Sunday, February 2, 2014
The 2nd Anniversary of Kathryn's Passing
The 2nd Anniversary of Kathryn’s Passing I have new students for my publications class this semester. They are all 8th graders and none of them are in any of my math classes so they don’t know me at all. One little girl and I were talking after school about how the use the camera and taking pictures that evening at the high school. She noticed my pictures on the wall and asked if I do Relay for Life. I told her that I did it for years. And then she said she does it here in Fife. Something was said and I told her that Kathryn had passed away two years ago. Then she looked at me again and asked, “Did you speak at the first Fife Relay? Did you speak during the Luminaria Ceremony?” I said, that I was the one. She told me that I was a great public speaker and that she cried as I spoke. She was amazed that I was the one that she heard that night. Yep, I did speak and I will do more as life goes on I’m sure. I remember telling Kathryn one time that she was hope for others and she was there inspiration. I told her that when people with cancer saw her and her beautiful smile she gave them hope and encouragement. She said, “I know Mom.” That is why she did everything she could to face her cancer with a smile and be so brave. She knew others were watching and she knew she needed to give them hope and encouragement. She did just that. The other patients in the radiation waiting room told me that her smile and cheerful attitude helped them realize that they could do this. Still funny to this day, Kathryn felt the same about them. She noticed all of the “Old People” (little old ladies and little old men) and she said if they could do it so can I. We never know the affect we have on others. Last night was the eve of Kathryn’s passing and weird things were going on. We were watching TV and an orb appeared on the screen. A yellowish green orb that was reflecting like a glass prism. Then the show went off for a moment and back on. We were watching it through Netflex. It did this about three times. Not all the same but it stopped and reloaded one time. The first time it happened I told Scott to stop touching the button. The remote was across the room. We both decided Kathryn was here. I didn’t say this to Scott last night but I could smell her. He said he could feel her presence. She was here! We were watching the last three episodes of Dexter. When his sister Debra was put on the breathing machine it brought back memories and really made me think. I thought about how Kathryn was on the breathing machine and then how they took her off. When they took her off she immediately sat up and held her throat while turning purple and blue and said, “I can’t breathe.” They immediately bagged her and re-inserted the tube. She wasn’t able to breathe on her own. The tumor had grown and stopped her ability to make air come in and out. Then I thought, how could that have ever improved so that she could come home. I would imagine that once a tumor does this there is no returning. But Kathryn was taken off of the breathing machine and able to come home. Was this a small miracle created for her and us so she could come home? Was this God’s way of letting us share one last Christmas together. It must have been some kind of small miracle because they only talked about her being on that breathing machine forever. Then finally we had a Doctor who realized that we should try letting her breath on her own. She did have a trac put in. Why not? She is in the safest place she could be. She was monitored in several ways. If anything went wrong they would be there in a second. We already witnessed how fast they move in the ICU and with definite moments that are so right on and perfect. The fact is that they worked on getting her home. They worked on getting enough information that would say she would be safe to go home without a breathing machine. As an adult they would not send her home on a breathing machine. She would have been sent to some care facility, not home. I have never thought about how it all had to play out to get her home. We were lucky to have her come home. I know she didn’t like hospitals at all. Scott and I had always promised her (since she was 8) that we would never put her in the hospital unless it was absolutely necessary. In Houston we left the hospital at 11pm and even 2 am after her transfusions were done. She didn’t want to stay there and we told the nurses that we were not going to stay. Last night was a difficult night. I had a hard time getting to sleep. I cried and watched TV until my eyes were so sore and heavy I had to close them. I was just awake enough to turn the TV off and then I was out. All I could think about was two years ago I was laying next to Kathryn and I knew it was coming. I told her that if Jesus came to take her tonight, please tell him you don’t want to go. This morning I woke about the time that I realized that something was going on with Kathryn. The sign was her blood pressure. I had watched go up ever morning starting about 5am. This morning it wasn’t going up. I knew something was changing. There was either going to be a miracle and she was going to be getting better or she was slowing down and the end was soon. I lay there for a bit with her just hoping it was the better of the two. And then her oxygen got low. I called Richard in as he was just across the hall. We talked about the situation and cleared her airway with the suction machine. It helped a little. We both knew this was it. He said he would not bag her and I agreed. This made me think of our friend who told me in love not to try to save her but to let her die in peace and with dignity. Don’t’ put her through a bunch of stuff for yourself. And so, here it was that time. I had Richard get Scott and Grandma. It is 7:55 right now as I write and we were all with her at this time. She took her last little breath at about 8:17. She was amazing! She was beautiful inside and out. I was the luckiest Mom ever to have such a wonderful daughter. She made me proud! Speaking of proud. Richard makes me so proud. I was telling my students about his different hairstyles he has had and one student said in jest “You must be so proud of him.” I said, I am proud of him. He is a wonderful young man. Friday (1/31/14) Richard had a student in his class have a severe asthma attack. He was walking the kid to the nurse and he went down because he couldn’t breath. Richard knew exactly what to do. He got 911 and the boy was fine. Someone said that the boy had a seizer and Richard was quick to give the correct information. He didn’t have a seizer. They asked how he was so certain. He said his sister had brain cancer and had a seizer and he was there throughout all of it. Nobody knew about Kathryn expect the teacher he had done his student teaching under. They were probably really taken back. But he had the experience to handle this situation. I am proud of him. He is an amazing young man. He and Bee will be here this afternoon to watch the Super Bowl with us. I’m so glad they are coming over. This day is just too hard to do without being surrounded by loved ones. It never gets easier. The pain spreads out more but the loss and pain are still there. I fear that people even myself will forget Kathryn. I never want that to happen. I want her to live in our hearts forever. Hugs those around you and tell them you love them. Go Hawks!