Very hard day yesterday. Middle of the afternoon I got a frantic call from a young woman I have been close to for almost 20 years. She and my oldest daughter started kindergarten together and have stayed close all these years, even though their lives have taken very different paths. Her mother was admitted to the hospital Thursday evening and by Friday afternoon they gave her about a 1% chance to live. Kristen is the one that the medical decisions ultimately fell to, since it's only she and her brother as next of kin, and the brother is in jail. Knowing her mother's siblings, I didn't hold out much hope for them to do anything other than argue about everything. So she calls practically in hysterics and her only words were "I need you." I raced to the hospital just in time to sit with Marian while the doctor told the family they needed to discuss letting her go. I actually felt fortunate to have the time with her with nobody else in the room. After a bout of pneumonia a few weeks ago and a scare then, she had talked with Kristen about her own wishes, so the decision was relatively easy for her, knowing exactly what her mother wanted. And Kristen is blessed to have a husband who has HER as his main concern. I just can't see him letting her crazy family bully her into anything. Anyway, they came back to the house and ate when they left the hospital and got a chance to visit with everyone, including my oldest daughter and her fiance. After a quick trip back to their own house for showers and clean clothes, they headed back to the hospital to sit with her through the night. She called about midnight and said her mom was gone.
Kristen is 21 years old. No child should ever have to make that decision about a parent and my heart breaks for her. We're supposed to be meeting with hospital staff today to see if there is any sort of assistance for her funeral. The last thing her aunt said to her before her mother died was that they had decided to have her cremated because it was cheaper, and they weren't chipping in any more than $50 each. First off, it's not their decision to make, it's Kristen's. Second off, the bullying has already begun. Kristen has 3 kids and doesn't work, and I just can't see how James is going to come up with funeral expenses, but with the help of the hospital staff and the Church, we'll come up with something. Say a little prayer for all of them, please.