The Long and Winding Road

This is a sad story, and a true story. If you are the type of person that does not like to read sad stories, then I’d strongly advise you to not continue reading, thank you.

I originally wrote this story January 2009 when it was nearing the anniversary of my mother’s death. I was very stressed and depressed so I let my emotions flow into this story in an attempt to feel better, and it worked a small bit. After I had written it, I had almost completely forgotten about it. Summer 09 I was part of a small class, which my dad had signed me up for when he sent me to camp, for campers who had lost a loved one. While there, I was reminded of the story, so I printed it out and shared it with them. Everybody in the class said that the story had touched them in many ways and I started showing it to more of the campers and they all said the same. Because of that, I decided to try and share the story with more people in an attempt to help them the same way I helped some of the campers. I showed a friend of mine the story and it touched him so much that he tried to get it published in a Houston paper. He couldn’t, because he was told the story had too much “personality”, but I’m still grateful that he tried.

I eventually posted the story on my MySpace page so I could have an easier time showing some of my friends the story, and to show some old friends that no longer lived around me the story as well. When I posted it, a friend of mine suggested that I try to have it published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. I thought this was a great idea, so I read up on the book’s website. As if it was a sign, one of the titles they were accepting stories for was “Chicken Soup for the Grieving and Recovering Soul”. It was meant to hold stories to help those who have lost loved ones whether it was recently or in the past. I thought that the book was perfect because that’s exactly what I as trying to do with my story, so almost without hesitation, I submitted my story to the book. The website said that I will not receive word if the story is not considered, and that if it is I’ll not hear word for quite a few years. For now, I am hoping for the best, but I am trying to avoid hoping too hard on it, as there are many stories that deserve publication in the book. Even if my story isn’t published, it won’t stop me from sharing it, and I would very much appreciate having help with sharing it, so if you happen to read this, please don’t hesitate to show others, I will be forever grateful to all that help me.

Here is the story:

I’ll start from the beginning, it was 2007, I was at school, and my dad was out of town for work, which meant only my mother and brother were home. Now, I wasn’t here for this part so I’m not sure how it truly happened. From what my brother tells me, he and my mom were coming home from Wal-Mart when she suddenly felt an extreme pain in her back. He told me that he could actually feel her back moving from whatever was causing the pain. He took her to the emergency room immediately. There they gave her medicine to ease the pain and had her stay in the hospital for a few days just in case it happened again.

They did a few examinations on her to see what the cause of the pain was and discovered something disturbing. The doctors had set up an appointment for my mom at a larger hospital in Dallas in order to get a more accurate checkup. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but for some reason, the appointment kept being delayed. It continued to be delayed for almost six months! Finally, we decided that it wasn’t going to happen any time soon and went to a different hospital in the area. At first she was put on the waiting list, but when the doctor heard what had happened she was almost instantly pushed up the list. After a few more examinations and such it was confirmed that it was cancer of the liver. The cancer had spread and was pushing against her back, causing the extreme pain she had experienced months before.

They put her on chemo therapy immediately.

This part is irrelevant to the story but I just have to say it, my mom is one of the few women I’ve ever seen look beautiful even with no hair.

Now then, at first, the chemo was doing great, the cancer seemed to be under control. She had to stay at the hospital for her chemo but around Christmas time they let her come home. This was quite possibly the biggest mistake other than the hospital in Dallas. While she was home, she seemed to have gotten weaker but nobody knew what was wrong. She continued to get weaker until we decided to take her back to the hospital. When we took her back, we found out that she had gotten a blood infection from the spot that they fed the chemo through. They had to stop giving her chemo to try and treat the blood infection otherwise it could have killed her. They managed to control the blood infection but to our horror, the cancer had started to spread again because they couldn’t give her chemo while she had the infection.

