I was once rock bottom. My heart was filled with despair and I couldn’t fathom getting out of bed. I didn’t know how to move forward, or if I even could. Everything I had known and believed in was taken from me. In an instant. My mom was gone.
And then, I was LIFTED by the power of prayer, the love of friends, the strength of family, and the overwhelming presence of my mom’s spirit who lived on in each of us.
On February 2, 2011, I received a call while teaching at my elementary school. My mom was non-responsive and 9-1-1 had been called. Non-responsive. Fever of 108. Non-responsive. Cold to touch. Non-responsive. Had to be stabilized before they could get her into the ambulance. Non-responsive. Air lifted. WHY WAS SHE NOT RESPONDING?? The voice of my beautiful mother, whom I had spoken to on the phone a mere 12 hours prior, LIFTED me into my car to start my trek to her.
I lived 6 hours away. Driving through a horrible snow storm, I barely made it through the mid-way point when they closed the Interstate that separated my worlds. The snow still falling in great numbers, the roads around the hospital were eerily empty. I would not stop. I would not waver. My mom must respond. She needed to wake up. What happened?? My friends LIFTED me as they cried on the phone with me. Keeping me alert, providing me comfort, assuring me they were there for me.
So many tubes. She didn’t look like herself. Why were her feet black? Why were her fingers purple? Why was she so cold. Non-responsive. My family LIFTED me through those awful moments. They hugged me, cried with me, helped me comprehend the words the medical staff were trying to articulate.
I am still in shock. I am still numb, heartbroken, and confused. But over the past five years, my mom LIFTED me when I needed lifted. I hear her advice when I am stuck, I feel her hugs when I am sad, I see her smile when good comes my way. She loved me enough in her 52 years of life to carry me through all of the days I have on earth.