I remember that every year my sister and I would ask my mom what she wanted for mother’s day and every year she would look at us and say “I just want my house clean” So I would take a weekend and clean the house TOP to BOTTOM for her and she was just as happy as if we got her a million dollars.
My mom had Pulmonary Hypertension, in real people talk… she had a hole in her heart which caused her heart to work harder and she had lost capacity of her left lung. She had to use oxygen at night or basically anytime she was in the home. She had this oxygen machine that sat in the hallway and this long oxygen tube that allowed her basically walk the whole house. I remember my friends coming over to hang out and they would ask “what is that? What is wrong with your mom?” Most of the time I would get embarrassed in fear of being judged or gossiped about. I always had a desire to fit in and be liked by everyone so I never wanted this to sway that. I would look at them and say “you mean not every house has this?” just to joke it off. Later in High School I would just say matter a factly, “Oh my mom needs help breathing”
My mom would always be in her bed watching TV or reading. Which left me most of the time to do house work and cook. My dad was here and there, as an alcoholic and addict he never held down a steady job. My mom would have to work 2 sometimes 3 jobs to give my sister and I the best life she could provide.
When we would go to the store or the mall my mom would have to take short breaks walking to catch her breath. My sister and I would just walk and stop, we knew the pattern. That was our normal. Sometimes I will catch myself doing it still and then I will look around like “why am I stopped?” Its so true when the say old habits die hard.
Later when I was long out of High School, they came out with an oxygen tank that was light and easy to carry, so my mom carried that everywhere she went. People would stare and whisper when she walked by. I wanted to fight everyone who did it. My mom would simply say “Let them talk Ang, their life must be sad and boring if they have to talk about me” I think that this is why 80% of the time I don’t care what people think.
Having a mother with an illness has shaped a part of who I am today. God knew how this would affect my character and humble me. It taught me patience and tolerance. My favorite memory of my mom was one year we went to Disneyland (her favorite place next to San Francisco) and she was on a motorize scooter. She was so happy to zoom around from ride to ride. She would say “get out of my way or I will run you over” She came really close. Her favorite ride was Space Mountain and I still ride it for her every time I am there.
My mom had the rarest blood type AB Negative. I remember that she was looking into a possible heart and lung donor for a transplant. The doctors told her it was going to be difficult because of her blood type. There just isn’t enough donors he said defeated. If you know me, you know that giving blood every eight weeks is so important to me for this very reason. My husband Ray had O positive blood the most universal blood. He gives blood religiously and it means the world to me. I also told Ray that when I die part me out like a classic car and then burn the rest. If I could save a life of someone like my mother it is totally worth it, hey … I don’t need it anymore.
To know a little bit more about who my mother was check out my older blog … My Mom