After a building year with many gains art-wise, I had just gotten home from my very first trip to Surtex in New York City. It had been about 28 years since I’d been back to the city, and the trip was a wonderful one. The night I got home, I was exhausted, but remembered to call Mom to let her know I was home. We talked for a bit and said good-night.
At around 4am, I noticed a voice message that hadn’t been there when I’d gone to bed. It was Mom—she was in some kind of distress. Later we would find out that she gotten herself to the nearest ER. The first ER fumbled her diagnosis. The second ER got it right and rushed her to emergency surgery for a burst colon. She suffered from sepsis and was in the ICU for 9 days, in the hospital for nearly 2 months.
We listened intently and conferenced over hospital food—recounting the fluid build up around mom’s lung, the list of antibiotics for the sepsis she was fighting, the abdominal wound that turned to an antibiotic resistant infection. I can’t describe the emotional intensity that we went through as a family—my two sisters and I. We said good-bye to mom through sobbing tears that had no end, and stood by dumb and helpless to watch her suffer through frequent bouts of nausea and pain. This went on and on for two months.
And then we found out that Dad had been admitted to another hospital for a different set of health issues.
So began the Summer of 2014.