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A Mother's Love
In October 2005, my mother and her husband moved to North Carolina from upstate New York to begin a new life. Shortly after beginning her new job wasn’t feeling well and went to the doctor with what she thought was the flu. After running some tests, we received the worse news imaginable: My mother had stage 4 cancer surrounding her heart and lungs. She immediately began to fight, undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatments with determination.
The treatments proved to be far more difficult than she had imagined and she decided that it was enough. Mom made the choice to focus on the time she had left and to stay in her home rather than tortured by treatments that would not cure her cancer. It was then that hospice entered our lives.
Everything seemed to happen so fast. A nurse and a social worker visited us and soon, we had everything we needed to take care of her. Mom was finally comfortable and able to live her life the way she wanted. We no longer needed to worry about caring for Mom because hospice was focused on managing her pain and symptoms. We could spend time with her as a family without the stress of being caregivers.
On May 5, Mom was able to say goodbye to us. We told her how much we loved her and that it was ok to go. The next day, she took her last breath and passed away.
The hospice nurse came within minutes and we were able to spend some time with her and prepare for the funeral home to arrive. Those few moments gave my mother so much dignity and allowed us to make choices as a family, even after her death. Words can’t express what hospice meant to my family and me. It truly allowed her to spend the end of her life on her terms.
Through it all, I’ve learned that love lives forever. When Mom looks down on us, I hope she is proud. We will always carry pieces of her in our lives. This helps us find strength and keep going, even while feeling such profound loss. My family will never forget Mom and how we were able to spend those last moments of her life making memories until the very end.