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Six Years Today

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Hi everyone.... I don't post frequently but I felt I needed to share this..... Today, well, this morning, is the 6th anniversary of my mom's passing. I remember it like it was yesterday. I will never forget it actually, because it was very traumatic, in the sense that it was somewhat of a surprise.

You're probably thinking... "Somewhat of a surprise?"... yeah..... here is the story:

My mom had a history of "feeling sorry for herself" and with multiple divorces under her belt, substance abuse issues and on husband #4; she was on a wicked downward spiral. "J", husband #4, was a super guy (I met him first, he was my neighbor and I introduced him to my mom a few months later) and he looked like Sean Connery (who could resist that? ;) ).

Anyway, they met and hit it off immediately. Before I knew it, she was moving him with him and also now my neighbor! What I DID NOT know was that J was on some serious PTSD drugs (he was in Vietnam, shot in the eye and left for dead in a pile of bodies for 2 days) and he was sober from alcohol for several years. Oh, how I WISH I had known this!!!!!!!

My mom found out about J's meds and shortly after they got married, she started stealing them, and then went to the doctor and got her own Rx for them. They both started drinking heavily at this point and smoking and doing all kinds of Rx drugs and illegal drugs. I was devastated and feeling very guilty for introducing them. J called me on my cell phone at work several times with horrible stories of things my mom was doing to him and that he couldn't take it and he wanted to divorce her..... He had arranged an attorney by this time and was putting the wheels in motion........

On Thanksgiving 2002, J dropped dead of a heart attack right after the last guest left and as we were pulling in the driveway, the Ambulance drove up and they were working on J and subsequently rushing him to the hospital. My mom was hysterical, high, and unable to think clearly. My brother drove her to the hospital behind the ambulance. A few hours later we got the sad sad news.

It was during this intrim time that my mom sunk into a deep depression such that I have never seen. She said she did CPR on J from the time she found him on the floor until the ambulance got there and "she couldn't save him" ..... At that point, I felt her pain... really felt it.

My mom was a good person insofar as what the drugs didn't destroy of her personality, morals, and soul. It was at this point that I decided I was going to spend as much time with her as I could. I had just moved 45 minutes away into my first house the day that J died so we weren't neighbors any more, which in hindsight, was a blessing in disguise.

True to my silent promise to my mom, I spent every minute I could with her and when I wasn't there, I was calling her. My mom found out that J did have a heart condition that he had found out about 1 year before; the doctor told him NO drinking, NO smoking, NO Drugs!!! J didn't listen and I think in my mind wanted to die.. he was so sick of being with my mom and he didn't know how else to leave.... which really saddens me. I'm sure deep down, he was disappointed that he had started drinking again, etc. He was also having flashbacks of Vietnam with a rapid increase in frequency since they started having problems in their marriage.

At any rate, my mom also found out that the house was mortgaged 3x and there was no money. The bills hadn't been paid for months and there were heavy credit card bills. At this point, her depression was so severe that she spent all day sleeping with the shades drawn and wouldn't answer the phone. She would fall out of bed and she ended up breaking 2 of her toes on one occasion. Ultimately, she was forced to sell the house to raise money for all the bills.

At this point, my cousin was an attorney and helped my mom with J's estate and financials for free. So, that was also something that would turn around to bite us in the tush; or should I say, ME.

I was helping my mom pack, move and arrange her affairs. I helped her with everything I could. My sister was telling me that I was wasting my time, that mom was a "loser" and she only cared about herself. What I have come to understand was that my sister was mad at me for spending so much time with my mom. Why? Because my sister is a drug dealer and couldn't spend time with my mom selling her pills if I was with her!!!!!! I would love to say that this was a good thing.... .............

So, for the 9 months after J died my mom went in and out of depression, or more correctly I should say her depression varied in degrees, from severe to minimal or at least it looked that way.. I took her on her errands, took her to lunch, movies, anything I could to think of that would get her out of the house and also to spend time with her. She really seemed for all intents and purposes, to be turing her life around. She got a cute apartment in town and it was quite big enough for her. We helped her move and I think she was in that apartment for about a month when the proverbial s&^% hit the fan......

She stopped taking my calls, she stopped being there when she knew I was going to visit.... and she seemed more reckless. She started hanging out with my sister and she stopped by x-husband #2's house frequently..... she started seeing lots of new doctors, having new tests... and then she called me one day. " The doctor found a lump in my breast, I need to go for a biopsy" I said, "Okay, I'll pick you up, let me know what day, I'll go with you"... "No, um, I don't think I'm going to go" .......click... she had hung up on me.

I called back and no answer. She had cancelled dinner. She didn't answer her phone...... for several days. My mother called me, she was slurring her words, "I was pulled over for swerving, I hit a pole", I got a ticket. My mom called me, "Can you take my bird, I can't have him in my new apartment".... "Gee, I'm sorry mom, my husband doesn't want a bird".......My brother called screaming, "Mom strangled our bird! I was helping her take out the trash and I heard a squeal, and I looked over... and the bird was dead in her hands!!!!! Oh My God!!!"......

What I had found out was that my mom had gotten several Rx for several different psychotropic drugs... that she got from an INTERNIST...

I called the local Police Department where my mom lives and said, "My mom lives alone, I want you to have my information incase anything happens to her" They took my information..... Little did I know I would be getting a call a week later........

My brother went away to college in Miami, Florida. The next day, I get a call from the local PD..... "Is your mother Nancy.....?".. "yes"... "Do you have an aunt named Kay?" ..... "Yes"... .... "Well, Kay called, and wanted us to check on Nancy, is she with you? "...... "No"......... "Okay, we'll go check her apartment"...... "Okay, please call me back".....

This initial call happened on a Saturday morning.. my mom was supposed to meet my aunt and drive up to a cousin's wedding in Maine.

Two hours later.... the PD called again, "Hi, Dana?" .. "Yes?".... "I'm sorry to say that we found your mother deceased on the floor, we had to force open the back door, I'm sorry".... "Oh dear, (sobbing)..... do you want me to go there? "..... "No m'am, you don't want to see this, you don't want your last memory of your mom like this"...... "Okay".... "What funeral home do you want to use? "....... "Let me call you back, Thank you".....

I called my sister who started to yell at me. She said she was going right there, she needed to "identify the body"..... what she needed to do was get all of the drug bottles out of the apartment !!!!! She went to the scene and the police man knew she would be going there, I called him and told him... she said he was not going to let her in and if she acted up, he would arrest her. I also told him that she might be high. He assured me that he would arrest her if she appeared high .

Long story short... (or shorter)... my mom died of a massive drug overdose. She took over 200 pills. Plus pills my sister gave her. My sister ended up becoming the executrix of her estate due to a "technicality", which in reality was my cousin being too lazy to file a petition for an out of state executrix (me), making the time after my mom died a living hell for me.............. banned me from filing wrongful death, making inquires, etc.

So you see, I was not really surprised that my mom did what she did, the signs were there, I tried to do an intervention on her but only 2 of my family showed up. So, seeing lack of support, no one wanted to pursue it........ I tried to get her help, she refused.

Not a day goes by that I don't wish my mom was still with me, especially now with my medical condition. I miss her smile, laugh, and the person she was before the drugs took over. I realize I did what I could and I'm happy I spent so much time with her.

Six years seems like a long time, but it is only the blink of an eye. My mom is alive in my heart and in my good memories of her. She deserved so much more in life and she deserves to be remembered well, and that is what I'm going to do today. Remember her well.

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