On March 18, 2015 my sister and I sat in the hospital room holding our mom’s hands as her tired weary eyes looked at us. She squeezed our hands as we talked to her about her deteriorated condition and how much we loved her and didn’t want her to suffer. Through many tears and hours of talking about what should we do, are we making the right decision, even though we had had several discussions with mom before of what she would want when this time had come.
We held her hands and said our goodbyes as the medication dripped her off into a restful slumber. We sat there for hours watching her move in the bed, soft moans and groans as if she were dreaming, many visits from the wonderful nurses making sure she rested comfortably. Then the moment of, she’s not breathing, I don’t feel a heartbeat anymore, fear, horror, pain and relief for her all at once. The nurses confirmed she left us. We weren’t afraid for her because her spiritual beliefs were strong and unwavering, we were afraid for us, my sister and I, as we would never get to hear her laugh or feel her touch again.
As we walked out to our cars that night, leaving behind us a part of us that felt so lost and empty, my cell phone rang. Literally moments after leaving our loved one a phone call reaching out asking if we would consider tissue donation. At first I was appalled, upset, mad that someone wouldn’t even give me time to grieve before requesting such a thing. Then within moments I realized helping others in need was something my mother was known best for, even though she had spent her entire life on crutches and in a wheelchair from childhood polio, she fought harder and stronger to help others than any other able body person I knew.
So the answer was YES. YES we will donate her cornea to help others see. Within hours the procedures were done to make her eyes available to the organ donor program. And as terrible and horrible as it felt losing our mom, it was like a huge hug to our hearts to know that even with her death, she was still able to continue helping others through being a cornea donor.
The tricycle is a family reminder, my aunt would pedal the tricycle and carry my mom on the back as her little legs couldn’t push the pedals. The basket represent always carrying love and help with you wherever you go. We had the tricycle engraved on moms headstone.