Mom had an appointment in the morning.
I had run an errand in the afternoon, and when returning home, Mom was so excited as she had just finished a conversation with my cousin Sue.
I remember how much she enjoyed their conversation and how much delight it brought her.
Little did I know that 4 hours later my Mom would collapse in front of me and my world would change forever.
As you may or may not know, my Mom suffered with fibromyalgia for many years.
She chose to treat it without medication, using natural methods.
She did pretty well as the years went by, although I know she was in pain more than she would express.
She had great success with acupuncture in the last year.
A few days prior to her passing, she had some pain with one of her teeth. She went to the dentist and when returning from the appointment, complained of some pain in her jaw.
We didn’t think much of it as we thought it was from the dental work that had been done.
As the day progressed on that Wednesday, Mom started having more serious pain in her back, neck, shoulders and jaw.
I noticed that Mom had googled “heart attack symptoms” on her computer.
I asked her if she was feeling any of the symptoms of a heart attack, and she assured me that she felt like it was fibromyalgia....however, my instincts were kicking in and I was becoming a bit more concerned.
I continued to rub her back, as I would when she was having a fibro flair up....but I wasn’t at peace. I asked her again if we should go to the hospital to be on the safe side and she assured me that she felt this was fibromyalgia...so I had to take her at her word and trust that she knew what she was feeling.
I remember after rubbing her back and trying to bring her comfort..... Mom and I had a conversation about how much we love each other and how much each of us meant to each other. That wasn’t unusual. We would say those things to each other, many times a week.
It always went like this : “ I don’t know what I would do without you”...and I would always respond with “ I don’t know what I would do without you, either”. But this time, I felt this incredible pain in my heart when we said it. I remember crying while we were talking, feeling like something was going to happen. I didn’t really process it at the time, but when looking back....I found it to be so incredibly wildly intuitive.
I remember calling our dear friend, Jane, asking her to pray. I was still feeling uneasy. Jane prayed a beautiful prayer for Mom and then ended it with “ Lord, may she have the most peaceful sleep this evening, that she has ever had”.
Within a short amount of time, my Mom collapsed in front of me.
She called my name, and then collapsed.
I remember feeling like everything was in slow motion. I couldn’t find the phone and was panicking and praying to find the phone , and at the same time screaming at Mom to “ hang on”.
I found the phone within a few seconds, but I remember feeling like it was forever. I remember dialing 911, noticing that my hands were shaking so badly that I felt like I was having to dial the number slower than usual, all the while keeping my eyes on Mom.
All I could do was to hold her head up, hoping she wasn’t choking and telling her not to leave me. I know, that sounds so horrible when I think back on it. I wish I hadn’t said that. Who wants to pass with their daughter pleading with them to stay. I wish I had told her it was okay. But it wasn’t okay with me.
Mom did seem to hear me, and I remember her looking at me like she was trying to stay.
I won’t go into the details, but it was very hard to watch my Mom for a few seconds.
By the time the emergency personnel arrived, I do believe my Mom was home with the Lord.
I think the Lord had such mercy to take her so quickly. She maybe suffered for a moment, but not much. They worked on her for 40 minutes, but I knew she was already in heaven.
Our friend Jane arrived shortly after Mom collapsed, and all our neighbors gathered at our front door, as we all watched in complete shock , as they were trying to resuscitate Mom.
I remember seeing neighbors praying in our driveway, and Jane had her arm wrapped around me.
When we ( Jane and I ) arrived at the hospital, Jody met us there. She had arrived a bit earlier than we did. Mom’s Pastor’s had also met us when we walked into emergency.
Mom was pronounced deceased at 9:20 pm.
Cause of death, heart attack.
My Mom had completed her task here on earth. The Lord called her home.
One of my favorite photos of Andy, Mom and I. Photo taken in the late 60's.
My Mom and I have a small army of women that we have known for years.
Several of these women also attend Jody’s Crop at Scraptherapy.
We’ve known each other for at least 15 years....some of us a little longer.
They are our family.
Before I blinked an eye, these women arrived at the hospital to be with me. I will never forget it. We all sat in a room, on a gurney. Cried and hugged and cried some more.
This army of friends would become my backbone during this difficult time.
They have been there for me every step of the way.
They have held my hand, shopped for me, cleaned, cooked, organized, packed and moved boxes and more boxes, made phone calls, attended appointments with me, helped me with paperwork and more paperwork, hosted a garage sale ( which is a big deal and lots of work in 90 + degree weather! ), stayed overnight with me... and on and on.
Unbelievable what these women have stepped up to do for me.
I'm sooooo grateful for them. ( "grateful" and "thank you" aren't big enough words to express my gratitude! )
That doesn’t include all the amazing friends and family that have stepped up to help me with their encouragement or financial assistance.
I want to thank all of you that have been so amazing to me during this time of my life. I’ve felt so loved and comforted by so many of you.
Between your comments on my facebook page ( Entirely Apropos ) , cards, calls, emails, delivering meals and on and on.....I am so blessed. Thank you. Thank you so very much.
I know my Mom is rejoicing in heaven as I believe somehow she can see what is happening and how much help and love I am receiving.
I couldn’t close out this post without saying something about the Lord. He has been my rock through all of this....He has been there for me every step of the way, providing me with such amazing friends, family and miracles. .
I’m so grateful for so much.
I miss her every day, and I think of her a bazzilion times a day.... but I know where she is, and I know she is in heaven, a better place. We will all be together again someday. It’s just such a huge void for so many of us here.
Her memorial service was beautiful, I believe somehow that God allowed her to see the service, and I know she was shocked at the turn out and the love that people have for her.
To view the service, please click here: Barb Shelander’s Memorial Service.
I hope to be back on facebook in the near future. For now, I’m pressing through with an enormous amount of deadlines and responsibilities that need to be tended to.
Thank you all for reaching out to me the last couple of months. Means so much to me.
I love you all, and feel so loved and blessed to have you in my life.
This is a photo of Mom and Cinnamon ( Cinny ) .
We would walk the dogs together.
I sure do miss her in all those little moments. It's very odd to do things by myself again.
We were two peas in a pod.
I love you, Mom! You are forever in my heart.
I miss you so much.