90: A Sign from Above

90: A Sign from Above

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Best Mom Ever!

A Sign from Above

“There is no death. People only die when we forget them,” my mother explained shortly before she left me. “If you can remember me, I will be with you always.”

~Isabel Allende

On August 4th, 2015 my mom sent me a text letting me know that she went to the ER with some chest pain, but not to worry. I told her I would be right there but she knew I worked the graveyard shift and told me to get some sleep, that it was probably nothing. As I was heading out the door, I texted her, “Just let me love you!”

When I arrived at the hospital I knew this time was different. My mom had a very long history of health issues related to Marfan syndrome. But each doctor visit was routine in her eyes. So routine, in fact, that she had asked me to smuggle in a Diet Coke and snickerdoodle cookies for her. She wasn’t allowed to eat in case they needed to do surgery, but I still tried to find her those snickerdoodles. I couldn’t find any but I promised I would and I’d have them in my purse ready for her when she was allowed to eat again.

The ER doctor at our local hospital in eastern Washington State wanted to send my mom to Seattle via flight. My heart sank. She refused the flight because she was worried about the cost. I told her that nobody cared what it cost and we just wanted her to be well. This was the first time I saw my mom cry about her health. She was usually as tough as nails.

I called my stepdad and told him he had to come. He was working three hours away but immediately got in his car and came home. Mom was already on her way to Seattle via ambulance.

My stepdad and I drove to Seattle to join her, and believe it or not, I kept looking for snickerdoodles, to no avail. By the next day, Mom was in a great hospital and she was allowed to eat anything she wanted.

She was insistent I find her snickerdoodles but I still couldn’t find any.

The next morning they took her for a CT scan. My stepdad and I waited in her room, not too worried, as this had become routine for us and she was already looking better. However, when the nursing assistant brought my mom back from her scan in a wheelchair she coded in the chair. My world stopped. They were able to revive her, but then she coded again, and this time nothing could bring her back.

My entire world crumbled.

I made my way from the fifth floor down to the outside world, as far away as I could get to make a few horrible phone calls.

When someone passes, the hospital brings a grief package to the family. Juice, snacks, and such. They don’t want someone passing out from the shock.

As I sat on a curb outside, I was handed a bag of snacks from the grief package. Inside was a snickerdoodle cookie. I knew at that moment that my mom hadn’t left me. Only her physical body was gone. She had finally found her snickerdoodle cookie and she had even found one for me, too. I knew she was going to be okay.

~Jamie D. Parker

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