I sat there with my father's words repeating themselves over and over again my my head. One year to live! Oh no! One year! I didn't know what we were going to do first. I just sat there crying and sobbing and shaking. This just couldn't be happening!
When I had composed myself I started searching the internet for anything on ALS which stood for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It is also called Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS controlled the nerve cells in the brain and in the spinal cord which control voluntary muscle movements. It's incurable and deadly. Oh my! No cure! Fatal! The only way to survive is on a ventilator. Again I felt like my world was crashing down on me. I just sat there sobbing. I just couldn't deal with this. My poor mommy. My best friend in the whole wide world.
I called my daddy back and told him that I was coming back. I was booking a flight and coming right back. I had my other daughter's graduation in two weeks but I needed to see my mother. I arrived back in Montreal and went directly to the hospital to see my mommy. My father and I decided that we weren't going to tell my mother that she was dying. My mother would be so scared. We wanted her last year not to be filled with fright and fear. My mommy was so happy to see me and I started crying hugging my mommy.
Each day I arrived at the hospital after 7 00 am and the man at the valet parking asked about my mother every single day. He told me that he sees so many people come and go but there was something special about my mother that touched his heart. He never missed a day asking about my beautiful mother. Each day I spent the day with my mommy. My father spent 12-14 hours a day sitting beside my mother. My mother was now being tube feed and it was on a pump. Eventually my mother would be on gravity feeding. My father and I met with my mother's doctor because she seemed t be deteriorating very quickly. The doctor agreed with us and told us that my mother only had 6 months to live now. He also asked us what did we want to do when the time came about putting my mother on a ventilator. My father and I looked at each other and we both decided that was not the way my mommy would want to live and we said no. At this point my mother couldn't walk anymore or sit up straight and she had lost all functions. The sad part with this disease is that your brain still totally functions so you are aware of what's happening to your body.
Well the next horrible event that happened was my father's brother was back in the hospital and my father received the call that my uncle was about to pass away. I will never forget that Sunday. My father called me and asked if I could be with my mother while he was with my uncle. My poor father ran back and forth between two hospitals in Montreal, the Jewish General Hospital where my mother was and The Royal Victoria Hospital where my uncle was. I went back and forth to see my uncle also a few times but my father did this each day a few times a day. My mother who adorned my uncle so very much knew what was happening to him. We had to tell her. She needed o know about my uncle. So we told her. She was so sad. My uncle was not doing well at all. This went on from Sunday until Thursday morning.
Thursday morning my father had gone to see my uncle around 5 00 am. At 7 00 am I received THE CALL. My father was on the other line. He told me that my uncle wasn't with s anymore. I just sat there with the phone in my hand. No matter what my uncle had been through I just never thought that he would pass away. I quickly asked my father how he was and if I should come to him but he said he was okay. He said I should just meet him at my mother. We had a meeting again with my mother's doctor because she was really not doing well.
I met my father right away at my mother and at 10 00 am we stepped outside to talk to her doctor. Things were not good with my mother. The doctor said that she only had 3 months to live now. We made plans to have her moved to anther floor once she was on gravity feeding because there was no way that we could take care of her at home. My mother needed medical care 24 hours a day and we were not capable of doing that. The doctor told us how sorry he was and then he walked away.
My father and I just stood there. My mother went from 12 months, to 6 months to 3 months in less than 2 weeks. This was just too much to take in all at once. My uncle had just passed away 3 hours ago and now this news. I felt totally out of control. I felt that my life way just not in any sort of control at all. I felt that my world was colliding and there was no stopping it. My father looked at me and then we knew what we had to do next. We had to go back in to my mother and tell her about my uncle, my father's brother.
We walked back into my mother's room and told her that uncle Phil had just passed away. I have never seen anything so sad, so heart breaking in my life. My mother took her two hands and pressed them together praying and looked up. The tears streamed out of my father and my eyes. It was the saddest thing we had ever seen. I will never forget what my mother had done. She was crying and praying for my uncle. It was just heart breaking...
To be continued...