Saturday, September 24, 2011

In Memory

    Earlier this week was the twelve year anniversary of my mother's death. After fighting kidney disease for most of her life, she lost the battle.

    My mom was sick most of her life. She was born with a congenital obstruction that ended up destroying her kidneys. By the time she was fourteen she had her first kidney transplant. During her lifetime she would have a total of four transplants. When she got pregnant with me the doctors told her to abort me because she, I, or possibly even both of us would probably die. She wouldn't listen though, she dreamed of being a mother. Although I was born almost three months early, there were no problems. Growing up she was always sick. I remember times when she was in failure, hoping and praying for the call that would say that she was getting a new kidney. I remember nights praying that my mother would make it through the night. When I became a nurse it got worse. Suddenly, I supposedly had all the answers and made the decisions. All the years of being in chronic renal failure had taken a major toll on her body. The final time she went into rejection her heart couldn't handle being on hemodialysis anymore and gave out. She was the first person I ever did CPR on.

    Why am I writing a blog about what a horrible life she had? To tell her story. To say that her illness is  not what defined her as a person. To remember her. She was so much more than someone with a chronic illness. She was my mom and my friend. She instilled great morals and values in me. She was my cheerleader. She always believed in me. Teaching me to go after my dreams no matter what they were. To fight for things you believe in and to never give up. She also taught me one of the most lessons, one that I try to teach my children. Although you have many people in your life that love you and will do anything for you. The only person who will truly be there for you for your WHOLE life, is you. Other people may leave or die, but you will always be there. You have to love yourself.

    She was able to see me graduate college and her first two grandchildren born before she died. I like to think that she battled out until she thought for sure I'd be okay. We had a heart to heart before she died and she told me that she wasn't afraid to die. It makes me feel better to know that she wasn't scared. She had a very rough life. I know she is in a much better place now. A place with no pain or suffering.

    Not a day goes by that I don't miss her. I very selfishly wish she was still here with me. I know if she was here with me she would be so proud of me and all that I've accomplished. I also know that she'd be my number one champion for writing this book. So when I finish my book, it will be dedicated to her. In honor of all the unconditional love and support she always gave me.

My mom a year before she passed away.


Fiona Li said...

She sounds like an amazing woman. I'm sorry for your loss, even though it's been twelve years.

Stella Stafford said...

Your Mother was a truly wonderful person, thank you for sharing this with us! Stella

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful, wonderful post. Beautifully articulated and a touching read. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I'm so sorry for your loss- I hope your grief isn't too heavy. Your mom was clearly a wonderful person to raise you so well.

Jessica Salyer said...

Thank you for you kind words.

BillS said...

I commented in an earlier post that my foster dad had said the same thing about the only person that will truly be around your whole life is you. And after reading this post I recall your mom telling me that as well. I miss our mom, though not by blood, I still considered her one of my mothers, and the conversations we had. I still remember chatting with her as she played Dr. Mario. She loved that game & was very good at it! I also miss her & am sorry for your loss.

deathwriter said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mom. As I said on my blog, I'd love to interview you.

Amanda Heitler said...

This is such a wonderful tribute to your mother - and by extension to you. I'm late to this post, but came over via the deathwriter and couldn't leave without commenting.


Jessica Salyer said...

Death Writer- Thank you.

Amanda- Thank you.