It was Halloween. My husband took off from work so I could attended the meeting at the hospital with the palliative care team. I felt really bad leaving my mom but I really wanted to be there for my son to go trick o treating. It was the first year he was actually aware and excited about Halloween. Normally I make his costumes but this year I had been too busy caring for my mom that it was the furthest thing from my mind. My husband brought him to the store and let him pick out his own costume and he picked out a scooby doo costume.
My mom and I discussed the meeting and it felt real good when she told me, “you carried that entire meeting” and that she was proud of me. My mom was always supportive and would always tell us when we did a good job. She was totally ok with me leaving to bring my son trick o treating and so I did. Thankfully my son is only four and he wasn’t really in to walking for miles so I was only gone about an hour. Me and my husband drove back up to the hospital so my mom could see him dressed up. The hospital staff got a kick out of him.
My son always lifted my mom’s spirits and so whenever I could, I wound bring him up to see her. I could tell there was some improvements. On Halloween she was actually able to use her phone again and she took pictures of my son in his costume from her hospital bed. A day or so prior to halloween while I was there her roommate was discharged. My mom had the worst part of the room. She was right next to the hallway and since most roomies prefer the room dividing curtain to be closed, my mom hadn’t seen the sun for over a week. I knew how much she loved to see the fall foliage and so I asked the nurses if we could switch her to the window side of the room. I thought that just seeing that the outside world still exists may actually help her and give her the drive and will to get better. I definitely noticed an improvement in her because of it.
The window area was also more private, because you didn’t have people walking back and forth and I believe the privacy also played a big factor in making her less stressed out. As I said in an earlier post, my mom was very self conscious. People don’t realize that even though you’re sick, humility is still a factor to take into consideration. When you become so ill that you can no longer do simple things such as go to the bathroom, or walk, you are forced to sacrifice your humility. My mom wore false teeth. The year after my dad passed in 2006, she had to get all of her teeth pulled. From being on steroids and immunosuppressive drugs for about 15 years at that point in time, she had lost a lot of bone mass. Her jaw bone was starting to waste away and so all her teeth became loose. She had to get a full set of dentures. It was a very traumatic experience for her and I was there to hold her hand. It was hard to watch as she cried hysterically in the dentist chair. It took her a very long time to get adjusted to the teeth too. They were very awkward and uncomfortable at first and she couldn’t eat a lot of the foods she enjoyed because it was hard to chew. It was also hard to talk. I felt so bad for her but she always had to look at things like, have false teeth or be in dialysis or even worse, dead. Eventually she got used to them but when she had stayed in the hospital for the entire month of August, she refused to take them out. So for about 30 nights straight, she slept with them in her mouth. She had really bad sores and stuff and so it was during this stay that I finally got her to take them out. Every night I’d be the last one to leave the room no matter who came because I would help her get her teeth out, clean them up and set her up with some mouthwash and her glue for the next day. I’d like all the stuff up on the table that she’d need so she didn’t have to bother the nurses, and she could do everything herself.
My husband stayed with us for about an hour and then brought my son to get dinner. At about 8:00pm my brother came strolling into the hospital room, surprisingly all by himself. Apparently Satan was sick. At this point in time I was so disgusted with him. I left the room to use the restroom and when I came back I saw him sitting in the chair looking at the forms we had been handed earlier that day. I came to find out later he asked my mom if she filled it out and she got annoyed and told him she just wanted to relax and not think about that kind of stuff. She told him she’d do it the next day. Personally I didn’t even want to look at the form because I didn’t want to imagine my mom in all of these horrible situations where I’d have to make a decision whether or not she lived. I hoped and prayed I’d never have to make such a choice and that was about it.
Around 9:30pm he said he had to go. I stayed for about another hour to hour and a half. I helped my mom get cleaned up for bed and I went home. I had been home for about 10 minutes when I get a frantic text from my mom’s neighbor who was watching her dogs. She was completely freaked out. She told me someone was in my mom’s house and they moved stuff around. I couldn’t believe it. I ran right out my door and drove over there. When I got there I see her coming across the street with a flashlight in her hand. Apparently she had fed the dogs around 7:30. At around 11:00 or so she saw what she thought was a Dodge Charger, pulling out of my mom’s driveway, but just chalked it up to someone using her driveway to make a U-turn, which was a common thing seeing that she is the second house on the block. She went into the house and right way noticed stuff was out of place. There was stuff on her kitchen counter that was moved. Lights that she knew she had shut off, had been turned on and there was a black portfolio case sitting on the coffee table in my mom’s den, which wasn’t there earlier. As she’s telling me the story she starts crying and I could see she was visibly shaken. She knew it wasn’t me who was in the house because her and I communicated. Every time I went there I would let her know so I didn’t alarm her. I knew there was only one other person besides me and my husband who have keys to my moms house and that is my brother.
Back in August when I figured out that my brother and Satan were in my mom’s safe, I set the dial to a specific number so that I knew if it was not on that number, clearly someone was in it. I caught them on the 19th of October and again on the 31st. Sure enough the number was moved both times which clearly means they were in the safe. I didn’t understand what it was that they were looking for. Everything else in the house seemed undisturbed except for the few things that she showed me. We talked for about an hour and a half that night. She explained how she was so scared thinking it was Halloween and someone was messing with my moms house. She was really shook up from it.
When she left I felt too spooked to stay there and investigate and so the next morning I came back. I opened the safe and sure enough I could see someone had gone through it again. This time they left the copy of my mom’s will out of the packet that it was in. I opened up the packet and took out my mom’s will and sure enough, it looked all disheveled. It was all dirty on the back and I could tell someone had folded over the nice crisp pages and left a crease in it. I knew it wasn’t me. To me that indicated that someone had possibly taken it and had it photocopied. I wasn’t sure why the other stuff was moved around either, especially the portfolio case.
I couldn’t make sense of it all and then it hit me. My brother completely lied to us that night. He left the hospital at about 9:30 and said he was going home but apparently that wasn’t the case. Instead he went to my moms house. I didn’t want to cause trouble but because the girl was so shook up I wanted to let my mom know that my brother should just let one of us know that if he was going to her house for any reason, to let either me or her know. I went straight to the hospital and asked my mom if she knew that my brother went to the house that night and she told me no she didn’t.
She called him up as I was standing there and asked him if he was at her house the night prior. She looks up at me and I hear her saying back to him, “oh you weren’t?”. She looked over to me and mouthed the word, “lying!”. A few seconds later, silly him, he remembered that he did in fact go to her house and the reason he gave was so that he could check to see if she had any bills that needed paying. When she hung up the phone she looked at me with this disappointed face and said, “he lied…” and then she asked, “did he go in the safe again?”. I didn’t want to upset her but I had to tell her the truth. I told her that was it. I was going to remove all of the paperwork that was in there and she told me, “good, do it.”. She then said something to me that I will never forget. She first asked me why I thought he kept going in there. I didn’t have the heart to say why, and so I replied, “I don’t know, ma.”. That was when she said to me, “I know why, he is planning my death.”.
(To be continued in my next post)