Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's Not Goodbye....It's See You Later!

On June 2nd Michael's mom was admitted to the hospital. Carol had been suffering with Alzheimer's for year and it had robbed her of pretty much everything. She had been non-verbal for the last couple of years, she hadn't recognized her kids in probably 4+ years and the love she had for her grandchildren was a distant memory. In regards to our children they honestly never got to know Carol as Grandma. They called her Grandma Martin, but by the time they were old enough to make memories with her the disease had already gone too far. Michael's Dad, Rick did an impeccably selfless job of taking care of her at their home. He was adamant that she would never be placed in a home and he absolutely lived up to his word. Carol could not have chosen a better helpmate to spend her life with! 

On the night of June 2nd Michael got news that Mom might not respond well to the medication. That was the first time he broke least in front of me. He had went to the hospital earlier in the day to be with his Dad by his Mom's side. With that knowledge we were fully prepared to head to the hospital in the middle of the night. I even woke Owen up and told him that we might have to leave and that he would be in charge until an adult most likely Ga-Ga & Pa would come up and be with them. 

I woke up at 5am on Saturday June 3rd to get ready. I was helping out with Men's Breakfast at our church and needed to be there at 6am. I figured if things were going bad that they would have called up around 3am. I'm not sure why I thought that specific time, but since we hadn't heard anything by 5 I thought everything was going well. Around 5:30 I heard Michael's phone beep. I thought I would hear him stirring if it was important, but he didn't come into the bathroom. When I finished getting ready a few minutes later I decided I should check his phone. Michael had started coming down with a cold the night before so he was sleeping very deeply. I read the text and woke Michael was time to go to the hospital! 

We had to swing by the church first since I was the one with the key and then we headed out to Multi-Care Auburn Medical Center. 

We got there around 6:10am. I had called Ga-Ga & Pa and they were heading up to be with the kids. Mom was hooked up to all sorts of machines. She had a ventilator, a tube down her nose giving her anti-nausea medication and then numerous pumps hooked up giving her so many drugs! 

It was awful seeing her in that state, but thankfully she wasn't in any pain! The day before she had been in so much pain. That was the reason that Dad brought her to the hospital. Since she was nonverbal she couldn't tell him when something was wrong. When he noticed that she had real tears streaming down her face that's when he knew something was wrong and she needed help. Unfortunately her little 89lb body just couldn't take it anymore. This was not a surprise...we knew this day would come, but no matter how much you think you are ready for something you are never ready to lose someone you love! 

Slowly each of the brothers were able to get there to see Mom. Michael is standing next to Rick Jr the oldest brother. 

A while later Steve made it to the hospital. 

I'm not sure if Jon got there before or after Steve, but it doesn't matter. These 4 boys were Carol's world! The fact that they were all there with her during her last moments was truly a gift of love. They all love their Mom. I know it's kind of weird to have a picture of the 4 of them smiling standing around their mom in this state, but I really believe that's the way she would have wanted it. Carol was such a happy person she had so much joy in her life. Also this was a joyous thing for her. We are sad because we will miss her here, but at the same time we are so happy that she won't be restricted by this afflicted body anymore. 

We spent a lot of time right there...holding Mom's hand. She never responded...she was being keep comfortable on meds and that's the way we wanted it. 

We all stood around, talked, cried, prayed and yes even laughed! 

Mom was being kept alive with the meds and the ventilator. A few of her siblings were on the way up from Oregon to see her. When they got there we had a bit of quiet time and then Rick talked with the Dr and then the boys. The decision was to stop all the meds except the pain medication and then take out the ventilator. The nurse came in shortly afterwards and stopped all the pumps and turned off all the machines so we wouldn't have to hear all that beeping. A few minutes later the respiratory therapist came in to remove the tubes. She was so discreet and quick about it. 

We all stood around her bed...there were 20 people in the room including Carol. She was literally surrounded by people that loved her! Michael and I were at the foot of the bed and of course Dad was at the top just talking to and kissing on her! She took about 15-20 more breaths and then she stopped. Her body was done and her spirit set free! I just closed my eyes, tears streaming down and in my head I started singing that song...Fly To Jesus! It was 11:40am. The nurse was sweet, she didn't rush in...she let us have a few minutes to ourselves. When she did come in she had to confirm that Mom had indeed passed. Jon said that it was 11:50am when she confirmed by stethoscope that Mom was gone. 

The hospital was honestly great throughout the whole experience. They were very concerned about Mom and wanted to make sure she was well taken care of, but they also made sure to take care of us as well. Extra chairs were brought as well as a cart full of water, coffee and snacks. They also gave us as much time as we needed after Mom rushing us out. Michael and I stayed until the very end with Dad. At one point I was walking towards the door of the room and I told Dad that even though I know Mom's not in that body anymore I just couldn't stand to leave her alone. We are all attached to the people in our lives and the bodies that make them...them. But that body wasn't Mom anymore. She is free from that from the from the suffering of this world. 

 We talked with the nurse and found what would happen with Mom. They were going to clean her up and then she would be sent to the morgue. Whenever Dad figured out which funeral home was going to handle everything all he had to do was call the hospital with the name and then the hospital and the funeral home would handle everything. It was such a relief that it didn't have to all be figured out immediately. We said our final goodbye and walked out around 1pm. 

Even though we are grieving the loss of the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13..."we do not grieve like those who have no hope". We know without a doubt that Mom is with Jesus, she is completely healed and she is not hurting anymore. Mom ran the race that God set out for her. She endured and she will be blessed because of it. We will see her again and I'm so thankful for the promise and the hope we have in Jesus! 

Rest In Peace

Carol Gene Jennings Martin

08/30/1945 - 06/03/2017