decision that we would have a cocktail party at noon today. I assembled the ingredients for cosmos and served a bar of 15. I toasted her at approximately noon today. Following that, I made a phone call for my mom to a colleague who had disrespected her and frustrated her for many years. I said all of the things that mom never did say because she had to share an office with her. And, it made me feel really good. At 1:09pm, with my head on her chest and my dad's hand on her heart, my mom went home to the Lord. As soon as she arrived, I am pretty sure that she was greeted with a cosmo and cigarette.
To be honest, I am not sure how I am going to get through this. However, I know that I will. God has blessed me with an amazing family and friends. I know that with your help and guidance and prayer, I will make it.
For those of you that do not know, Bryce and I have been married for one month as of today.
Her funeral services will be on Thursday, July 16th at 2 pm. The services will be held at St Paul's Episcopal Church at 11 E 40th street in Kansas CIty, MO. I will be speaking at the service. My mom is being cremated and will be buried in the church yard. Her name will be placed on a plate that will remain in the bell tower. Each year, on All Saints Day, as the bell tolls, they read the names of all those buried in the church yard. The service will be followed by a reception where all are welcome.
Memorials are to the Rush County Memorial Hospital in La Crosse, KS to continue their mission to serve rural health needs and to the Junior League of Kansas City, MO for their work with literacy in Kansas City.
To further help others continue to read, her eyes were donated this afternoon.
I would ask that you all attend on Thursday if you are able to celebrate the life and legacy of my mom. She was an amazing woman and she was my best friend.
With love and the help of God's grace,

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