I’ve only been a mother for eight years, but I’ve been a daughter for 36 years.
Maybe it’s because my own mother lives 800 miles away, or because our relationship has always been tumultuous, but I often forget that I’m someone’s kid.
However, all that changed when my mom was rushed to the emergency room two weeks ago with congenital heart failure.
My mom is a stubbornly independent woman, not unlike myself, so when she texted me to say that her friend was driving her to the hospital, I was worried. With several preexisting heart issues, she’s had overnight hospital visits and regular cardiology appointments, all of which she has told me about after the fact. And only if I remember to ask her.
So a text on the way to the hospital was probably a big deal. As it turned out, it was.
She had been ailing for awhile, with her swelling increasing, her cough worsening and her shortness of breath almost unbearable—none of which I knew about because she would rarely check in with me. And she refused to let any of her work colleagues call me, even when she was admitted to the emergency room a month ago. Probably it was because it was on my birthday and she didn’t want to worry me.
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It wasn’t until her friend suggested she go to the hospital that she finally decided to do something. Even then, she first made an appointment with her doctor, who told her to go straight to the emergency room.
Turns out it was so bad that she was immediately admitted to the hospital where she worked at as a nurse.
Oh, the irony.