My Mom, My Hero

My Mom, My Hero

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom

My Mom, My Hero

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs...
since the payment is pure love.
~Mildred B. Vermont

When I was twelve, my mom found out she was pregnant with my little sister. We were all shocked. Right after I was born, she’d had her “tubes tied” thus preventing any further pregnancies... so she thought! The humor of this is, the day she went to the doctor and found out she was pregnant was none other than April Fools’ Day! Of course, we were all excited and couldn’t wait until the day the new addition to the family arrived.

Around two o’clock one morning, my older sister burst into my room yelling at me, “Get up! Get up! Momma is going into labor!” Honestly, I rolled over and told her to go away. It was too early for Mom to have the baby. It was not until I heard my mom talking to someone on the phone and crying that I realized something was wrong.

When I got up, the house was in a frenzy, and the only thing I could see was blood. I was terrified. My mom and I were inseparable. She had always been a stay-at-home mom, classroom mom, always there whenever I needed her. And now it seemed to me, a girl of twelve, that my momma, my best friend, might have to fight for her life.

In the hours that followed, we got the news that my new baby sister, Kaytlyn “Nikki” Love, might not make it. My mom was alive, but had lost a lot of blood. She was unconscious for several days before she regained the strength to open her eyes and talk to us. Nikki was still touch and go and they didn’t know if she would ever leave the NICU.

My mom came home first, without her new baby. When Nikki finally did come home, she was in a fragile condition. Her lungs were weak, and she had suffered brain damage at birth causing her to have cerebral palsy.

We had a short period of home nursing, after which my mom was thrown into the new position of caring for a sick child. There were some very long nights, and there were times when Nikki wouldn’t sleep for days. Through it all, my mom stayed strong and never faltered. She never once complained.

Eventually, times got easier and Nikki became a bright, shining light in our home. Always smiling, she could melt anyone’s heart simply by blinking her blue eyes. We were one big, happy family again. The fears of losing Mom and Nikki had passed and everyone seemed at ease. That is, until Nikki was sixteen months old. It was at this time when we were reminded of how every day is a gift and should be cherished like there is no tomorrow.

We were visiting family—the first vacation we had been on since Nikki was born. For the first time in a long while, I was wakened by the sounds of crying. Nikki’s heart monitor began to sound when her heart rate dropped too low for the machine to detect. By the time the paramedics arrived, her heart rate was twenty-nine and her oxygen saturation was in the fifties. They airlifted her to a children’s hospital where she spent six weeks in the ICU. My mom was right there by her side, never leaving, not once.

They told us that Nikki would not live to see her second birthday. And although my mom was completely distraught herself, she managed to break the news to my older sister and me. She was there for us while we cried on her shoulder. She told us that she and my dad were going to take Nikki home to live out her remaining days, so she would be surrounded by love. And my parents faced their worst nightmare... having to plan their child’s funeral.

It brings great pleasure and joy that my little sister, the little angel who was not supposed to see her second birthday, is now fourteen! All of her doctors are dumbfounded and cannot explain it, but I can. I truly believe that my mom pulled her though it with unconditional love, devotion and prayer. To this very day, my mom takes care of my little sister 24/7. She delivers medicine and feedings around the clock. She lifts her and bathes her, and is constantly watching over her daughter, her life. If you were to ask my mom how she does it, she would most likely look at you with a confused expression on her face, because there is no other option for her. She would give her life for her kids and not think twice about it. I thank God for her every day.

~Brandy Widner

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