This is a post that is so hard to write. It is about a loss. A loss thats devestating. Its not about the loss of a child, ive already written about that. This is a loss about a woman. A woman that was a wife, mother, friend, a pep talker, a leader, a guide, a bus driver to disabled children, a woman who was loved by many. This post is about my mother. It is hard to write even though its been 5 years. 5 years ago my siblings and my life changed. Her grandchildren's lives and her husbands life changed. Her friends life changed. It was so unexpected that no one at all was prepared for it. They say it gets easier as time goes on but in all reality it doesnt. How can it get easier when you've lost your mother?
My mom always wanted to be a mom. All of her friends that have known her have said that. She accomplished that 5 times over. I am her oldest. She had 4 girls and 1 boy. He is in the middle of all of us girls. My mother was only 51 when she died.
My mom got sick in 2004. It wasnt something we could figure out what was going on, she thought it could've been the flu or something. she had body aches, fever, chills etc. I went to michigan in june 2004 to visit and bring E and she would come home and sleep and just not generally feeling well. I was there 2 weeks and she wouldnt go to the dr till the day i left. They thought it could have been just a bad flu and that she was dehydrated. So they gave her an iv fluids and kept her for a few hours and then sent her home. Not to long after i left my brother who is in the army came to visit. He was home for a few weeks. One day my brother was out and my step dad at work when my mom wasnt feeling well yet again. She decided to get in the car and drive herself to the ER. The minute she arrived she had a Grand Mal seizure, which she had no history of. It took 10 people to hold her down to keep her from hurting herself. By the time my brother and step dad got there they told them if she would have had the seizure while she was driving she would have gotten in an accident and died. They kept her for a few days and began running tests. She started having numbing and tingling in her hands feet arms and legs. They thought she had west nile virus, encephalitis, and meningitis all at the same time. They put her on a battery of meds and kept an eye on her. This went on for a while. They started doing some procedure that she would go in and they would run lines one taking blood out of her running it thru something to clean it etc and put it back in. It was working for awhile,but then it was failing too. She couldnt barely walk sometimes so she had a cart that she would drive it around, it was kind of like a motorized wheel chair but it was like a cart that you see at walmart. They drew her blood and sent it to the mayo clinic to test it for everything. I mean everything.It all came back negative. She was seeing tons of specialists but no one could figure it out. They just kept prescribing meds to help with the pain. Nothing was working or didnt work for long. She would have a gallon size ziploc bag of pain meds that she would take with her but they werent helping. Finally she found someone who thought they knew what was going on, and he was located at JOHNS HOPKINS Hospital. She was due to go there Oct 24,2005. They even had a plane to come and get her in case there were any issues.
Sadly she didnt make it. Oct 17, 2005 started like any day. My sister shannon lived close and brought my nephew james over to see my mom. He was the newest grandson and only 2 months old. My mom lived for her grandkids. It was shannons daily routine to go over bring the baby and just hang out with my mom , since she couldnt work while all this was going on. About 1/2 hr into shannon being there and my mom holding james she said " shannon take the baby something isnt right" No sooner than shannon took james and put him in his seat, my mother had another seizure. This time it was so severe that she stopped breathing. Shannon freaked out. Luckily we had two lines in the house, on one line she called 911 and on the other she called my moms best friend. 911 was instructing her on how to do cpr and my moms friend was rushing over she got their as the paramedics did. Shannon was able to get her back breathing. My mom was screaming about a pain in her stomach. Then she vomited blood( sorry for the goryness) She told them too move her to the kitchen floor as she didnt want blood on her new carpet. The finally got her stable and put her in the ambulence. On the way to the hospital she kept having seizures, they had no idea why but they werent as bad as the first two. In the hospital of course they had her in the ER and she got lucky to have an amazing doctor. He worked valiantly for my mom. He pushed iv meds, trying to stop the seizures. He put her in a medically induced coma to try and stop them. He did a battery of tests to see anything that would give him a clue. He knew all of the tests and meds she was on. They were waiting on an ultrasound on her stomach to find out what was causing the pain. All of a sudden her organs started failing. For no explainable reason. It stared with her kidneys. They still couldnt figure out why. My mother had high blood pressure and hers was extremely low that day, so low like something like 38/90 they couldnt figure it out. The dr couldnt figure out what was going on. He didnt know why her blood pressure was low and not going up to at least normal. He couldnt figure out why her organs would be shutting