Sunday, September 30, 2012

Another tragedy

This came as a shock. Here is the story as I know it up until now. My da went to the beach by himself to ride his bike as he often does. I had been trying to reach him and wasn't able to.

Later on in the day someone from an ER in Santa Monica called my sister to say her dad was there. Apparently my dad had his keys and on the keys was his LA Fitness tag. The called the gym saw my sister on the account and they called her. She gave the hospital social worker my number and she called me. She essentially told me there had been an incident with my dad at the beach and to come down to answer some questions. She told me my dads backpack was left with the lifeguard and the information to retrieve it. Then she gave me the info on where my dad was. What made me really as was that my dad had been there for several hours and they had him as "John Doe" because he had no ID on him.

I quickly drove with Mr. M to the lifeguard station. We got the backpack but they told us his wallet wasn't there. It was probably in the car which no one knows where he parked. It wasn't at the lot in the beach. The life guard told me first hand what happened to my dad as he was the one involved with the rescue.

He told me my dad was pretty far put and that he started waving down the lifeguards. They saw him swimming and breathing and still headed out to him. By the time they reached him he was underwater. He wasn't breathing and he had no pulse. He was so far out in the ocean they needed a boat to get him. They started CPR on the boat and continued on the beach. For 25 minutes they fought and were able to bring him back.

The ambulance picked him up and brought him to the ER. They stabilized him and put a tube down his esophagus. When I got the call he was in the ICU. When I got to the hospital the doctor told me his lungs are injured and he isn't breathing as well as they would like. They told me he was unresponsive. He would not follow commands. They said there was still saltwater in his lungs. His pulse is a bit low at 50 beats a min where the normal range would be 65 plus. While I was there his blood pressure started to drop too. They then started a bunch of procedures on him. They did an ultrasound on his heart which I think was ok. I don't recall the exact update. They are not sure if there was any neurological damage. They are going to assess him tomorrow. Good news was that when the doctor tried to open his eyes he would shut them tight. He would occasionally fling his arms around trying to take out his tubes so that was also good in the sense that he is still there somewhere. They had to put him under thought because of that so when I saw him he was completely unresponsive. Very very hard to see.

I just can't believe that we are going through this right now. Abilla's funeral was just yesterday, now this? My god hasn't our family been through enough. I just as for prayers and good vibes. Tomorrow we should have more information.

Paying my final respects

I feel like Im sort of scrambled right now so please forgive me if my post is all over the place. Im still finding it hard to gather my thoughts.

I left Friday afternoon to head up north to Fresno one final time in Abilla's name. On the way there I passed a couple of signs that I had never noticed before. They said "Paradise Ranch" on them. I thought that was fitting since I will see Abilla next in the new system in a paradise Earth.

We got to my uncle's house and met up with my mom for dinner. On our drive to the restaurant my mom turned to me and said, "I want you to know that we thought of you while we were making the program. We included Genesis as one of her great grandchildren. Also the put her name on the inside as Violeta "Abilla" Diaz as a tribute to you since you gave her the nickname." I was taken aback. I was shocked and thrilled at the same time. I just started to cry thankful tears and let her know how much that means to me. Seriously, this is a first. And the fact that the family didnt oppose her to include Genesis... I was sort of beside myself. 

We went back to the hotel trying to get some rest knowing that the day that was to follow was going to be the third hardest day of my life, {first was losing Genesis, second was say goodbye to Abilla and third, paying my final respects to Abilla}

I woke up and got the kids ready, and got myself dressed too. While I was getting ready I took an opportunity to remember Abilla and Genesis.

Anyway, I wanted to be sure to look my best. I wanted to look classy and put together just as Abilla always was. I specifically planned to wear a specific necklace.
Here is a close up.
This necklace has a story. I bought this necklace for Abilla back when I was in junior high. It was a locket and it was meant for her to put a picture of us in it. I dont think she ever got around to it. I was so proud of myself for buying her this with my own money especially since I did not work at the time. She kept it through the years. And when she started to get ill, the family asked if I wanted any of her jewelry. I grabbed this and held on to it. It's very special to me.

