9-11, the 2004 tsunami, railway crashes, airplane crashes, bombings, war, terrorism. These are things many people think of when they hear the word “devastation”. For me, it’s more personal; more close to home.
Devastation occured the day the doctor diagnosed my mother with Stage 4 Small Cell Carcinoma
. The prognosis wasn’t a good one. Small cell is a rapidly moving cancer that barely leaves a five percent chance of surviving five years.
Devastation happened when my mother got through one chemotherapy treatment only to develop a blood infection that almost cost her the short life she already had. Two weeks in the hospital where they inadvertently stumbled across the proper antibiotic. Two weeks that cost her chemotherapy treatments.
Devastation was when my mother decided on home-hospice knowing her days were truly numbered.
Devastation was taking care of her in her last days, knowing they would be the only moments I had left with her.
Devastation was stepping out of the room, listening to her breathing, only to realize that I couldn’t detect her breathing anymore.
Devastation was going back in to check on her to find that she was gone.
Devastation was watching as my father and my kids cry.
Devastation was waking up from weird dreams and wanting to talk with my mother about them to realize she wasn’t there anymore to listen to my stories.
Devastation was losing the woman who had brought me into this world and made me into the person I am today.
Devastation was loss. Devastation was grief. Devastation was being left without her.