My Mom passed away. I’m in Ohio for the funeral. Her's was not a sad passing. She lived to a ripe age and never had any serious health problems until the end.
She had pulmonary fibrosis. Her lungs were irreparably scarred. When first diagnosed, the doctor asked my sister how long she has been smoking. The irony is that my Mom never smoked a cigarette in her life. Unfortunately, her father and the two zeros she married were all chain smokers, so she lived her life inside a cloud of cigarette smoke. I told her, “See, Mom, you should have smoked after all.”
She facilitated her own demise. Because of her deteriorated condition, we had to move her from her condo into a nursing home. She hated it, but knew there was no alternative. She couldn’t live alone and none of us had the wherewithal to take her in. Among other needs, she had to wear an oxygen mask 24-7.
She lasted three days in the home. As soon as Fr. Jim gave her her Last Rights, she refused to take any more medications and signed a Do Not Resuscitate order. The only drug she allowed was morphine to ease the pain. She slipped into a deep morphine induced sleep and, according to my sister, her last words were a stab at black humor: “I’m a morphine addict!”
She had a rough life but had mad ninja skills as an optimist. I think some people are genetically predisposed to always be happy or always be sad, no matter what their circumstances. She was the former and I’ll miss her.
Eerie factoid #1: When my sister phoned to say she was gone, she grabbed the nearest cell phone, which happened to be my Mom’s. Her death was imminent and I knew what the nature of the call was, but I had to stutter-stop when my caller ID read: “Mom.”
Eerie factoid #2: My Mom was born in 1935 and died in room 35 in the hospital. Later that day, after Mom passed, my sister’s neighbor paid a visit to express her condolences. While walking up my sister’s driveway, she picked up a penny that was on the ground. It’s wheat-back penny from 1935. My sister has it as a keepsake.