Everyone left after that to take Mama home and to the hospital. We went to see her in the hospital after that and she looked so alive and pink. She was smiling. They said she had a mild heart attack the second one that year. We took her home and told her she had to stay with the diet regimen the Dr had set up for her, but she felt fine and thought she was cured. The Dr wanted to keep her awhile longer but she insisted she wanted to go home. We learned how to give her insulin shots and practiced on an orange. Kathryn was the one who practiced because she was living there and the rest of us had our own lives to lead. It was decided by Donald of course that the girls living close to her home in St Joseph would take turns living there at two week intervals and watch her and make sure she didn't eat anything she wasn't supposed to and give her shots. Dietary foods are expensive, so it was hard to keep her on the diet. When it was my turn she lay on the couch and I was preparing potato soup at her request. I hadn't made potato soup before and when she wasn't feeling all that well it was hard getting the directions from her but I did and she said it tasted good. When her heart was beating normally and she was getting oxygen to her brain she was her normal self. We’d sit at the kitchen table and play card games that she learned at the community center she used to frequent before she became ill. In the middle of Kings in the Corner she suddenly became a child and said she didn't want to play anymore and shoved the cards away. We were having so much fun before that, laughing. Reality set in that the good episodes were not going to last and the bad episodes were going to be more frequent. I was so sad and scared that one day I'd look in on her and she'd be dead on that couch. One night in August we set on her bed and had a long talk about religion which I haven't been a big fan of since she forced me to go to the church in Dearborn and became baptized whether I wanted to or not. I told her whatever she believed in or wanted to do in that respect to do. It didn't matter what anyone thought and although we'd had been pretty hard on Mama, acting like spoiled brats and telling her what she could do instead of the other way around didn't matter now. She knew she was going to die and it wouldn't be long now. I told her we loved her and she told us if she was in our place and it was one of her children she wouldn't be able to stand it. She talked of seeing Daddy again and what she believed she'd see on the other side. She said her church taught that the more you suffered here on earth the better her after life would be in Heaven. I told her that I knew if that was the case then she was going to have a wonderful afterlife because I couldn't see how she could suffer anymore than she had already. She would look up as if thinking about Heaven and had said when she was in the hospital the last time she saw Daddy standing at the foot of her bed, beckoning her to come and join him. I don't know where Daddy went when he died but I found it hard to believe he ended up where she was going. He was so ready to judge people and say hateful things about people whether he knew of their intentions or not. Mama had always said if you couldn't say anything good about anyone you shouldn't say anything at all, that’s what her mother had always taught her.
One day when I was home out in the yard a pickup truck pulled into the driveway and it was Donald. He’d said that Mama was in the hospital again. Kathryn had been outside in the swing and she couldn't hear her calling. Mama picked up the phone and called someone she knew from church or the community center. They picked her up and took her without letting anyone know she was gone. When Kathryn came into the house she saw Mama wasn't there and began to make calls to find out where she was. She knew she couldn't have walked anywhere she didn't have the breath to go from one room to the other let alone outside and down the steps to who only knew where. She called the hospital to see if she was there and they confirmed she was. They said to gather the family around because she didn't have much longer. That’s when Donald showed up and said she's passing. It was September the fifth 1978 when we gathered in the waiting room and they said she was gone. The nurses said she seemed to be doing fine the night before and went to sleep right after supper. She didn't wake up and was in a coma until her heart gave out just moments before we arrived. Mary Ann cried and I tried not to after crying so uncontrollably at the visitation at Daddy's funeral and "embarrassed everybody to death".Someone asked me why, I believe it was Thelma, I wasn't crying and I told her this family doesn't like to cry and I didn't think I was supposed to. She said "Well your mother has just died I guess that would be reason enough. Go ahead and cry and just let someone say anything".The crying thing was a "gift from Daddy".He wouldn't like it if anyone cried it showed a sign of weakness. Daddy wasn't there,
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