On August 8, 2011 I received the tragic call. Not from my sister who I was always prepared to get the call from, but from my brother. In Oregon. The hospital called her. She called him. He called me. My mom. was. in. ICU.
In ICU they said my mom had basically died and was shocked back to a thread of life by the hospital staff. I cannot make any sense of why they continued for so long but after15 minutes of doing the things they did, they managed the weakest of heartbeats. Just enough to connect life support. She had a number of illnesses and while not well, she was not terminal and was expected to go home in a few days. She was only there to help get the edema water from her legs and abdomen. Then, her kidneys could not longer take the strain of the treatment and they started dialysis. Something she knew was hanging over her head for a long time but have lived a balancing act to control her diabetes, kidneys and heart failure. None were swell but all were in check.
I truly believe she decided it was her time to go. Rather than continue on with the hardships and challenges she lived with plus the dialysis, she slipped away peacefully, asleep only to be shocked back to the thread of life. There really is no comfort having to go to the hospital and see the shocking image of my mom connected to the machines and having life forced upon her. She had been gone 15 minutes. The said her brain was, well, basically dead. If she were to survive off life support, she would be in a vegetive(sp?) state. All I could think was "Really? This is why you tortured this poor women?". So, with her close family at her side, I took her off the life support machines and she died... again. This is really over rated and I would have been perfectly happy never having to experience this. But I did and it sucks.
That next night, I saw the only shooting star I would see for the entire meteor shower. I think that was her rocketing throughout the universe to explore and adventure. I think this is a fine thing to think and is just as good as anything else.
It took me a couple weeks but I eventually finished her obituary notice to be published in the Monterey Herald. I was rather shocked at the cost to run it. They really to seem to hit you when you are down. So, I edited it. A lot. Too much. I didn't like it so much. Not at all really. Here is the original. It too is an abridged version of what I started with but was happy with the length and content. For a newspaper.
Barbara spent her early years in Freedom, CA being cherished by her Grandma Silveira. At 16, she fell for a suave and handsome disk jockey and was soon married. She spent a few years living with family in Monterey, CA before moving with her husband and three children to Marina, CA in 1964. Barbara helped in the kids schools and was universally loved by all the kids. Many kids,“orphans” as she would call them, would seek refuge in her house always welcome and always fed. For many years, Barbara was a well known personality in the city often befriending local politicians contributing to local politics through their informal encounters. Barbara,“Bubbles”, spent time working with the city historical committee. Barbara spent most of her years adoring and caring for her family who will greatly miss her.
Barbara is survived by her husband of 53 years Nate Aiello, daughter Wanda Aiello, sons Nate Aiello Jr. of Medford, OR and Joe Aiello of San Jose, CA, 5 grandchildren Samantha, Tabitha, Nick (Jackson), Vinnie and Kate (Kat)
A friend sent me a message the other day offering condolences. He was very kind.
I thought "I'm not ready".
Several people have sent messages since she died. I don't think I replied. I wasn't ready.
I'm not ready.
I don't know.
I don't know.