It had been 10 months since the news of my mother’s leukemia reached us. We had all converged in Denver for 5 months as she underwent chemotherapy and radiation for a hopeful stem-cell transplant, which would lead to a cure. Being that her body rejected the transplant the doctor’s encouraged her to do another one. No was her reply. The first one had nearly killed her filling her lungs with fluid and causing her to pass out from lack of air.
“No I’m done. I want to go home.” Was all she said. The doctor’s fought back. It will be a death sentence. We will be sending you home to die. No one can live for long on infusions of blood and platelets. With no immune system you only have a few weeks. “ Well if it’s time for me to go that’s ok, she said whatever God wants.”
She was a strong willed woman. She missed her family, especially the children. They were her joy in life. It had been a sacrifice for her to be confined to a bed and a room for five months. Even though her children were with her it wasn’t enough. She wanted the comfort of her bed and her favorite chair the freedom to walk around and enjoy the sun on her face, the wind on her body and to watch the children play and enjoy their company.
She was done fighting. She surrendered to whatever her future held. We had always been a close nit family supporting each other when a need arose. Our mother had always been the foundation. The family stood behind her. “OK mom whatever you want.” She knew we all loved and supported her.
Against all odd’s she had survived another 5 months. I watched her now as she struggled in her weakness to hold her latest great granddaughter, next to her cheek. “She’s so beautiful,” she said ‘ Her eyes sparkled with joy and a smile formed on her now gray thin body. I got a lump in my throat as I thought about the last doctor visit. “She has about three weeks, make her comfortable,” the doctors had told my brothers. As usual we would wait and see and her will to live always seemed stronger than the doctors diagnosis.
I was grateful that she had gotten to see my new granddaughter. My daughter beamed with joy as she watched her talking to the baby. We all knew time with her was precious. Quick I told my brother, take a picture this is four generations. In that moment I felt blessed that I know how to enjoy the little moments.