Friday, May 05, 2006

3Ms (Most Memorable Moment) series
Two years gone by...

Friday, May 7th, 2004....

I had just awaken in a hotel in NY, opened up the curtains and looked at the beautiful skyline of Manhattan; " wow.. 40 years ago my mom was walking those streets, just 2 months pregnant with me", was my first thought. The afternoon before an undescribable stomach ache had overtaken me. I can now call it a premonition. I gathered my bags as this was my last day of a week assignment and went to work. Around 0940am, my cell rang. My dad's cell flashed on my caller ID. I knew immediately; there was the call I had feared all my life.

"Hello?" Silence. "heellloo"?..
My Dad's voice trembling tried to utter my name.
"Dad, whats wrong with mom?"- I inquired trying to make him get to the point.
"Your mom is not doing well" were the words.
I have known my dad too long and have seen him make these sort of calls before; he was understating. Little did I know that he was in his car driving behind the ambulance that was taken mom to the hospital.

Mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2001. The illness, thank God, never got her sick. The week before May 7th, my dad had called worrying because mom was losing too much weight. I pleaded with her on Thursday April 29th to go see the Dr., despite her reluctancy. On friday she saw her Dr., who made her come to the hospital on Monday and tuesday for some treatments. I spoke with her that tuesday to see how it went; she was in the best mood. My dad still recounts how funny she was on the way home. That was her last tuesday.

While sitting at a gate awaiting my flight to Puerto Rico, I called my mom's cell and my aunt answered. Two hours have passed by since dad's initial call, and my aunt said that she had recovered and was sitting up in her 'emergency room' having some soup. " Do you want to talk to her?" My aunt asked. "no; just do me a big favour (then I broke down ) tell her that whatever happens, to wait for me." My aunt confessed later not daring to say those words to her. It didn't matter.

While sleeping on the plane 'an electrical glitch' woke me up for a few seconds. The non-smoking sign flashed on and off. This sign should be on the entire time. I looked at my wacth in order to capture the moment;a few minutes before 3pm. I was born a few minutes before 3pm; I learned later that around that time my mom's body had shut down for the second time. The first being in the morning. I arrived to the hospital around 525pm to find a comatose body which showed signs of life when I started talking. Although I had ran to my dad first, where I encountered for the first time a very distraught man, he had had more than he could handle and didnt want to go to the room with me. It was just an only son and his mother. I talked to her for about 10 minutes, saying everything I thought I could say, trying not to waste time drowned in tears. When I was done, her vitals spiraled down.

She had waited!

We had the burial that Sunday; Mother's Day that year. The way I wanted it; no better honor. The fourth commandment. The clothes I wore that friday and sunday are now only worn on those days. The hospital Visitor's name tag, still glued to the inside of my ash-grey blazer. God wanted me gone that week. If I would have been at work in Miami, I would have been at the hospital by 1pm. The pain would have multiplied for all of us. Was my stomach ache my spirit's recognition that I had just said goodbye too my mom?

Appreciate your loved ones, and the ones who love you.. we never know what tomorrow brings.

Two years gone by...

UPDATE
After writing my post this afternoon, I found The Ed Blog.Please pay him a visit, especially his "100 bloggers 1000 bucks" post. Ed has engange in a fundraising campaign and is doing the Relay for Life in Dearborn, Michigan THIS weekend, which benefits the American Cancer Society. And if you happen to see this on or after the weekend, still visit; Ed is asking for a $10.00 donation to carry your blog name one lap during the raly. But since this is more about fund raising donate whatever you can! I am sure Ed will appreciate it, and so would I! Also, I found his blog thru Kate's blog at Someone else's Horoscope. Kate, just like me, lost her mother to cancer.

12 Comments:

Blogger Lori said...

Sitting here crying now....That brings back alot of memories for me....My Grandmother was buried on Mother's Day!!!

So you've done it...You've made me cry!!!

Cheers to better days T!!!

4:32 PM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

Sorry :-( .. must have been a great grandma!! While mom's memory usually make me cry.. grandma's memory make me smile for some reason.

