Six months ago today, I received a text message that changed my life forever.
On January 15, 2016, my dear sweet Momma uncharacteristically texted me two no-nonsense words: Come home. I was more than 3,000 miles away — she in Alabama and I in Alaska. It wasn't like her to so boldly ask me to come back to Alabama. I instinctively knew something was wrong, so I booked the first flight out of Juneau. In what felt like record time, I arrived in Huntsville late that evening.
Sixty-six days later, she passed away, after a long and harrowing fight for her life in Huntsville Hospital. What began as a gallbladder attack quickly escalated into a medical nightmare, a rollercoaster that no one saw coming, least of all me.
I am still processing everything that has transpired these last six months — from the joy on her face when I arrived at the ICU that first night to the feeling of being in the room when she coded and almost died on January 19. I'm still recovering from having to put on my "you're gonna be OK" cheerleader game-face as she woke up from a five-day propofol-induced unconsciousness, her wrists tied down and a ventilator pumping her lungs.
And I'm still overcoming the sudden, unexpected news from an insensitive nurse that my Mother had "expired." I don't think I'll ever be over the awfulness of saying my last goodbyes and kissing Momma's forehead at the crematorium — but there's one thing that's for sure: talking about it helps.
This website was founded as a travelogue to share my adventures in Alaska, and in time, I will get back to that focus. But for now, this is an outlet for me to share and process my grief. As they say, shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness, when shared, is doubled.
Thank you, friends, for being part of this journey.