“Hey sugar!”

Two years ago tonight, I was at home. My sister was at my house to see my mother who was ill with cancer. My mother was no longer coherent or speaking. About 8pm, my sister called on me telling me my mother’s breathing had changed. I went up to check on her and indeed her respiratory functions were much slower. She was already on a catheter at this point and had not been out of the bed in a month or more. I immediately called the hospice nurse line. The return call I received was from a nurse we’d never dealt with and was filled with lots of questions about how my mother was breathing, etc. The nurse had just gotten out of the shower at home but said she would be over as soon as she could. My mom had only been on hospice care for about one month.

The nurse arrived shortly after 9pm. Tracy and I were in the room with my mother and luckily, both children were already asleep in the basement. Luke showed the nurse up to the room where my mother was.  She came in and took my mother’s pulse and listened to her breathing with her stethoscope. She then looked at Tracy and me and said, “You have about three minutes.”

I had read all the brochures and information the hospice group had to offer about the different signs of death and preparing for the end. One of the most important things was to let your loved one know it was ok to let go. I didn’t want my mother to continue to suffer so I bent over to her and told her in her ear that I loved her and that it was ok for her to let go. Within three minutes, just as the nurse said, she gasped for her last breath.

Two years have passed and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think she might come through the door at any minute and say, “Hey sugar!” like she always did with open arms for that hug and with her big smile.  I miss her.



  1. Whatif said,

    July 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    This makes me tear up; I can totally understand how you feel…virtual hugs!

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