- Education and Science
LIFE Can Change In An Instant - Part 2
If you haven’t had a chance to read Part 1, you can find it HERE.
As we all know, life can change forever in an instant and look very different than it did just a minute ago. Instant changes typically happen when we least expect them. At times, the change is welcomed. Other times . . . the change is something we did not wish for . . .
November 7, 2005, began as a normal day. The only thing out of the ordinary was that I dropped off my toy poodle, Buttons, at the Veterinarian’s office to have his teeth cleaned. Since Buttons had seizures and was on Phenobarb for many years, his dental surgeries were considered more risky and extra precautions were taken to put him to sleep for the cleaning.
I hated leaving him there all by himself. I kept thinking “what if something happened to him?”
I called the Vet office way earlier than I should have. They told me that they were running behind and that Buttons will be going in to surgery shortly. I waited and waited and tried to keep busy.
At 2:30 p.m., the phone rang “Buttons did just fine! We ended up extracting a couple teeth that were infected. You can pick him up after 4.”
I arrived at the Vet a little early, of course, just before 4 p.m. My little guy was so groggy and oh, so adorable. I was relieved that everything went well.
Later that evening around 8:30 p.m., I had my usual evening phone call with my Mom. She comforted me when I talked about my fear of something happening to Buttons. She loved him too. Everybody did.
Our conversation switched to how Mom and Dad were busy during the day running errands. Then her voice elevated with excitement when she told me that Dad cooked an awesome dinner. Even though Dad is a good cook too (when he feels like it), it was a rare occasion when Mom didn’t take on that responsibility. She was extremely delighted. Things seemed better with my parents than they had in a long time
You see, my Father is an alcoholic. Almost a year earlier, he was put on medication that he was told he cannot drink while taking. Much to his entire family’s surprise, he stopped drinking alcohol. I knew my Mom had gone through hell at times with Dad’s addiction.
At this time in their lives, things had definitely improved. They were actually planning things to do together, enjoying each other’s company.
Our conversation ended as they always did. “Talk to ya tomorrow, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Buttons was doing well, resting in his cushioned bed. Mom was happy. Things were good. I straightened up the kitchen a bit then headed upstairs to my computer.
At 11:30 p.m. my phone rang. It was Mark, my brother-in-law. He told me that Dad had called my sister Patti and said that Mom was having difficulty breathing. Living only five houses away from our parents, Patti ran over to their house. I hung up with Mark and called my parents. Patti answered quickly telling me that “Mom doesn’t look good and she’s not breathing well. I called 911.”
“Okay.” I was quite baffled. I had just spoken to Mom a few hours ago and she seemed fine. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
While in route to my parents house 25 minutes away, I called my other sister Chrissy. She was already at my parent’s house as she lives just 5 minutes away.
Chrissy sounded more panicky than Patti did. “Sharyn, I’m not sure what is going on but it doesn’t look good.”
“Oh my God, what do you mean?”
“EMS is working on her. Don’t come here, just meet us at the hospital.”
The rest of my ride to the hospital was a blur. When I arrived near the Emergency Room, I didn’t bother taking the time to park my car. I stopped at the main doors to the ER and ran as fast as my traumatized body would move. I found my sisters and our Dad in the hallway. All they could tell me was “they’re working on her.” We were all in disbelief.
I ran up to one of the paramedics who just came out of the room where Mom was. He tried to calm me down saying that they had gotten a slight pulse. A nurse came from around the desk and escorted my family into a small conference room. We simply sat there stunned, afraid, tears streaming down all of our faces.
I’m impatient. Less than 10 minutes went by and I went to speak to the nurse at the desk. “Please try to stay calm. The doctor will be in to speak to you.”
Another 20 minutes went by. “We need answers, damn it, what the fu** is going on.” I stood up to storm out of the room when the door suddenly opened. A tall, thin fifty-something ER doctor came in closing the door behind him.
“I am so sorry, but Virginia did not make it. It appears that she had a pulmonary embolism. We worked on her for a long time. We really tried to help her.”
Every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour. ~Arthur Schopenhauer
Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer. ~Shunryu Suzuki
If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown
The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists. ~Japanese Proverb
My head was in a whirlwind spin and felt as if it was about to explode. So many thoughts running through my mind. What? This can’t be happening. I just talked to her. Oh my God. This can’t be true. Someone please stop this nightmare NOW!
Many lives changed at that instant and will never, ever be the same. My Mother was only 68 years old with so much more life ahead of her. She had long, written lists of things she still wanted to accomplish. She just received her first Great Grandson that same year and was so thrilled to be a Great Grandma in addition to her seven grandchildren. And she had just recently coordinated a huge party for her Mother's 100th birthday.
I lost a genuine friend . . . my Mom, the only person in this crazy world that I trusted 100%. I am extremely grateful for the time I did have with her. She was the type of Mother everyone wishes they had. I’ve experienced other instant changes in my life. Some good, some not so good. But I have no doubt that losing my Mom will always be the most difficult transition I ever had to make.
My Grandma lived to be almost 103 years old. Obviously, she had to deal with many people in her life leaving this world before her, including her only daughter. I was always amazed at how she handled these types of life changing events. No doubt, her faith and spirituality played a major role.
We all have, or will, experience our lives changing in an instant. The most difficult is when the change smacks you right upside the head and you spin in circles until you finally are able to settle down, finding yourself on a new, unfamiliar path.
Then it is up to us . . . as to how we choose to walk that path.