So we were all dressed to the nines and we were on our way to the hall where Abilla's service was to be at. And We passed this.

This was the facility she was at. This is the first time she has not been there since I have been in Fresno. It totally made me sad. I walked in the door to the hall and saw this on the right. Yup. This is really real. Part of me still had been denying it not wanting to believe it but seeing this made it hit home. Seeing the program below hit me even harder. Yea... its real now.

I could't even read it right away. It made me tear up way to fast and if I was going to survive this I had to pace myself. I then saw a guestbook.
Again totally hit me super hard. And last but not least I saw a counter top with a few of her pictures on it. Here they are.

Third hit to the heart. Thats a strike right? I should be out. I really felt like I was going to pass out. It was too much to handle. Thankfully and not thankfully, yes both at the same time, G decided to act up. It was good that she got me distracted and off of the subject but sad that I couldnt hear the service. I had already thought ahead though and had my brother record it on my phone while I was taking care of her in the bathroom so she didnt disrupt anyone else. 

The presented my uncle a small bouquet of flowers. Pictured below.
A bouquet of violets. Violets for Violeta. I thought that was very sweet. 

As we were leaving my brother was taking the flowers back in his car and I saw the bouquet and asked for a flower. I had not really noticed these flowers and what they were made up of until I was asking to take one. Check this out.
A pink gerber dasiy! What are the odds? Do you remember what pink gerber daisies are from? Remember this post? Yup these are a flower that remind me of Genesis and I had them at her 5 year anniversary back in March. Seriously, my brother had no idea these meant anything to me nor does he really give a care about Genesis. So it really was a total coincidence. Or not a coincidence should I say. I think it happened because it was supposed to happen. It made me smile. I felt Genesis presence was there. 

On my way back along the long 3 1/2 hour drive back, I had a lot of time to think. I think this picture on the right pretty much sums it up. Abilla met me when I was a few days old back in September of 1983. I said my final goodbye to Abilla in September of 2012. We had 29 long and beautiful years in between when these two photos were taken. Almost exactly 29 years. It was 29 years, 1 week and some odd days that we had. I have been fortunate enough to be able to document our first and last meeting. Again, a priceless picture that I will always treasure. I love you Abilla.

Today, I happened to be driving by Genesis' garden and decided to stop. I saw this:
Someone had left a rose on her stone. I have no idea who it could have been. I am touched that someone was thinking about her. Since the rose was a bit dried up I assume it may have been a while ago but I could be wrong as its been super hot here and maybe the heat just made it dry up a lot faster. Still, it made me happy. I decided to leave the flower there and leave a little something extra.
I left her a heart of course, but also an "A" for my sweet Abilla.

Friday, September 28, 2012

One last trip

Today I will be making the last trip I ever make up north for Abilla. Only this time it will be to show my respects at her memorial. I am sort of apprehensive. I know walking in and seeing a large photo of her at the front of the room surrounded with flowers will stab me in the heart. Seeing the countertop filled with pictures from her youth will also be very hard. But the hardest thing Im almost certain of is seeing the pamphlet talking about her life. Seeing that makes this real. Too real.

I just know the pamphlet will go on to state how many children and grandchildren and great grandchildren she had. And you know what is coming... Genesis will not be counted. I can guarantee you. Im sort of preparing myself for that additional slap in the face. Sigh. I think Im going to record the service, at least the audio because I will probably be too big of a mess to hear everything so Id like to have it for later so I can go back and hear it. It will probably we in Spanish since that was what she spoke.

Sigh. I just hate that I have to do this. My heart is breaking. I can't believe Abilla is no longer here. I feel like Im in the twilight zone. I guess Im still in shock.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Abilla, plans, memories and things

I found out yesterday that when my brother had his last moment with Abilla one of the things he told her was about Genesis. He told her to take care of her when she meets her. I was very touched that he remembered.

