It’s been over a year since Momma’s diagnosis. We’re all still shocked she’s sick and yet we’re shocked she’s made it this far. It’s nice to come home to see her still smiling, still giving a thumbs up to painted fingernails, still giving us the ‘I love you’ sign…still watching the Avengers. Ok, I wouldn’t mind a different movie, but hey at this point it’s nice to have some consistency. It’s been equally the fastest and the slowest year of my life. I didn’t think she was going to make it through February of last year, much less February of this year. Somehow, some way, she keeps pushing through, fighting for life, for another day to see and be with her babies.
I have never been this close to a death experience, I’ve never watched this so closely before. I can honestly tell you that I never want to be this close to death ever again. Nurses/Doctors/Healthcare workers, you truly are saints. I’ve never watched a healthy person be overcome with a disease that eats away at them slowly. ALS has taken so many things away from Mom, from Dad, and from me and my siblings. We’ve been fighting with mom for so long, it’s become a part of our natural reaction to respond to crisis situations quickly and efficiently. But now we’re nearing the end and we have to shift our thinking from, ‘we need to keep her alive’ to ‘we need to keep her comfortable’.
I seem to be facing this inner battle of learning to let go of mom. I want her to fight for the days we will have left with her, but I also want her to feel at peace about going Home to be with the Lord.
I’ve loved watching my dad and my siblings take care of mom in different ways. It’s so clear we are all task-oriented people. We get home and immediately get to work. Mary Ruth will cook and make sure everyone is well fed and comfortable (don’t forget, it’s a bear feeding 8
people Colemans). Morgan has become a dentist, performing the best oral care to mom every time he comes home. David is always attentive to mom’s needs, he’s so aware of her comfort level and getting her what she needs. Susie can always be counted on to bathe mom and wash/dry her hair. Abbey sits with mom and gives such a ministry of presence. Phoebe has, well, she’s always been so special to mom, she is there to take care of mom every day, tending to all of her needs. Phoebe can tell what mom wants based on her facial expressions. It’s so cool to watch each of them minister to mom this way. It’s also such a ministry to me. I couldn’t imagine a better man to take care of mom. He is loving her so well throughout this sickness. His love for her and her trust in him is so evident. It’s the most beautiful thing to watch.
I’ve watched as ALS has stepped up it’s game, taking more and more away from Mom; but I’ve also had the blessing of seeing my family bind closer together. My brothers call us girls just to check in with us. Dad spends time with each of us to chat. The girls are always talking and checking in with each other. It’s because of this that I think I’ll have peace when it really is time to say goodbye. I don’t love having to live without mom. I hate it. I already miss her because of what’s already been taken away. But she left me with 6 beautiful pieces of her that I can talk to and hang out with. It’s not the same, but it’s something. I don’t get why this has to happen. I don’t understand why the Lord allows the things He does. But I trust Him. So I will continue to pray for the strength to keep fighting, and for the strength to say goodbye when it’s time.