The Puzzle Posse Mourns

The most amazing, wonderful, sweet, loving and generous woman I’ve ever known is gone and I am heartbroken beyond imagining. Mom passed away on Sunday, July 14, 2019 while my father, my daughter and I held her hands and told her how much she was loved.

I am grateful that she is no longer in pain or suffering in any way, but devastated for my family and all those she loved and cared for. The loss is immeasurable and our sadness is overwhelming.

My regular readers and puzzle friends know how much she meant to me, and how much fun mom and I had puzzling together. She was my black belt thrift store shopper who helped supply us both with the jigsaw puzzles we loved so much, and loved assembling together. I haven’t touched a puzzle piece in almost 2 months, but when I finally do settle back into the normal routine of life, jigsaw puzzles will be tinged with sadness for me – we shared such a love for them that they will always remind me of her and the time we spent over jigsaw puzzles talking, laughing, teasing, cussing, and enjoying being together.

Looking back now, I am so blessed to have given her the Mystery Puzzle Box last Christmas – it allowed us to spend even more time together than we normally did this year – and I will cherish every moment we had. We spent hours and hours over that puzzle enjoying each other’s company, talking about everything and nothing, and having an awesome time; it turns out that even though the Christmas present was for her, what I also gave myself was extra time with mom in the last few months of her life. I am unbelievably grateful we shared those moments together.

In addition, this blog is also like a diary of our puzzle adventures together, and I am able to go back and read through old posts and see the puzzles we assembled and how much fun we were having. How awesome it is to have this record of those times we shared.

I will get back to puzzling, posting, and reviewing in the near future, including a post about our last puzzle together. For the moment though, I am mourning my mother, my children’s favorite grandmother, my best friend, and the most important member of my puzzle posse.I love you to puzzle pieces mom, and my heart will never be put back together completely – a large piece is now missing.

Update #3

So in the two weeks since my last update much has happened. While Shands Hospital accepted mom as a patient, they didn’t have an available ICU bed. We waited for 2 days while she continued to decline, and then the neurosurgeon brought onto the case told us that he believed she wouldn’t survive the 2 more days we might need to get her to Shands – in fact he wanted her in surgery that night.

2 brain surgeries later, we’re still at our regional hospital and we still don’t have a definitive diagnosis. She was in the surgical ICU for a week, then moved to the neurological progressive care unit. Less than 24 hours later we had a big setback and we’re currently back in the ICU again.

Their latest theory/guess/hunch has yet to be confirmed – the samples they took from her second brain surgery were sent to California for testing. It may be a week or more before we have results from those; so we wait and hope and pray that she starts improving soon.

I wanted to wait for good news to share, and although we had some small victories we also had some big setbacks. Trying to remain positive has become a challenge for me but I’m doing the best I can; Dad, my daughter, and I are at the hospital every single day and it is physically and psychologically exhausting.

Dad has slept at the hospital every night, in her room when they allow it and in the waiting room when they don’t. They’ve been married 53 years and he refuses to leave her side. I have gone home a few nights to sleep, but have spent the majority of the nights sleeping on chairs and couches in the waiting rooms trying to take care of both mom and dad. My daughter comes to the hospital every morning before work, bringing coffee, breakfast, or whatever we need from home – she works all day long and then comes back at night to visit and take care of all of us. I have an amazing family.

As I sit here unable to sleep at almost 2:30 in the morning, I’ve been looking through old posts – so many of them mention my momma and our adventures puzzling together. My post from Mother’s Day last year says it all. I love her to puzzle pieces!