Also I mentioned before the plans were to have Abilla cremated. I had feared that my family wouldn't give me some of her ashes, and it seems that I won't be getting any, but for another reason. Apparently in her will, Abilla asked that she be cremated and that her ashes be placed with her mother in the mausoleum in Ventura. In order for this to take place the ashes have to be sent directly from the morgue to the mausoleum, or so I am told. Even if my uncle were given the ashes for a time, Im told he cannot open it. That it would create a legal issue. This I can accept because it was her wish. I will go to visit her often. And at least I will know where she is at.

I have found myself reflecting on all the memories we had. She was an incredible woman. She had two children, a boy and a girl (my mom and my uncle). She had 8 grand children. 3 girls and a boy on my uncle's side and 2 boys and 2 girls on my mom's side. She had 15 great grandchildren (including Genesis). 

She had a wonderful sense of humor. I remember her laugh was so contagious and she was always laughing. She would laugh so hard that she would start coughing. It was hilarious. She always dressed so nice and was an accessory queen. She was very well kept and stylish always doing her hair and nails and such beautiful makeup. She was a classy lady. Also Abilla was the first person to hold me when I came home from the hospital. You can see that moment captured here to the right. I seriously treasure this photo. Spanish was my first language and as I entered public school I learned English very quickly. The only reason I kept up with my Spanish was to communicate with Abilla. I also have a weird complex about speaking Spanish. Though I am fluent, I can read it and write it, I have always felt that native speakers look at me speaking Spanish and think that Im some "gringa" white girl trying to speak Spanish. So I am always very hesitant when speaking publicly. Abilla was the only person I never had this issue with. I feel I really need to get over this complex now especially for her. She would be so proud. 

I have a ton of stories about Abilla. Id like to share a few. Some you have heard before and some are new. Abilla used to have poor circulation in her legs and I would always give her leg and foot massages. Thats just what I did. When she was a young girl she had an accident and fell down some stairs and severely hurt her back. She was left with a lump in her back that always ailed her. She was never able to stand up straight because of it. Also way back when she had laser eye surgery to correct her vision but apparently something went wrong. It ended up leaving her with one pupil permanently open all the way and the other permanently closed all the way. As a result she had to put in eye drops every couple of hours pretty much for the rest of her life. I remember having to remind her to put her drops in and bring her the drops and her timer. I loved helping her. There was one time we went to a Taco Bell for dinner (her favorite place) and I was helping her get up and walked her to the car. As we were leaving I glanced back at the table we were at and caught glimpse of a purse under the table. I must have not been thinking because it didn't really register in my brain and I carried on with getting her in the car. We get home and help her out of the car and I asked to hold her purse and we realize she left it. It hit me that the purse I saw was hers. We rushed back to the restaurant but it was too late. Someone had already stolen her purse. It made me so mad. They took her id her little money she had and all her medications. I blamed myself for the longest, I still sort of do.  I still have no idea why I didn't put two and two together to save her from having her bag stolen.

In other news, yesterday we were going through a trunk of old photos looking for pictures of Abilla to have out on display at her memorial. It made me sad but at the same time it made me smile seeing all those pictures of wonderful times. Among the photos we came across some ultrasound pictures. We looked at the date, 2007. It was Genesis. Wow. I had no idea my mom saved these. It made me really happy she kept them. 

On top of that, I didn't expect Mr. M to come to the funeral even though he came up north to meet her for the first and last time. I know he doesn't really do funerals, plus I knew that he had to work Saturday and that he would not be able to get the time off. So because of that I didn't even ask if he would come. I didn't have any expectations regarding him and the funeral. Come to find out he still asked to get it off because he knew how important it was for me. He figured there was no harm in asking. And though it's just as we thought, he could not get time off for someone that was not immediate family, I am so touched that he asked. What an amazing guy huh?