down. It wasnt looking good. My mother woke up at one point and said " Am i going to die?" The resounding answer was "NO" She was very puffy from all the iv fluids and the only people at the hospital were my stepdad my moms best friend and her husband. They wouldnt let the kids come. Then as quickly as all of this started that day it ended when my mother slipped away. No amount of begging or medical miracles were helping. None of her children got to say good bye. No last I LOVE YOU. No begging the dr to save her. No last kiss. No telling her of what she meant to us. It was so unexpected and shocking no one was prepared. Not all of us are in the same place. All of us were all over the country. I was living in washington state with my grandmother to take care of her. Two of my aunts lived there too. We had gotten a call when my mother was taken to the ER and we were getting periodic updates. My moms other siblings werent there either one in california one in texas. So as we were getting updates we were passing it on to them. I went to bed at 11 pm that nite and took the phone to bed with me. My grandma couldnt hear very well in one ear so she had went to bed earlier, i know worried about my mom. None of us really thought it was to severe. she had had some seizures before when she first got sick. We hadnt gotten any updates from my moms friend since like 8-9pmwe just figured that things were stable, but i had that 6th sense type thing i felt like i knew they were going to call us and tell us the unimagineable..it had been too long between calls. And finally at 2 am they called and told us. My mom had passed away between 1-3 am east coast time, and besides them trying to deal with it, they had all of my stepdads family to notify then they had to break the news to HER 5 KIDS. For my brother who is in the army, they called and told him but to make it official they had to send a red cross emergency message. For thats the way his command would be officially notified. For my youngest sister shannon my moms best friend went to her house and told her. For my sister Ali they called and told her, for my sister Karen they sent my stepdads sister and husband to go to her college and get her and tell her. she had no idea what was going on etc. And for us well, we got the call, I answered and my moms friend margo was on the phone, and said "hi honey is nanny there? i said yes shes sleeping, she said well can you go get her , so i proceeded to walk downstairs and back to her room and the door was open and the light was on and she was sitting there( my grandma was a diabetic with a partial amputee and got around by wheel chair) and i was like what are you doing up, she said she went to sleep but really couldnt sleep so she had been up reading, i said well margo is on the phone she wants to talk to you, she said ok. Im standing there handing her the phone and i hear margo say "we lost her, we lost phyllis" my grandmothers answer" oh really? what the heck happened? it was like she didnt believe it or she was in shock. Here she was hearing that her 51 year old child was gone and her still here at 76 with not so many health issues, saying it was unfair. I could then hear margo say let me tell christa. I get on the phone and i say whats the update what are they saying. She then says, the update is ..is that we lost her, your mom died sweetie. I was like no your joking right? this isnt real you are lying, then in the background i could hear shannon screaming and sobbing. Margo then proceeded to tell me that numerous people were on their way to telling the others. i couldnt believe it. She said she would call back in a bit. Then my grandma told me i had to tell my aunts uncles and dad. The first call i made was to the aunt that lived behind us. I could have walked over but i called, the first few times no answer, then finally my uncle doug answered and i said is carol there and he knew it was bad, when he woke her up for the phone she punched him and knew it could only be bad..she yelled that it wasnt right and threw the phone and i could see them coming thru the yard. Next was my aunt kathy, she lived about 7 miles away and i called her next, my uncle charlie answered and woke her up and she ended up hitting him to get to the phone and she said she was calling into work and coming over, she was calling my cousins. I called my uncles next who were just as shocked. Then i called my dad. he was sobbing on the phone, he had been called by the others and was heartbroken. We then proceeded to make the arrangements to get to michigan. We left the morning of the 18th and all of us trekked there, me, E, both aunts uncles, one cousin, all to my mothers house. it was so surreal. We had her funeral that week and there was so many people that came and so many flowers. my mom was well known not only because of being a bus driver, but we had lived in the same place since 1982 and people knew us. 5 kids mom who worked for the district, she had kids in choir,drama, football, soft ball and a cheerleader. She is greatly missed not only by her kids and family and friends but by everyone who knew her. Since her death there has been a few weddings, 6 new grandkids. we all hate to know what shes missing and wishing she was here everyday. It shouldnt have happened. SO if there is anything you can get from this let it be that always say i love you, you never know what will happen.
GONE TO SOON.WAY TOO SOON. WE LOVE AND MISS YOU EVERY DAY MOM. RIP
PHYLLIS DIANE SOUDEN, 2-18-54 TO 10-17-05