Background #5




My mom had bad asthma, so much so she could hardly get her breath. Her doctor suggested she be treated at Gaylord hospital. She was there for an extended stay. My aunt used to bring my sibling and me to visit her. When we got restless we were allowed to go outside and run around this huge willow tree and play on the nearby swings.

One night Mom could not stop coughing. She was given a shot of Cortisone at 5:00 P.M. This did not seem to relieve her symptoms. It didn't help that she was sharing a room with five other women, all of which had fresh flowers by their beds. At 11:00 P.M. Mom could not catch her breath. The doctors decided to double the dose of Cortisone and that is what they did, two shots in one. Mom went into immediate cardiac arrest, and could not be revived. I always thought it strange her death certificate listed Respiratory Arrest as the cause of death, because, after all, couldn't that be listed on everyone's certificate?

We were aged 6 months, 2, and 3. My father was completely overwhelmed, and never remarried. My mother had two wonderful sisters who took us in for about two years, along with my grandmother and her sister. My aunts already had 4 and 5 children of their own, not including us. Our father visited us almost every day. I remember how sad we felt, with an emptiness that never went away. Through this, I developed an appreciation for single parent homes.


Ice Cream Lonely by Donnie Ray Jones  CC BY 2.0



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