Yea so that is the update as of right now..... And with that I leave you with Pink's new song that totally speaks volumes to anyone that has ever lost someone.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 25th, 2012.... a day I will never forget

There is so much to document on this day, so Ill just start in chronological order. Mr.M came over the night of the 24th to watch a movie. The movie lasted longer than we anticipated and we were up very late. Somewhere between 1:30 am & 1:35 am we saw a sudden flash of light. My tv is against a wall with a window and since we were facing the tv and the blinds were partially open, we saw this. It was a very bright flash of light that lit up the entire sky. There was no noise. I went out about 3 seconds after it happened to see what it was. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. There were no planes, no helicopters... there wasn't even a cloud in the sky. It couldn't have been lightening as this was far too bright and more of a white light and there was no thunder... and again no clouds in the sky. My brother happened to be outside in the backyard going for a night swim and saw it too. It lit up the entire place. He could not tell where the light originated from. It was too fast and too bright to even try to track it. He told me he saw this happen once before a couple of weeks ago. Again it was a few blocks from the house. None of us could explain what it was. There is no logical explanation. It scared the crap out of me. What I did know what that weird/strange/unexplainable/odd/significant things happen to me either when it is close to a special day for Genesis or if something is going to happen. I had a feeling that the 25th would be significant to me. That something was going to happen and this flash of light was a sign of that. 

The BLM retreat that was sponsored by the OC Walk To Remember had been scheduled for the 25th and I was very much looking forward to it. But to be honest, the situation with Abilla was weighing heavily on my mind and I was not able to enjoy this as much as I had wanted. 

When I arrived I noticed a tattoo parlor across the street and was very tempted to get a tattoo. With the situation with Abilla, I knew I was going to get her name done. I just didn't know when or where I wanted it. As her death became more eminent, I decided I wanted to get it done while she was still with us. Since I saw this I thought it was a sign that I should do it. But for now, I just decided to carry on to my BLM retreat. 

I got here in about an hour and 15 minutes. I walked in and was surprised by how beautiful it was. It literally was right on the water. So soothing to smell that sweet salt air and the hear the crashing waves just feet next to us. It really was pure relaxation.

There were beautiful seating arrangements with large umbrellas. Refreshments and different little rooms that offered different services. I signed up for a few of them. First there was a lady who was a physiologist who offered relaxation and meditation services. I was in a group of 4 ladies and she did some deep breathing exercises with us. I really did need that. With everything going on I felt it help me calm down and get more grounded. 

After that I signed up to get my nails done. Such a small thing but boy does it really make a different to invest in yourself. It makes you feel great. They had servers come around every few minutes offering you shirley temples or various appetizers like bacon wrapped shrimp and crab cakes. It was delicious! I didn't really know anyone here. They were all lovely ladies but it seemed that everyone sort of already knew each other. I felt very awkward and sort of left out by not knowing anyone at all. I thought I could meet some new BLM friends but I was feeling less than social with everything I was going through with Abilla. Plus I knew we all had child loss in common and me having to tell my story about Genesis was probably inevitable. I really didn't want to tell it today. I was already an emotional mess with worrying about Abilla. So perhaps thats why I was sort of standoffish.

Oh I forgot to mention when you arrived they had name tags with who your baby was who no longer was here and their birthday. It was very sweet. In my everyday life in passing conversation with others, I pretty much only say Im a mother of two, to D & G. At these events it's nice to say Im Genesis's mother and not have someone do a double take as to why Im mentioning a child that has passed away. I think its something that we need to do/say/hear every once in a while to remember the truth. We say we are a "mother of two" (in my case) so much that sometimes we may start to believe it for a second.

One of the last things I signed up for was a massage. It was wonderful. I can't even remember when I had my last real massage. It was just what I needed. After the massage I decided that it was time for me to go. 

As I left I got one last look at the tattoo parlor and decided that it was time to get the tattoo, but not at that parlor. I decided to go home, meet up with Mr. M and go to a place close to home. At this moment I still had my grandmother with me and I really wanted to get this tattoo while she was alive. I already had a memorial tattoo for Genesis, I really would like to get this while I knew she was still here. And Mr. M said he would go with me. 

