On Sunday night, Jeffrey called to tell us he was formally engaged. He had told me a few days earlier it was going to take place, so it wasn't shocking or anything. We talked about how it happened and what the plans were. Then of course I sent out an e-mail to tons of friends and family. He asked me if there was anyone I thought he should call, like grandma. Well it was about 9pm and I figured that the rehab facility she was in had already put her to bed, so I told him to call her in the morning.
I have learned over the years that when a call comes in before normal waking hours it usually is not very good. So at 5:30am when my phone rang and I saw that it was my mom's love Phil, I knew it wasn't good. Through tears and anguish he told me that my mom had passed away in her sleep at 5:15am. I was shocked. She was doing so well and improving so much everyday. We were both in shock.
As he left to go to the center to see her, I called my sister. She was shocked too. We had both just been to see her and she was doing so well. After the stroke two weeks earlier mom had already gained the mobility of her right hand back and was even feeding herself. I called the rehab center in hopes, I guess, that there had been a mistake made. No mistake. In fact a lot of apologizes for not calling me first as next of kin and power of attorney. I was so glad that called Phil first.
As you can imagine, I couldn't go back to sleep. It was a bit early but I started to gather information that I would need like addresses of the funeral homes, cemetery, relatives, etc. I was already to start taking care of things by the time it was 9. The mortuary in Vancouver was a bit more difficult to work with then the one in Petaluma where she needed to be shipped, but we got everything taken care of. At times like these you go into this numb state of just having to get things done. I am good at that.
In the mist of dealing with all of this, I had to go to an appointment for my aunt with the rehab center she is at. Well I walked in 5 minutes late and everyone is sitting there and my aunt blurts out, "always late aren't you." May I say in my defense that I am not always late. I am often late when dealing with her just because I have to get in the right frame of mind! Anyway, I stood in the doorway and just blurted out, "Donna, my mom passed away this morning." Of course everyone sat there not knowing what to do or say while I realized the my mom was also Donna's sister. So I chuckled and said, "you are right, I am always late. Thanks for making me laugh for a minute." We hugged and shed a quick tear and then got down to business.
Now remember, my son just got engaged and then my mom passed away. Now I am sitting in this meeting being told that Donna could be released on the 25th but had to go home to 24 hour care and could she come to my home... Let's just say I sat there in a daze shaking my head and saying yes because she is family and what else am I supposed to do? My head was spinning and the walls were closing in.
After arriving home, I started to realize I could not do this to my daughter her senior year. I could not do this to myself. I don't have the strength physically, spiritually or mentally. Fortunately I was able to talk to my Bishop who agreed that we needed to find a better way to take care of Donna. I felt some relief and then went back to making the arrangements for my mom.