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Mama’s Gone

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Mama’s Gone

She had been sick for a year, at least. The reason for her illness went undiagnosed, that is, until three days before she went away. A doctor finally said, “Osteoarthritis-- it’s treatable.” We blew a sigh of relief. Three days later relief was nullified-- forever. I discovered my mother gone, and her leaving left a hole in my life, heart, and soul.

Saturday, July 25, 1998, started out with a drive to Eckerd Drug across the city of Norman to pick up more prescriptions for my mother, who had been throwing up and suffering from diarrhea all night long. When I returned home she took all five of her medications plus the three new ones. I went back to bed and tried to sleep, since I had had very little sleep, and had been up worrying about her. She piddled around, trying to calm her mind down after hours of being sick. Her body seemed to be giving her enough of a reprieve to allow her to try to catch up on all the sleep she had lost the night before. I finally fell back to sleep when I heard her softly snoring in the bedroom next to mine.

I awoke several hours later. She had pinned a note to the wall which read,

“Do you want to go see a movie later when I wake up, if I feel better? I love you, darling, and thank God that he sent you to me. You’ve always been the answer to my prayers. Love, Mama.” Those would be the last words she ever expressed to me.

I spent the rest of the afternoon watching television with the volume turned down low enough as to hear her soft snoring. Later in the afternoon my best friend Erin called from Shawnee and said she was coming up and bringing her friend Lisa and Lisa’s son Gavin. They would arrive around seve...

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...closed my eyes tighter and prayed harder. Minutes later a young paramedic with dark eyes and dark hair, like death himself, came out and told me that they had done all they could. He told me that she was gone. He asked us to leave the house since her cause of death was unknown and for the time being the house was a possible crime scene. As we were leaving to sit on the front porch I overheard one of the paramedics beginning his report say, “Estimated time of death: 8:15 p.m.” Thinking of my car ride with Erin, I realized that had been the last moment in which I was connected with my mother.

I sucked all my shock, disbelief, sadness, emptiness, anger, guilt, and confusion inside and irrationally tried not to cry. All I could think was, “Mama’s gone. Mama’s gone. Mama’s gone.” Mama was gone and my life, heart, and soul had been altered forever.
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