...a lot like me (or vice versa)! :)
She was strict, no-nonsense, and pretty freaking funny (on the right day)!! :)
She was the one who took me t.p.'ing on Halloween for the first time!!
Loretta Grace Nelson was an awesome mom and I loved her very much...
and we also clashed like the Titans because we were so much alike!! LOL! She was the Irish one in our family and I am the only one of the three of her children who got that gene. My brothers are like my dad...laid back!!!!
In December of 1983, my mom started acting crazy! She was talking like a nut and acting really insane. She grabbed her car keys and headed for the car. I stood outside the driver's side door trying to convince her to come back inside when I realized, she was going to go no matter what I said so I jumped in the back seat of the car very quickly. She tried to drive off with me half in and half out of the car. I climbed over the seat to the passenger's side front seat.
She wasn't making any sense. My mom didn't drink but I thought maybe she was drunk (I had just turned 18 and it was my senior year of high school). I kept asking her to stop and let me drive while asking her why she was acting so crazy!
She drove into town (we lived in the country) and started heading downtown...we flew through MANY red stoplights and finally I reached over and threw the car into park while we were slowed down at a red.
My mom threw it back in gear and started again, so I crawled on top of her and drove us into a parking lot of a bank, hit the brake, shut it off and grabbed the keys.
I got her talked into letting me drive us home, which I did and we walked back in the house.
These were the days before cell phones. I used the house phone to call my dad who came home from work.
We happened to be renting a house from a doctor and the doctor was down at the machine shed near the barn we were keeping our horses in so my dad went down to get him.
Mom started talking really crazy again and stood up and then she fell to the floor and had a seizure.
I called 911 and held my mom while turning her on her left side as the dispatcher told me to do.
About that time, my dad and the doctor walked in.
A few minutes later, the ambulance got there. They worked on mom and then everyone left. I sat in the living room shaken.
I got the keys to my pickup and went to the hospital after picking up all of the trash from the paramedics because I knew my mom would have a fit when she came home and found trash on the floor!
I was a "newbie" to the medical world, I didn't know she wouldn't be home that night.
They did a CT scan and determined that mom had a stroke and after several days, she came home and began the process of learning how to speak, walk and use her hands again.
We got through Christmas but mom still wasn't acting right. In April, she fell asleep in her chair while cooking supper and burned everything. My mom had NEVER burned a thing!!
Dad took her to the doctor and they did another CT scan. It showed a mass. My dad and mom went to Topeka for exploratory surgery to find out what it was on April 11, 1984.
I was working at a private Catholic boys' high school washing dishes, stocking shelves, serving food, and cooking sometimes.
My dad was the County Extension Agent and the Home Economist came into the kitchen where I was working and asked to talk to me.
She told me that they had opened mom up and found a brain tumor that was so extensive that they could do nothing for her.
I was dating a guy who was a freshman in college at the time and he came with me to Topeka (about a 4 hour drive). I kept it together really well until about an hour outside of Topeka when I got crazy dizzy and had to pull over, then he drove. I think that's when it sunk in that she was going to die.
We walked into the hospital and I went into mom's room and she opened her eyes, smiled, and said, "Hi Weesie" That was what my mom always called me.
I had watched my grandparents dying, and had gone through enough to know that my mom's protocol was "you never cry in front of them" so I stayed for a bit and then they kicked me out of her ICU room.
I cried then.
The doctors said they would do radiation to increase the quality of her life, not the quantity.
We brought mom home and dad and I took care of her.
She said she wanted to live long enough to go to my high school graduation...and she did. My mom came in a wheelchair with her wig on. She already could not speak but she was happy.
Dad and I cared for her as the cancer slowly overtook all of her body and functions. I remember the day that the hospice nurse asked if we wanted her to die at the house or in the hospital. We chose the hospital.
The last time I saw her alive, she just stared at me. We just looked at each other and I talked to her. She ripped out her IV line and blood went everywhere. The stupid nurse came in and said, "I wonder if she's trying to tell us something.."
I can't repeat what I said.
I'm pretty sure my mom smiled again!!
The night before she died, I had a dream.
In the dream, she was asking me to come see her because she was lonely and she wanted to see me.
I told her that I would be there in the morning but first I had to help with the 4-H booth at the sidewalk sale.
Then I had a vision of her floating and smiling and she said that she was okay, she was free and not in pain and she told me that she loved me and I told her that I loved her.
I woke up and was absolutely terrified because I thought she was dead. I could not move and I laid in bed for 3 hours until the sun came up.
July 19, 1984, I went to the sidewalk sale to help with the booth as planned (literally two blocks from the hospital). I was going to go to the hospital to see her after my shift ended at 11. My dad's secretary came to the booth to get me long before that.
She told me mom had died.
My mom very much believed that angels live around us and they are a part of our lives. And I KNOW that she has been a part of our lives through all of this cAncer mess!
Sometimes I just "know" stuff and I listen to that gut feeling and intuition. I have always (and will always) believed that it's mom trying to help me.
She is very much a part of our lives, but I so wish my boys could have had her in their lives here on Earth.
My mom and my daughter, Miranda, are our guardian angels and we are blessed to have them protecting and guiding us.
My mom has been watching and smiling from Heaven for every big event in my life, but I would give anything to hug her and look into her eyes one more time and tell her that I love her face to face.
Everything is perfectly timed and the lessons I learned while taking care of mom as she died have served me well while taking care of Braden.
I am a very lucky daughter to have had a mom like mine!!