From mom's visit in April, 2006My mother is dying. After an ill-advised trip out west she contracted both pneumonia and an intestinal bug, and lost weight she didn’t have to lose. She’s been struggling with COPD for many years due to lifelong chain smoking and had a pacemaker installed to slow her heart that has been struggling to get oxygen to her system from decreased lung capacity. The pneumonia took breath away that she couldn’t afford to lose as well.

The impact of those illnesses has caused a cascade of new conditions, and lately she’s been in and out of consciousness. I couldn’t go home to see her over the holidays due to being dead broke, but one of my brothers has come through with a ticket and I’ll be there by Friday. I hope it won’t be too late. Of course I hope she gets better, but new conditions keep popping up every day and I think her time is coming soon. She’s been struggling the last month so hard, but she keeps losing weight, losing more breath and getting sicker.

My two older brothers are dealing with this in different ways, and as far as I can tell I’m dealing with it as I do. As a child of the anti-smoking propaganda of the 80s, I knew this was coming. But it still doesn’t curb the impact of the situation. My dad died a few months before I was born, so all my life I’ve known that death hangs around and will always be there. I think I deal with it from a morbidly practical point of view, to the point where I feel awkward around others who are dealing with their own mortality issues. I try to say the most comforting things I can but in the back of my head I know it is always there. I’m not the only person in the world without parents at my age but I’m sure it won’t be easy.

Add to the stress of being let go from my last job right before the holiday break, leaving a long period of silence from potential employer calls due to the holidays until recently. I had a good interview this week, and will have another next week, but that’s just another uncertainty on my horizon. At least I get unemployment compensation, but it’s been a tough, uncertain time.


  1. Michaelashbr says:

    Sending good vibes your way Jim.

  2. rusty57 says:

    Being a heathen I don’t pray, but I will ask the universe to bring such comfort and ease to your mom and all those who know and love her as needs be.
    I’m sorry Jim.

  3. Stine says:

    I recently lost my dad to cancer. Losing your parents is hard beyond words. I’m very sorry!

  4. mike/ says:

    sending good thoughts & energies to both you & your mom…

  5. Tim Mc says:

    sorry to hear you might be losing your mom soon. I really hope for the best for you and your family.

  6. FearsomeBeard says:

    My thoughts, prayers, wishes and energy are with you.

  7. John says:

    I’m so sorry, Jim.

  8. Blobby says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I am always surprised my parents didn’t succumb this way, as they smoked 2-3 packs each, each and every day for 40+ years. And nothing makes you feel more of a grown-up than losing one’s parent. It is a very odd and sad rite of passage. I hope you have a good trip.

  9. Mike says:

    So sorry to hear this news. The photo of your mom shows what a beautiful lady she is. I’m glad that you are getting the time to be with her, and I hope that time is quality time.

  10. napoleonva says:

    So sorry to hear about your mother’s illness.

  11. Chris says:

    Thinking of you and your mom.