The Queen: Michelle

The Queen: Michelle
I am 28 years old. Still a princess but the queen of my family. Spoiled beyond belief. Lucky and truely blessed. A lover. A crafter. A mother. A wife. A friend. This is me.

My King: Junior

My King: Junior
The LOVE of my life! He completes me and balances me out in every way. He's a workaholic. He's loud, blunt, and crazy. He drinks Monsters like his life depends on it. Above all he is the greatest Daddy I could ever ask for, for my children. And he treats me like his Queen (and he calls me that too).

The Model Child: Diego Ray

The Model Child: Diego Ray
9 years old. My only boy. He is the epitome of the perfect child. He is so responsible and independent. Wise beyond his years. He is laughter, he is love, he is compassion, he is simply amazing. He keeps me grounded and reminds me always that I am beautiful. He is a natural born leader and takes care of the household and family better than me!

The Diva: Alayna Danae

The Diva: Alayna Danae
7 years old. She is drama. My fashionista for sure with a style all her own. Sensitive and loving when she wants to be. Thumbsucker. My biggest headache because she is the most like me. She is the only one who can cause me to become uncontrollably angry. She loves to dance. She loves to model. My bookworm and most academic.

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace
4 years old. This one is something else. She is pure comedy. Never a dull moment with her crazy antics. She is also the crybaby. She does things her own way. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to be cute to get it. My Disney loving pal. So girly. Her favorite color is pink. Loves Rapunzel. Will wear a dress every single day. Can't leave the house without a bow in her hair. She refuses.

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle
2 years old. My sweet baby. She loves her Mommy above all else. She is a cuddlebug for sure. The calmest most well behaved baby ever! But she has TONS of energy. She is so small and petite. She loves to sing and dance. She so SO ready for ballet and has yet to even step foot in a class. She loves Minnie Mouse and watching Disney Jr. She is hilarious and talks way too much.
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Friday, December 25, 2009

How Does This Happen?

My Mom has been sick since January. I had to drive her to Doctor appointments. Many many Doctor appointments only to see her frustration. They diagnosed her with vertigo, then migraines, but nothing they prescribed seemed to help her. My Mom was never satisfied with one opinion and went to more Doctors to try and find out why she was always seeming to get dizzy and have headaches. She had many tests done, MRIs, CT scans and tried too many new medications. Nothing ever seemed to make her feel better. My Mom was strong, independent, and hated to feel like she needed people to help take care of her. There were many occasions that my husband or I had to help her and I could see how much it bothered her to have to put us in that position.

I can't believe how much my husband took over and did everything for her. There wasn't anything he wouldn't have done for her. He was happy to live in her house, as cramped as we were, just to know she was doing okay. They were buddies, he told my Mom more things than he even told me! He confided in her, he looked to her for guidance, he always wanted her approval and advice. She was the only person that could get through to him, he only listened to her, and she loved him. I always joked that she loved him more than me. She really did.

Last week she passed out. My Dad and her were at home and I got a call late at night from her that she was on her way to the ER. This was the first time my Dad saw firsthand what Jr and I had been dealing with for practically the whole year. He was scared. I immediately knew that someone needed to be there with them at the hospital. I called Jr and he was working. But he sent Loyiel. We told Loyiel that she was on new medications, the names, the procedure she had just gotten done and basically informed him with anything they should know at the hospital. But by the morning she was back at home.

The next day I went to visit her at home but with 3 loud kids I had to leave because I felt like she needed to rest. That night I got a call from her. Telling me that she was having blurry vision off and on all day and that her arm was going numb. I did research and her symptoms pointed to a stroke. By the time I called her back to tell her about it she had just gotten off the phone with my sister-in-law who had told her the same things. So I arranged to pick her up for her next Dr appointment so we could ask about it. After reading to Jr all about a stroke he decided that he wanted to go to the Dr with us that day. But a few hours later she called me again that she was on her way to the ER again. She said her veins were black and she was still having numbness in her arm. So this time I sent Jr to hospital too. They were there into the middle of the night. By early morning he called to tell me that she was being taken by ambulance to another hospital for more testing and admitting her there since there was no room where she was at. Again Jr, My Dad, and Loyiel were there with her. The guys kept her laughing. She was there for 3 days. The black veins turned out to be tape residue from her first trip to emergency. We laughed about it... but since she was there already they did do more tests and concluded that had a mini stroke. Our last pictures taken with her were there. My sister and I posed for a few pictures while we cracked her up in the hospital room.