I got home in about an hour met up with Mr. M and headed to the tattoo shop. We parked in the parking lot and my phone rang. Yes. It was that call. My sweet Abilla had just taken her last breath about 3 minutes earlier. My sister was the one that called me. She could hardly speak. I wish so badly that I was there with her and the family in Abilla's room one last time. I asked her to kiss Abilla for me one last time. She agreed. And with that I hung up from the call I wish I never had to get. I was too late. I would be getting another memorial tattoo. 

This shop was ridiculously expensive so we headed to another one a couple of miles away and the offered me a great price and were able to do it right on the spot. It took about 45 min. I had the finished tattoo less than 2 hours after Abilla's beautiful heart stopped beating. Ill take that. It was pretty darn close to the moment that changed everything, so Im fine with that. I think as terrible as it is to lose her, it all happened as it should. I got notice to go see her. I got to her in time to tell her all the things I wanted to say. She got to see her great grandchildren one last time. It went as "good" as it could have gone.

She is in peace now. I spoke to my mom later in the day and she told me that they were able to spend 2 hours or so with her after she died. That was about the time my tattoo was finished. She said Abilla looked so peaceful. I was so happy to hear that. They said the night before when they thought she wasn't going to make it through the night she looked like she was crying. She worried she was in pain, and she was very short of breath. The convalescent home told us that was very normal right before death and they assured us she wasn't in pain because they were giving her morphine. It's normal for they eyes to tear up which I had no idea. It's fitting and yet still heartbreaking. Im glad I didn't see that. It would have ripped my heart out of my chest. I told my mom that when I saw Abilla I knew it was her time to go and I whispered in her ear that its ok to go. I know she is tired and we all love her and we will see her in the new system... and as much as we will miss her, that its ok to go. My mom says that she is glad I told her that because people in her state try to hang on for the family, not for themselves. She did tell me though the same thing that Mr.M told me. She did hang on long enough to see everyone. She saw all her children, her grandchildren and great grandchildren. The only ones missing were me and the kids. She told me that Abill held on to see me and the rainbows. After she did she was satisfied. 44 hours and 15 minutes later she let go and fell asleep in death. This brought me comfort. I knew she was telling me goodbye and that she loved me when she squeezed my hand. Im ok with this. This was a good ending... well you know what I mean. It could have been much much worse and Ill take the ending we were given. 

I find peace in knowing that the moment she left us, she met Genesis. She got to meet her great granddaughter for the first time. I just know that she gave her that great big hug and kiss for me like I asked. I know she told Genesis that I love her so so much. I just know it. They are waiting for us in the new system. When I see them again, I know that Abilla will be holding my sweet Genesis in her arms and she will bring her over to me and I can already envision what a huge group hug we will have. There will be so many happy tears flowing and an endless amount of kisses. I cannot wait for that day.

Her funeral is set for this Saturday. Once again Im going to take the long drive up north. The last time I will be making the trip for her. Im still in shock and go in and out of crying spells. I think it will all hit me and settle once I go to the funeral. Im not looking forward it, naturally I will be a mess. But I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 23rd, 2012.....the last time I will ever see Abilla

Yesterday was a whirlwind of emotions. We left LA bright at early around 8:30am. It's a few hours to Fresno so the emotions didn't really hit till we were actually exiting the freeway. 

As we drive closer and closer to the convalescent home the nerves kicked in. I literally started to hyperventilate. I pulled in the parking lot and had to take a few minutes to sit in the car and just sort of breath, pull myself together and try and calm down. After about 5 minutes or so I worked up enough nerve to actually get down from the car and do the inevitable. 

I got the kids down from the car...And walked in sort of a stupor to the front door of the facility. As we entered and walked down the hallway to her room, I felt my breath get shallower and my throat get tighter. I saw so many elder people just sitting in their wheelchairs or laying in bed. I had seen these people before. It's so sad to say but many of them looked like corpses already. In the past, I was so happy that my grandmother never looked like that. I thought it would kill me to ever see her like that. Little did I know that she now was in the same state. 

I finally arrived at her room, room 29. This was a new room. I had never seen her in this room before. I guess they moved her for hospice care down to the far end of the facility. Last room at the end of the hallway. She still had her same roommate, Amparo. They had shared the same room for many many years and became best friends. Almost like sisters. I was told that when she was informed that Abilla was entering hospice care she was inconsolable and cries every day for her.

