Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published October 2013.

"I'll Be OK"

She and her mom were best friends in AA and in life

"I love you Mom." I'm in her dimly lit living room. The only sounds are her labored breathing and the rhythmic gasps of the oxygen machine. She has just woken up in another panic attack. I've given her some morphine, and I'm rubbing her back, trying to help her calm down. However, I've noticed her breathing is becoming erratic, and deep down I know this is the end.

It's time for me to let her go, so I say, "I'm going to be okay." She takes a few more breaths and then she's gone. I sit for a moment in disbelief. I had been taking care of her for months, and I guess I knew this was coming, but I just can't believe she's gone. Such a force of nature. I guess I never believed that anything could beat her, but the cancer finally did.

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