Friday they finally released her although they wanted her first thing Monday at her Dr again. And they insisted she schedule another MRI because they saw something on her brain that the wanted to take a look at. And she needed to start seeing a cardiologist as well. I was there to pick her up from the hospital along with my Daddy and we got to bring her home. On the drive we talked about how happy she was to be out of there. All she wanted was her own bed. She was frustrated beyond belief and grouchy because she hadn't smoked in 3 days. She had to quit and so far she was doing good. She immediately started calling and making her appointments.

Saturday my Dad and her spent the WHOLE day together doing ALL their christmas shopping. My Dad said she enjoyed picking everyones gifts. She played with the kids toys. And very much enjoyed her day. My dad also said they talked about a lot of things.

Sunday was my nephew's birthday party. We were happy she was out of the hospital in time to be there. The weather was great and we spent the day at the park.

Monday she decided after 2 weeks of not working to go to work. We all thought she was insane! But that's my Mom. She worked for 4 hours and then went to her Dr appointment. Her Dr immediately told her she was crazy and that she wasn't to be at work or DRIVING! So that night my Dad and I went to Walmart to finish buying 4 gifts she needed and pick up her medications and such. We picked up Jack in the Box on the way home. We had dinner. And then my Mom and I wrapped all the gifts. Actually she wrapped them. We talked about so many things while wrapping. She didn't let me see any of the gifts either. And she had so much fun playing with the kids toys. To the point where she unwrapped Diego's gift... played with it... and then wrapped it again. She showed me the purple shoes that she had bought 2 days earlier and was bragging about since then. She made my Dad put them on her and she sat there in Pjs and purple high heels. She was so happy about them. And just before 11pm I left with her van. The plan was I was to come back in the morning (since my car battery was dead) and pick her up to take her to finish her Christmas shopping. So I went home and went to bed.

At 3:25am Jr got a phone call from my Dad asking him to come over because my Mom had passed out again and he needed to take her to the hospital. When it comes to my Mom Jr wastes no time. He slipped on his shoes and jacket that were right next to him... grabbed the keys... and told me that he needed to help my Dad because my Mom was sick again. And in less than a minute he was gone.

A little while after I got a few missed calls from Junior. So I woke up and called him back. He said to get the kids up and dressed because my cousin Vanessa and Frank would be coming by to pick us up... take the kids to their house... and going to meet him at the hospital. At that moment I said, "...Why?" He said she needed to see me. So we did just that.

As soon as we got to the hospital my world fell apart. I saw Jr waiting by the door beside the emergency entrance. As soon as I walked up to him I could see the tears in his eyes as he immediately grabbed me from falling. He didn't have to say anything because I already knew. I started to cry as he said, "I tried everything baby... everything... but your Mom is gone..." I couldn't believe it. I thought just 5 hours before she was fine. I saw her. I felt her. I kissed her goodbye. We had plans to shop which was one of our favorite things to do together because we always ended up somewhere to eat. I couldn't be true. My worst fear and the bad feeling in my stomach was confirmed with just a simple look. I don't remember how I stopped crying but I do remember asking to see her. My Dad and husband started walking me over to her room but before we entered my Dad stopped me. He said, "Before you go in, know that she has tubes in her nose and mouth still. Ignore them and look beyond what you see and don't pay attention to them."