I entered the room, and I could have never been prepared for what I saw. Only Abilla was in there. {Amparo was actually sitting out in the lobby and I greeted her as we walked in} I saw her sleeping in her bed, hooked up to an oxygen tank. I had never seen her with oxygen before. I saw sores on her face from where the tubes rubbed against. Again, I had never seen her with these sores before. I know that her skin is super fragile, almost like rice paper, and she bruises easily, but again, never on her face. Her eyes were sunken in and she looked like those other patients I had previously saw and felt so sorry for. I couldn't help it and I burst into tears as soon as I saw the state she was in. I held her hand, kissed her, stroked her beautiful hair and she never woke up once. This was bad. It was the worst I had ever seen her. So much different than when I saw her 8 months ago in January. 

As the tears calmed down and I was able to breathe again, I remembered that I had printed out a photo for Abilla. I knew that she wouldn't see it. I knew she wouldn't be able to read the note on it. I knew all that. But that's not why I made this picture. I made this note on a picture of me and the rainbows and put it on her bulletin board so that I knew that we were "there" when she took her last breath. Even though I can't be there holding her hand, we would be there in spirit and be right next to her this way. Here is the picture I left {edited of course to protect the privacy of my rainbows}

The note says:

"No sabes cuanto te queremos Abilla. Siempre estaras en nuestros corazones. Nos vemos en la nueva sistema mi Abilla querida. Mil besos y abrozos.

Tiffany, D & G {G}"
"You don't know how much we love you Abilla. You will always be in our hearts. We will see you in the new system my very loved Abilla. A thousand kisses and hugs."

They were few words but sent the message across strong. I wanted to sign the card with Genesis name as well but being that my family is so judgmental I simply signed it with a "{G}". Im not sure if anyone will get what I put but either way I don't care. I did what I needed to and Genesis little spirit is there with ours.

I sat at her bed for a good while. Holding her hand. Kissing her forehead over and over. Touching that beautiful hair of hers. So thick. So shiny and still much of it was still dark. I got several photos of she and I. And of course of her and the rainbows. G is at a difficult age right now so I wasn't able to get all the photos I wanted. Nor was I able to really get the artistic ones I had envisioned in my head. I made due with what I had to work with though. 

Mr. M came as well. I was thrilled that he got to at least meet this woman that means the world to me once. He brought out the camera and took many candid shots of the rainbows and I which I can't thank him enough for. These are photos that I will treasure for the rest of my life. 
Above you can see how dark her hair still was. On the top right you can see the faded scar of her quadruple bypass. And lastly one of the last times I will ever hold my grandmother's hand. I love that my dragonfly bracelet came out in the photo. Again, another small way that Genesis was there. 

I was told I could cut a lock of hair, again as a keepsake. My mom left me the cutest little box to keep her hair in and a cute ribbon to tie her lock in. It's fitting that its a purple box since that is her favorite color.

After about an hour we were ready to go. I gave my brother a moment to be alone with her then I asked him to take the kids to the car and I would be there in a minute. I needed a moment alone with her. I kissed her and told her how much I love her. I told her how much she means to me and what a huge part of my life she has always been and always will be. I told her the kids and I were going to miss her but I can tell she just wants to rest. I think she is ready to go. I thanked her for everything she has ever done for me. I told her we would see her in the new system. And that when she gets there she is going to meet one of her great grandchildren for the first time. Sweet Genesis. I told her to please give her a great big hug and kiss for me and to tell her I love her with all my heart. To tell her that the rainbows and I miss her and we think about her all the time. She isn't forgotten. Let her know we will see her again, and to just wait for us. I asked Abilla to take care of Genesis and to enjoy getting to know her. While I was saying all this I was holding her hand. And while the whole time we had been there she had been asleep, while I whispered this into he ear she woke up twice. she didn't say anything. Nor did she open here eyes big... but there were open and she did look at me. When I told her how much I loved her she squeezed my hand. I started sobbing. I knew she wanted to say it. I knew she felt it. I knew she understood but she couldn't speak. But this was her way of letting me know. I cannot tell you how much that meant to me.
This was the very moment she squeezed my hand. You can clearly see her grasping my hand. It was a strong grasp for her usual weak/ frail self. She held on for a bit too. I will always treasure this moment and am so so grateful that I captured the moment in a photo. Once again my sweet dragonfly came out in this photo as well. 

