If you know anything at all about my mom, you know she loves a good party.
Well, let me tell you friends… we partied it up each and every day while she was in the hospital!
On Friday, I told her of my plans. “Mom… I know you are doing everything you can to be here for every milestone moment… but I think it would be tons of fun if we could celebrate some things early! You need to mark your calendar right now for Sunday because we are going to have so much fun!”
She pulled out her phone and we both became painfully aware that the pain meds were taking their toll on her fine motor skills. She was struggling to open her calendar app as she marked her “agenda”. I wanted to respect her ability to do it herself, but it was heart-wrenching to watch her fingers not move the way she wanted.
It took about 15 minutes, but she finally completed the task, our special day marked with digital ink. I knew in my heart she would live to see Sunday, for no one would dare miss the excitement we had in store.
We were going to celebrate Prom and Graduation all in one fell swoop.
I spent Sunday morning in her hospital room sipping on our strawberry smoothies as we chatted about this and that. She was feeling a little loopy from her pain meds again (I SWEAR I did not spike her drink!), so I let our conversation drift away as her eyes became heavy again.
Around noon, I left the hospital to head home and get my daughter ready to see her Grammy. We spent 30 minutes curling her hair and another 15 minutes creating a fancy “up-do”. She put on her Prom dress for the first time since it had been altered the week before.
Her Prom night isn’t until May 20, but I just knew in my heart my mom would be gone before then.
We arrived at the hospital and I felt like I was escorting Cinderella to the ball. My eighteen year old daughter walked through the halls, her head held high. You would never know that she is shy and reserved by watching her walk through the hospital that day. It really was magical to watch! People stopped in their tracks, admiring her, clearing the path for our steps. We stopped along the way and took a few photos before making our grand entrance into my mom’s hospital room.
Oh, how I wish I had recorded my mom’s expression when Katrina walked into the room. She was in the bed chatting with her childhood friend, Kathy, and her eyes just lit up at the sight of her granddaughter all dressed up for Prom.
My mom kept saying, “Wow” and “You are so beautiful!” as she admired my daughter’s attire. “I knew you would have a purple dress!” (Purple has been Katrina’s favorite color since she could draw with crayons.)
Katrina twirled for her, the chiffon overlay swirling gracefully around the silk layers underneath. Katrina even showed my mom her silver heels with the diamond rhinestones, knowing they both share a love for really cute shoes.
As more visitors arrived, Katrina and I slipped out of the room to get dressed for graduation. In perfect timing, Katrina had received her cap and gown at school when my mom first entered the hospital. Although we were still missing the NHS drape, the Beta cord and the Hanover Scholar purple tassel, we had enough to make it feel like a real graduation day.
I offered to play the graduation march on my phone, but we simply hummed the tune as Katrina walked in. Again, my mom’s eyes shone brightly – proud, awed, speechless.
And with one final hug to say goodbye, my mom knew she hadn’t missed a single milestone.
Check back soon for our next story as we celebrate my mom’s final week on earth. Her funeral will be Saturday, May 13, 2017. If you would like to donate to “Dottie’s Final Act of Kindness” campaign, please click here.