Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

Saturday, 2 October 2010

When I woke up this morning something felt different but I couldn’t say for certain what that something was. I stood in my kitchen trying to “pull myself together” as it were. I just couldn’t get myself going, as if something was gnawing at my heart. I felt like I was in neutral … quickly going nowhere fast. But I managed to get out and run a couple of errands, and cross off a few things on my to-do list.

I had walked into my apartment and set my bags down on counter, still feeling as though my wheels were spinning, when the phone rang. I answered the phone. A phone call that begins with, “Are you sitting down?” never ends well. My sister was on the other end of the phone … my mother wasn’t well, and there was no question: I had to come home.

From that point on it felt like I was running on autopilot – from buying an airplane ticket to getting to the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport in Montreal – I was moving about in a daze.

It was about 10 p.m. when I arrived at the QEII Health Services Centre in Halifax, where my mother was in the ICU. The prognosis was not good. In a word: devastating. There was nothing the doctors could do.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

I sat with my mother in her hospital room, holding her hand, hoping for a miracle even though I knew that this was the end of her journey. In fairly good health, the suddenness of the illness and its speed were what shocked, held us in disbelief. That week she had been out volunteering and showing off her grandsons to her former colleagues. What a difference a day makes!

Surrounded by family, my mother passed away.

Post Script

My mother lived a good life. She was active in her community and in her church, doing the things she loved to do. Her sudden death reminds me just what a difference a day makes. I have always believed that life is what you make it, that now is the time to be doing what it is we love to do – not in ten years time. There is a certain uneasiness now to the saying, “Here today, gone tomorrow.” Makes you wonder ... Is your house in order? Are you moving confidently in the direction of your dreams?

I can say that I am holding steadfast to my dreams, that I am living in the present. Just for today I will keep on keeping on.

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