I took one last photo of her... pictured below.
And with that I left her room. Mr. M was waiting for me outside the room and held me as I came out. I walked down that hallway shaking. Sobbing. Knowing this was the last time ever. I felt numb like I was in shock. I could hardly breathe. I felt like I was walking in slow motion. It brought back the memories of me leaving my precious Genesis at the mortuary... just turning around and walking away knowing I was never going to see her again. Wanting to go run back to her and stay for as long as I could... but I just wasn't able to stay as long as I wanted. I somehow made it back to the car without collapsing on the floor just crying my heart out. We got in and I sat down and just sat there. I had to let it out. I broke down. This was it. THIS. WAS. IT. I could not stop shaking. 

After a little bit I was able to calm down a bit. We were all very hungry and decided to eat at a good place we had gone to before. We were going to leave right then but then I thought it would be nice to visit the rest of the family. 

So we went to my uncles house and stayed for a hour or so. While I was there I was told I could go up to Abilla's room and to feel free to take a look around and take anything I want.

Above are photos of her room. I love this room so much. I still smell her here. I used to love sharing a bed with her. I love how she has photos of all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren surrounding her. The pillow on her bed that said "believe" really spoke to me this time. I think its new. It reminds me to really hold on to the belief that I will see her in the new system.

I was also given some of her jewelry as a keepsake. I got several rings. And a set of her clip on earrings. She was known for her clip on earrings. She never got her ears pierced and so only wore the clip ons. Anytime I see clip on earrings it makes me think of her. So I cherished that I got to keep a pair along with some of her other items.

And then we decided it was time to get on our way home. As we were driving to the freeway we made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up a block or so away from the convalescent home Abilla was at. I kept thinking we are so close and this is the last time I will be in Fresno while she is alive... I should go back and see her real quick. One last time. We were ready to enter the freeway when I said... lets make a U-turn. I need to do this. I didn't want to look back with any regrets. None at all. So we went back. D asked to come and see her with me so I took him down while Mr. M and G stayed in the car. I went in at 5:05 pm. I only stayed for about 5 minutes but treasured that we got to see her again, for the last time. This time it was for real. The REAL last time.

I am so glad I went again. They had reclined her bed and she had slumped over and was in a very awkward position. So I fixed her had and fluffed her pillow to make her comfortable. Also the oxygen had come out so I put it back for her. She actually woke up. Opened her eyes big and looked right at me. We made eye contact and locked eyes for at least a minute straight. I got to see those big beautiful green eyes one more time. Again I kissed her and told her I love her and that she needs to rest. I again reminded her that I would see her in the new system. She went back to sleep.

When I was younger she used to put me to sleep by singing me a lullaby and by tracing over my eyebrows with her finger until I closed my eyes and went to sleep. I did that for her. I traced over her eyebrows as she lay there with her eyes closed. Also as a child I would give her foot rubs all the time. She had poor circulation in her feet and they would be swollen often. I would help her with frequent massages. The last thing I did before leaving was give her one last foot massage. It brought all those memories back. 

This was the last photo I took of her. The last photo I will ever take with her. The last memory I will have of her.
I again left her room. This time for the last and final time. I walked down that hallway once again. knowing that for a certainty this really was it.
I took the above photo as I took that final walk down that hallway. I felt at peace. I was calm. And through there were tears in my eyes it wasn't overwhelming like earlier. It reminded me of the peace I felt when I held Genesis. I knew coming back again was the right thing to do. I felt like I had no regrets and I did and said all that needed to be done and said. I was at peace with how it all ended. And with that, I was back on my way home.
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