It was nearing the New Year and the hospital still couldn’t restart the chemo because of the blood infection. During this time was the most horrifying day of my life. I was at school and the school had received a phone call from my dad. I was in athletics class at the time so one of the office aids came out to tell me that a friend was taking me to see my mom. After even hearing it was related to my mom caused me to burst into tears. The aid said that it was nothing bad but I could tell she really had no idea and that what I was thinking was possibly true. One of my brother’s friends picked me up to take me to the hospital. On the way there she wouldn’t tell me what it was so I continued to assume the worst.

When we got to the hospital, we went to my mom’s room and I could hear her screaming in extreme pain. My body instantly froze when I heard it. I had never heard a scream in such pain before. It seemed like an eternity before made it to the door and even longer before I could bring myself to open it. When I did, deep down inside I wished that I had somehow died before I could see inside. There she was, screaming in absolute pain, I immediately started sobbing because I thought she was going to die right there. I could hear her screaming for God to let her leave this pain, she wanted to die. I ran to her side and grabbed her hand, begging her to not die. I begged and begged while sobbing on her hand. Suddenly, she slowly stopped screaming and started to yell “No, I can’t leave yet!” over and over. Finally, after what seemed like my entire life, it was over. She looked at me, tears in her eye, and smiled. I had never seen a smile so beautiful before.

At the time, I had considered this a miracle, but now, I wish she had died right there. I wish I had let her leave this world, I wish I hadn’t been selfish and pulled her back. After this had happened, she continued to become weaker and weaker, the chemo had failed, and the doctors said she had a week at most. A few days had passed, and she went into a coma. The doctors put her in the best care the hospital had until she passed away. At first, the doctors expected her to pass only a few days after that, but somehow, she had held on, even in the coma. I was praying for some sort of miracle that she might wake up and somehow recover, but after another week, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. It had been almost two weeks since the doctors predicted she was going to die, and I knew it was going to happen soon. She had held on for so long that her body was just keeping her torso alive. Her hands, feet, and even ears started to turn black, as if they were rotting away. During this time, I skipped almost every day of school to be with her but my dad made me go home and go to school because he knew she wouldn’t want me to skip, I knew it as well.

It was January 31st, I had gotten home from school and went with my brother to get dinner then go see my mom. We stayed at the hospital for a couple hours then went home for the night. About an hour after we got home, my brother got a call from my dad. While he was talking, I knew that she had died, I could see it in his eyes. We went back to the hospital, I don’t think either of us said anything to each other on the way there, and if we did, I wasn’t listening.

When we went to the room, I saw something unbelievable, almost magical. When I walked over to my mom’s side, I saw that smile. The smile that she gave me the day I thought she was going to die. The smile made her seem so peaceful, even after all she had gone through. Of course, I was crying a river, but my body just seemed to make me smile back at her, even in my sorrow. I walked to her side, gave her a hug, and a kiss, and told her one last thing. The last thing I said to her, the last thing I would ever get to say to her, was “Mahal Kita Inay” which means “I love you mom” in her native language.

This is a picture my dad had put in the newspaper on the first anniversary of my mom's death

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7 Responses to “The Long and Winding Road”


  1. 1 Andrew November 30, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    Wow, all i can say is wow. That story was sad, but very well written

    WhyTheCrown

  2. 3 Hibana December 22, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    She’ll always be by your side, watching over you and her loved ones. Just because she doesn’t reside in this world anymore doesn’t mean she can be close to your heart.

    I know she’ll be happy to know she is missed,loved and remembered by those close to her, especially you.

  3. 5 Hibana December 22, 2009 at 10:21 PM

    How are you doing now after the events that have taken place?

  4. 7 Fantrum January 23, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    A truly sad but inspiring story this is. I have had similar events happen in my life and they are never easy to deal with as I am sure everyone knows. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with these unfortunate events and I will be glad to help in any way possible. Just keep trekking on with your life and do your best and you’ll be sure to make her even more proud than you already have. ☺


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I am Stephen Gohlmann, my friends online know me as Dsc.
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