I walked into the room and broke down again. It was hard to actually see the reality of what was to come. She looked like she was sleeping... and Kika had actually said, "She's sleeping look at her." I kissed my Mommy. She felt so cold. But it felt like she was still there. I could smell her. But that was the point that I finally calmed down. I felt at peace. As strange as it may sound I was happy for her in that moment. She could be with her Mom again. She didn't have to deal with all the frustrations of seeing many doctors. She had enjoyed her grandkids, made up with people she was fighting with, she finally started learning about her Catholic faith, and nothing seemed to be unfinished. All those thoughts alone brought me peace. That and knowing that my Mom would have never wanted us sitting there sulking after her. The next few hours were a blur. Family came in and out to say their goodbyes. And I am talking aunts, uncles, cousins, my grandpa. That was hard. Having to see his first born child go before him. He said, "I can't even cry. I am still in shock." As he sat down next to her and immediately reached under the blanket to touch her hand. I felt my heart break again and had to leave the room. I felt so bad. How does one deal with having to bury their own child? How is my Dad going to go on without my Mom? Who's going to cook for him? What's he going to do living in an empty house all alone? And that's when Jr pulled me aside and asked me if I was okay. He asked me if I needed anything. And if I wanted to cry to just let it out. I was too busy making sure my Brother was fine, my Daddy was fine, and Jr was fine that I forgot that I needed to grieve too. So again I cried.

Jr took it extremely hard. I could see it in his face. I've only seen him cry once in my life. And this was nothing compared to that. The look of guilt broke my heart. He felt like he wasn't quick enough. It was awful to see that he felt like he didn't do enough... when ironically he did more than anyone else would have done. Then he finally told me what happened.

She got up to go to the bathroom. She got dizzy and called for my Dad. My Dad was able to get to her before she passed out. But my Dad couldn't lift her or move her. Jr was there in a flash and the front door was already open when he arrived. That's when he panicked. He got into their bedroom and said that the image in his head is something he can't shake from his memory. And he could hear her struggling to breathe. He lifted her like nothing and told my Dad to grab her purse. The loaded her into the van and he did 120mph and ran every red light to the hospital. Just before they got there my Dad told him that she had stopped breathing. He said that he tried to punch it but the car wouldn't go any faster. They got there he jumped down and grabbed a wheel chair, yelled for help, and took her out of the car and was met by nurses. They immediately started working on her. He stood there with my Dad as they shuffled them into another room. Jr said... he was angry that they didn't let them in. After 10 minutes they went to get them and took them in. It wasn't looking good. They were breathing for her but she didn't have a pulse and heartbeat. Jr started making calls to my brother, sister, and I. He said all him and my Dad could do was cry as they saw everything unfolding before their eyes. I am glad that Jr was there and that my Dad didn't have to be alone. They worked on her for an hour before stopping. Shortly after we started arriving.

I can't believe how strong my Dad was. If it wasn't for him I think I would have gone crazy.

The holidays have been hard for me. In the moments when I am alone or at night trying to sleep are the hardest. It's hard to be alone with my thoughts. Christmas was a good distraction but I know the hardest thing for me is yet to come. We did everything she wanted. We bought a real tree for her house the day before Christmas Eve. All her grandkids decorated it. The whole family went to Christmas Eve mass since she had invited us all a week prior and was so excited to have us attending. It was beautiful. But for me it was hard not having her there to watch everyone open their gifts. The kids were so excited. I was happy to see she got everyone what they asked for. And she bought me new makeup. Nothing fancy... but it meant so much that she got me exactly what I wanted.

And now we have a Christmas Angel on our tree on her tree. It is all her. Christmas is all for her.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry again Michelle. I can't even imagine having to go through this. Obviously, I will one day but still... again, if you need anything, give me a call. I'm close enough to help. I love you.

Betty F said...

Michelle, You are so brave; and your mother is so happy and proud of you I'm sure.

You did such a good job on your mom's slide show; I watched the pictures and saw a very happy and much loved woman. A very beautiful woman.
You are all in my prayers and never out of my mind.
Love Betty