When I was pregnant with Dylan, I remember feeling so excited to celebrate Mother’s Day from now on as a mommy myself. I couldn’t wait for my first Mother’s Day, and I imagined a great day planned as a family of three as well as celebrating my own mom. Little did I know I would spend my first Mother’s Day in the oncology unit at Staten Island Hospital with my mom in a bed in a room for two patients with just a curtain for privacy. Giving my mom presents, but not knowing when she would be able to enjoy them. One of my gifts was a zebra print Snuggie type of blanket. She didn’t open it until she was released from the hospital, and she brought it with her when she was taken by ambulance because she couldn’t breathe. It was on her bed the day she passed, and I kept it, although it bothers me to look at it now…but I couldn’t NOT keep it. Sometimes I’ll cuddle with it to try and feel close to her.
My second Mother’s Day will be my first Mother’s Day spent without my mom. Obviously this day will always be bittersweet for me from now on. Not how I imagined it would be while I was pregnant.
I want to share my last good memory of my mom, and it was the only time I visited her by myself at the hospital, other times there was always someone else with us. I didn’t have much time because my sister was babysitting Dylan, but I had to relieve her before the visiting hours were over, so I couldn’t take up too much time of my own. I crawled into my mom’s hospital bed with her, and she asked me to give her a massage, which I did. She was switching channels, and found the movie “Beaches” was on. She asked if I ever saw it, and couldn’t believe when I said I didn’t. So we watched it together, or more like I watched while she dozed off & on. I could see that she was purposefully trying to distract me from everything going on, because she almost had a forced cheeriness in her voice, and she did not want to talk about the current situation. I felt like a little girl again, especially when she asked me to brush her hair, she always used to ask me to do that when I was a kid. It was strange that I felt like a kid considering I was taking care of HER, but cuddled up in the bed, brushing her hair and watching Beaches definitely made me feel that way. It felt so nice just spending time, only me and her. That hadn’t happened in years because someone was always with us, whether it was my sisters, JC, and then Dylan. This time, it was just us.
My uncle came in the room soon after, we didn’t even know he was coming. He came in crying. My mother and I were trying to console him, and at that point I was so upset that my moment with her was broken. I think I knew deep down that special moment wouldn’t happen for us again, and I was right. The last time we were alone was right before she slipped out of consciousness and passed away. My sister had left the room to get family members, and it was just me & her. She couldn’t speak because she was on life support, and I couldn’t really speak because I was crying so hard. We both knew that is was the end, and I just didn’t know how to say goodbye to her. I finally was able to calm down enough to tell her: “You know you’re my everything, right?” and she nodded. Then I told her how much I loved her. Right after, my sister came in as well as the doctors. Soon after, she was sedated.
I thank God that we had that last moment. Of course, I can never see Beaches without thinking of my mom, but even that I’m grateful for. From that point on, Beaches will always be “our” movie.