For as long as I can remember, the lady bug has symbolized good luck. As a child I always viewed them as one of the more attractive and harmless insects. And they were supposed to be good luck. I haven't felt that way in a long time. My first bad experience that occurred after seeing a lady bug happened a year ago. It was July 2nd and it was a Thurs. I remember because that was the day I was having my eggs retrieved. The next day I became very ill. It lasted most of the summer. I went through 3 courses of antibiotics and two courses of steriods. I even lost some of my hearing (it never came back). My next encounter was on July 19th. I will always remember that date because it was the day that my husband's niece was born and the day that I got my period after my last try at IVF. Since then I've been skeptical every time a lady bug crosses my path.
Fast forward to June of this year. I see a lady bug out on my deck. That night Max peed in the bed. That was very uncharacteristic of him. We took him to the Vet. and find out that he's diabetic. Two shots a day and he can no longer have all of the foods that he loves because they are high on the glycemic index.
It was a Saturday. July 17th to be exact. My husband and I were going to tour a brewery with his parents at noon. I decided that If I got up early enough I would go visit my mom in the hospital. She was back in ICU and they had limited visiting hours. She'd been back and fourth between the hospital and nursing home since she'd been operated on several months earlier. They had just moved her back to the ICU the evening before upon my insistence. She began slurring her words the Sunday before and each day it seemed to get worse. She was x-rayed, and had several CT scans. Nothing. They found nothing. After being moved the doctor told my brother, "we're going to get to the bottom of this." That night my sister said that my moms vitals were stable and she was talking (she had not been able to do it much that week). That evening I was relieved to hear it and slept well that night. Sat. morning I got up early and decided that I'd go see her. I was washing my glass at the kitchen sink and noticed a lady bug on the window screen in front of me. My stomach started to churn and I became a little uneasy but put my thoughts aside and remembered what the doctor had said the night before. Still, I was feeling anxious. I drove faster than normal to the hospital that morning. I knew that most likely no one would be visiting her that early because they were there late the night before. When I reached the hospital my heart was pounding, I was alone. The walk to her room felt like a never ending maze. I made a left into the wrong ICU. I didn't see her in any of the rooms. After asking one of the nurses at the desk I was directed to the ICU on the opposite side of the hall. I nervously looked into each of the rooms. Then I saw her, only I didn't recognize her. Her mouth was open but tightly pursed, like the drawstring to a gym bag, but open enough to take a deep breath. I had seen this look before on my grandmother and uncle before they died. I was a crazy woman. I asked question after question to the nurse coming out of her room. Why wasn't she looking better? I didn't understand. "What is her prognosis?" The nurse said that she was comfortable and this is what happens to people her age (but she was only 76) when they have multiple infections (she had just informed me that my mother had MRSA) and their kidneys start to fail. What?! I told the nurse that my mom was speaking, eating and joking around only a week earlier. She was being treated with antibiotics for the C.diff and her lungs were clear. "When did her kidneys begin to fail?" I asked. The nurse didn't know what to say, she only had my mom since the night before. I walked into the room and placed my hand on my mom's arm. She was not responding to my presence. I had to leave. I left the room and went down the hall to call someone, anyone. I called my husband and began crying hysterically. I left a message for my brother, who was working, and called my father once I gained control of myself. There were so many questions. I had no answers. It was 10 o'clock in the morning and I no longer felt like myself. I knew that what I was feeling were the feelings of a woman who, after that day, would no longer be able to speak of her mother in the present tense. I knew that my mother was going to die that day, and she did. At 5pm that afternoon my brother, sister and I lost out mom and my father lost his best friend of nearly 50yrs (their 50th would've been on Sept. 10th). We were all there to see her take her last breath. It was surreal. I never thought we'd lose her this early. And for the first time, I truly understood the pain that she must have felt having watched her parents and two brothers pass away. I hope that she is with them now. She'd speak fondly of them and would never fail to tear up when reminiscing about the "old days". That kind of pain was foreign to me because I was always comforted by the fact that she and my father were still alive as well as my siblings. It is a new day, it is a long day, and it is a painful day.
My heart goes out to all of you ladies that have lost your moms and dads. This is not easy.