Monday, December 2, 2013


Some fans to this day think Elvis is alive.

When I came home from school in 7th grade, Mom was not home. Instead Aunt Fon was there. She told me that Mom was not feeling well and she had to spend the night in the hospital. That seemed like a reasonable response. I asked if I could speak with her. "Sure" she replied. I called Mom and spoke with her. Thinking back she sounded weak but I don't recall anything out of the ordinary.

Days turned in to a few weeks. I had not had another conversation with her. I can remember asking if I could talk to her, but my Aunt always had some good response to divert my attention to something else.   I came wheeling up the porch one afternoon. Aunt Fon was waiting for me and my Brother in the  living room along with my other Aunt and Uncle. They asked us to sit down.

They went on to say that Mom was still in the hospital but she had slipped into a coma the day after we last spoke. Mom's last words to Aunt Fon were, "Whatever you do, do not tell the kids". Now two weeks later the doctor's told my Aunt that Mom was most likely not going to wake up. He told her it was time to tell the kids.

I was devastated. I was angry. I was sad.

I took my Mom's favorite flower in and lay it on her pillow. I gave her a kiss and said I love her. Then I got as far away as I could from the hospital.

My brother and I took the next flight up to Washington. My cousin was getting married in less than a month so I think the family thought it was best to go there and take our mind off Mom.

I have told you Mom is a miracle. Shawn and the kids are the first to say she is a cat with nine lives. Mom started to hum and whistle. The doctors were astounded. She ended up completely coming out of the coma. Her kidney's failed. She did the dialysis. She had to learn to talk, play cards, walk again. But she fully recovered. Turns out Mom had cancer and was hiding it from myself and my brother, until she got so sick she had to call Aunt Fon. Just like her — privately battle cancer so she did not impose on either of us. I tell people this story and they just shake their heads in amazement.

I knew Mom would not leave us on Thanksgiving — she would never want to leave that sad memory on a holiday. Friday however, was another story.

I have a routine. I come over every morning to help change her and see how she is. Friday she was not eating or drinking. She told me she spoke to her Mom that morning for quite a while. I was sure this would be her last day with us. She was fast asleep. Until I found a 40's radio station on itunes.

Music is magical. An old Elvis song randomly served up. I looked at Mom and all of a sudden her shoulders started to move, her head bopped around and Veronica and I couldn't help ourselves but stand up and start dancing with her. We both grabbed one of her hands and Mom perked up like she was ready to boogie on out to the dance floor. She asked us to remove her cover, take off her socks and wiggle her toes. It was a glorious few minutes. I will never forget it.

Now, almost a week later from getting the "hours, days or weeks" news, Mom is rallying again. Another miracle? Who knows, maybe Elvis is still alive too.


  1. Betsy,
    If you want to keep this a private family time I completely understand, but if you are allowing visitors, I would love to come and hold her hand and sing to her. Please let me know.
    Love to all, Chris Orozco

  2. Chris,
    She is getting much quieter. Her poor body is getting pretty weak from not moving that much. Email me tonight to see how she is doing. If I think she is lucid a bit tomorrow then maybe you could see her after I get her all set in the