You are making me think of that scene in Jerry McGuire when Rod was being interview by Ron Firestone "you are not going to make me cry" ... "you did it Roy, you made me cry".

T

PS... Forward to John, I think he might appreciate it.

4:46 PM  
Blogger kate said...

I lost my Mom to lung cancer in Aug. I have the visitors tag as well from the last 4 visits... I knew the end was near and wanted to keep them... I am still figuring out how to mourn the losses in my life. My Brother died in June, my Father in law in July and Mom in Aug. It was, to say the least a shitty summer.

ugg... your story stirs up such emotion in me... for me and for you. Thank you for sharing.

On another topic... I do agree that it is possible for men and women to be friends(as long as at least one party doesnt want more), but it is not the norm... I also think there needs to be very distinct boundaries. If either of the parties is in a needy way it could be really tough. I am wondering if your married friends had marital issues if your relationship would change... if they became needy and you filled that void instead of their spouse what then?

ugg... back to thinking of our Moms... that unconditional love... no matter how bad they might have been (mine not yours) there is something about that unconditional love of a parent.

9:00 PM  
Blogger kate said...

ps LOVE the song!

How the heck do you link that?

9:00 PM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

Kate..
Thank you for your comments regarding this song.

In those last moments, mom couldn't have any words for me. Her actions, "More than Words" told me how much she loved me!

(imitating Casey Kasem's) this is also a long distance dedication for my friend; 'who needs to reach out and show me how she really feels'... as Im afraid Im getting ready to turn and walk away for good, with a bag of bad feelings, resentment,and contempt. Not what anyone wants from this scorpio-latin boy..but the seeds she has been planting are quickly blooming into bad weeds.

T

10:02 PM  
Blogger Hale McKay said...

Teary eyed myself. While it wasn't cancer, I lost my mother in Nov. 2000 to Diabetes. 5 years before on Aug 16, 1995, I lost my dad to a heart attack.
...Even though I was a grown adult, it still hurt just the same.
...Very nice, but sad post and tribute to your mom, Tony.

10:24 PM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

Oh lord...

While I greatly appreciate Mike's comment.. **I** feel bad...
If you have not been at Mike's It Ocurred to Me you dont know what you are missing...

Everytime I visit, I have to spend sometime reading.. Mike makes me laugh and sends me into fantasy land withhos imagination... and then he comes here.. and I make him sad... geee...
Thxs M!
T

11:23 PM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

What a touching story...Your mother was lucky to have such a good son, and it seems you were blessed with a good mother as well.

Dios te vendia.

By the way, May 7th is my son's birthday...

11:12 AM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

THanks Barbara!!!
Happy Birthday to your son and that he provides you with ma ny blessings!!

T

9:07 PM  
Blogger Southern Sweetheart said...

I couldn't comment the first time I read this Tony. I had to gather myself and come back....So sorry to hear how you lost your mom. Breast cancer (or any cancer for that matter) is a terrible disease to be faced with and I know all too well the scariness and pain associated with this diagnosis. My mother is a breast cancer survivor and reading about your mother just brought back all the fears I had - and still have - about losing my mother and about cancer. My mother is still with me and I cherish every day she's here. No one is guaranteed anything in this life and we have to treasure each moment. Thank you for that reminder Tony. What a sweet post in memory of your mom. You two were blessed to have each other. May your Mother's Day be filled this year with the sweet memory of your love for one another - a parent's love never leaves you.

11:51 PM  
Blogger erika said...

Your mother was very blessed to have you. It is truly hard to watch someone you love in pain and there is nothing you can do. I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you very much for sharing your story.

12:01 AM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

SS...
Thanks for your nice comments, sorry to bring out those fears!!

I must say that the worst days were those first days after I saw the first scan, and obvioulsy the fears.

But fears were not going to be a good medicine for my mom. Live Life! You can only treat her body, heart and soul.

Thanks Erika!! The more time that passes by I understand I WAS THE ONE blessed to have her.

T

7:15 PM  

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