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11

I've been seeing elevens for months. Everywhere I go, my eye seems to always catch them. Each time I looked at the clock, it was 11 or something and eleven minutes. The time ticker on a song on my iPhone -- something and eleven seconds. My flight to Italy in November - 1114. Just everywhere. I was pretty freaked out about it, actually. Todd and I would talk about it, and he would tell me it was nothing. Just a trick of the eye because I was paying more attention. But I couldn't get it out of my head. So much so that I almost changed my flight. Stopped looking at the time. 

Meanwhile, my mom was getting sicker. The pain was getting worse. All through August and then, September. I watched her suffering -- always believing that she would get better. The radiation that Sloan was going to do would help -- they said so. They said in 90 percent of the cases, the radiation would make her pain free. Would move the tumors away from her spine. 

Then October. The pain did go away, for about a week. Then it was back, just different. Then the pnuemonia. And the anemia. She spiraled down and down. 

Then November. Into the hospital to treat the symptoms. For blood transfusions. For antibiotics. And again, it seemed to be working. We made plans for her to come home, to live with less mobility, but still to live. We never gave up hope. Kept cheerleading and praying and sending her strength and love. 

I spent days and days and days just talking to her. That's all she wanted. Just for me to talk. About anything and nothing. And so I babbled. I was so scared, but didn't want her to know. I'm sure she did -- as the waterworks are something I can't always control, but I tried. I rubbed her feet. I helped her to the bathroom. I stayed as long as I could for as many days as I could -- always believing this would be a chapter that she and I would talk about later, perhaps sitting on the beach in Grand Cayman or on one of our girls trips to Cape Cod. We would toast over wine and say, yet again, how she defied the odds. That us being there made the difference. We would all be so thankful and laugh and cry and hug. And life would go on. 

But this November, month number 11, had other things in mind. She did come home. And we prepared for months of rehabilitation. We prepared for life without her legs moving very well; the wheelchair lift on the stairs, the hospital bed, all the supplies. The nurses for 12 hours a day. And she was scared. And disoriented. And still I sat, and talked, and held her hand. Dad never left her side. Ever. Unless I was there. 

And on November 30, 2015, at 11:30 a.m., I lost her. We lost her. The cancer just was too strong, and her body was just too tired. All the praying and hoping and love wasn't enough to keep her here with me, with us, in her physical form any longer. And now, I am just lost. The elevens coming home to roost. 

I still see elevens. I imagine that it is her talking to me. Telling me she is OK and that she is still here. I WANT to believe this because otherwise, it is even more awful. I find myself in almost a state of disbelief. It just can't be. It is too much to wrap my head around. No more conversations. No more time together, at least for now. 

I am trying to find my faith. To have faith. That there is a heaven. That it is, as the Bible says, made of many rooms and someday I will find her in one of them and we will again see each other. But I'm struggling. 

And so I'll keep going, one foot in front of the other. I'll try not to dwell and obsess. I'll be as strong as I know how for my family and for my dad. 

For Christmas, he gave me the ring she always wore and I wear it now, a constant reminder of her love and a constant reminder that she isn't here -- a double-edged sword at the moment.  But I don't know what else to do. 

That's it for now. Tomorrow, I'll come back and try again. 

 

 

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