One month ago today Anthony and I said our final goodbyes. As he lay in his hospice bed, I distinctly remember calling the doctor as his breathing became more labored and color of his skin had started to change. Dr. Espinoza came with her stethoscope and listened to his chest.
She said the words that I will never forget for the rest of my life, “he is dying.” I vividly remember the tone of her voice, the way she softly touched my shoulder and pulled me into a hug. “Stay with him now, it will be very soon.”
My firstborn was dying. There was nothing I could do now to stop the process. No “going back on this decision.” No “fooled ya” moment. My son was leaving me. Forever.
The hospice room was filled with family and friends. The minute everyone heard Anthony was moving from MICU to hospice they raced to the hospital. There must have been 30 people at his bedside. So much love for my boy.However, as his mother, I was never more alone in my entire life. The person who changed me from “Miranda” to “Mom” was leaving me. This wasn’t a scraped knee that I could put a bandaid on anymore. There would be no Neosporin this time. I carried him inside of me for 9 months. Spent 36 hours in labor delivering that 9lb 2oz jumbo baby with the 13 inch circumference head. Second largest head in the hospital. Yep, I delivered him naturally too!
I sat up all night with his croup and put braces on his teeth. Went to his Art Shows and watched him build motors and go karts, amazed at his talent.
I told him about sex and how “Mommy won’t be in the room the day you decide you’re ready. So make sure you use condoms. Remember, I can’t tell you to “get off that girl you’re not ready.” You will make that decision, so you better bag that.” His “Oh God Ma… Really – bag that?” “How else do you want me to say it Anthony, you’re going to make a decision I have no control over, so make sure you use a condom.”
When I was feeling sad or wanted to talk I would lean on him and often put my head on his shoulder. He always told me I was too strong for sad bullshit and to pull it together. He told me I was the hardest working and most honest person he ever knew. If I made a prediction, and I was right, he would acknowledge it. There was never an “I told you so.” We loved to make funny faces at each other or mug the camera.
As he now lay before me dying, I put my hands on his chest and kissed his forehead over and over. There couldn’t be enough kisses now.
At 6:50pm on February 11 2016 my son took his final breaths. Putting my head on his chest I remember the overwhelming sorrow and tears welling up in my eyes. I called his name. Dr. Espinoza confirmed he was gone.
The room became very loud and overwhelming with everyone’s grief. Yet, as his mother, I was alone. His father fainted. I couldn’t move from my son’s side to help. The palliative care nurses took over there. I had to stay near my boy.
One month has passed. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I remember these minutes with exacting precision. I honestly hope I never forget any of them.
I had the blessing of bringing Anthony into the world, and holding him as he left it, one month ago today.
The sunset is spectacular tonight. I know he is with me.💋~Miranda