Part 5: The final February with my mom

February 25, 2021 Today has been surreal. It started with me “kidnapping” my mom from a horrible hospital and rushing her to Mayo Hospital via a medical transport van paid for with my credit card less than 12 hours ago. This feels like the plot in one of those suspense novels my mom used toContinue reading “Part 5: The final February with my mom”

Part 4: The final February with mom

“Promise me that you’ll live your lives. For me. For the family. Promise me.” ~ My Mom. It’s 1 p.m. on February 25, 2021 and we just finished “kidnapping” my mom from Abrazo Hospital. She’s now resting comfortably and in good hands with the ER doctors and nurses at Mayo Hospital. A team of doctorsContinue reading “Part 4: The final February with mom”

Part 3: The final February with my mom

“You just keep going, mija. Breathe, just breathe, and keep going.” ~ My Mom. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 24, 2021 I wake up exhausted with swollen eyes and half a plan. It’s not really a plan, it’s a goal: Get my mom out of Abrazo Hospital. I spend the day calling the hospital. Case Managers. Supervisors ofContinue reading “Part 3: The final February with my mom”

Part 2: The final February with my mom

“There will come a day when you’ll have to make some really hard decisions. Remember to be strong.” ~ Mom. I was 5 years old when my Tío Manuel was in a car accident. I told my mom once that I remembered the night of the accident, vividly, but that I couldn’t remember anything else.Continue reading “Part 2: The final February with my mom”

The final February with my mom

“When you feel like something is off, it probably is. Go with your gut.” ~ My mom. I don’t know why I’m doing this – writing this out chronologically – only that I need to. Part of me still can’t believe that the events leading up to my mom’s death unfolded the way they did.Continue reading “The final February with my mom”

Messages from my mom in my brother’s dreams

My mom visits my brother in his dreams. He says they’re so real, so vivid. This doesn’t happen to me so I’m envious. So yeah, sucks for me, but the coolest thing happens after my brother has these dreams. He calls me and describes each one in such detail that I can see it likeContinue reading “Messages from my mom in my brother’s dreams”

Phantom smells trigger real memories

After the flour, salt and baking powder have been mixed together, and you’ve mixed in the manteca, and you’ve added in the water, and the dough has come together as you knead it with your hands, there’s a slight but unmistakable scent. La masa. It was the smell of wet dough that caught my attention.Continue reading “Phantom smells trigger real memories”

Mom’s red Altima

The email from the probate folks looked like just another email on the surface. It was anything but. It was a punch in the gut, informing us that yet another piece of my mom is gone. My mom’s car has been sold. With that, a piece of her identity is gone. It’s as if moreContinue reading “Mom’s red Altima”

Día de los Muertos: Honoring My Mom

Growing up, I remember grief being expressed very privately in our family. My grandmother, mi Nana Carmen, kept private niches of loved ones on her dresser. When I asked about them, she refused to talk to about it. That’s not who I am. I talk about it. I express it. I write about it. I’veContinue reading “Día de los Muertos: Honoring My Mom”