Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tell Me if You've Seen Fontelle Willacine

Yesterday was a long day. I started receiving calls in between work meetings that Mom was sick to her stomach and only able to hold down 7up. I had my last client call finished at 6:30pm. I came home and decided to squeeze in a quick workout before I was going to make the boys dinner. The workouts are essential to my mental health these days. 5:08 into my treadmill run I got a call.

Mom's care taker said Mom was still not feeling well, confused and her blood pressure was 200/100. I asked in her opinion if I really needed to take her to ER. The process of going there for her both mentally and physically is very draining. Then one of us, either myself or my brother must accompany her in order to tell the complete story.

To make a long story short, we decided due to risk of stroke, she should go to the ER. Plus her abdomen was severely swollen and very sensitive. Mom would say "I am in pain, I need to see a doctor" but then finish it by saying "where are we going and why?"

A friendly face checked her in. It was not our first ER rodeo, so she recognized us. Mom went to room 9. "Wow, I think I was in room 11 before". They asked if we wanted tests to be run. "Well, she has graduated from hospice and they just released her from the at home program, so yes, please treat her". Duh! During all the tests Mom was pretty chatty but also had long pauses where she would stare off in the distance. If only we could read her mind what would it be saying?

Out of the blue she says "You know it was my sister's Fonie's birthday this past week. Have you seen her?" I look at Shawn. Fonie, "Aunt Fon" to me, was one of a kind. She and Mom had the closest relationship any two sisters could ever have. Fonie was two years older than Mom. But, Aunt Fon tragically passed away more than 10 years ago.

"Some people told me Fonie lives close to me. Are you sure you have not seen her?". I avoided a response as I processed what she was thinking. Am I reading too much in to this to think that perhaps this was god's way of bringing the two of them closer? Is Mom perhaps shutting down and feeling closer to her now since she has never brought her up in this journey so far? "Well, please tell me if you have seen Fontelle Willacine"she said again (this caught me off guard — the fact that she said her full name, and crazy middle name too). This time I looked her into her eyes and said "I'm sorry Mom but Aunt Fon passed away more than 10 years ago". Long silence. Long pause. Long stare in space.

Mom was admitted overnight for severe swelling of water in her abdomen and some in her back lungs and heart. As they wheeled her off Mom said "Make sure I am tagged, so they know where to find me and I know where to find you".

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