Lugene Ann Colby 01/01/1956-04/25/1993
My mama, my best friend, a woman FULL of spunk, love, endless dreams and laughs.
Me and her, her & I. Single mama of 1, ME
I could write for days about all the memories that I pray never leave my mind of her life & our relationship. But I will keep it short and sweet as this day I remember is not a celebration as her birthday would be, it is a day that stings me to the inner core of my being, the day I lost the only parent I ever had. The day my life as a daughter ended just.like.that.
April 25th, 1993 We were baptizing our 2 month old daughter at St John’s Catholic Church at 1:30PM. All our friends and family are there except for my grandma who had to work and could not join us and my mom, who was supposed to be there. I talked to her 2 days before that and she, in her very scratchy sounding voice said of course she would be there, she was off that Sunday and wouldn’t miss her 1st grandbaby’s baptism. But she wasn’t. I was mad. I kept looking for here to walk in the door and nothing. How could she do this? She knew this was important to us. She knows where the church is and said she was off so there should be no excuses for her to miss this. Baptism was beautiful but I was still upset. Maybe just maybe she would show up at the after party we had planned… What would her excuse be?
See I was rebuilding a great relationship with my mom during these last 2 months since the birth of my daughter since she had been very upset that I was going to be a 17 year old mother. She wanted more for me and felt that I had thrown it all away by keeping my baby. I knew from the time I saw the pink line on the test strip that she would flip out, that she would not want me to keep it, that she would be so very disappointed in me. I was her only daughter, she had high hopes for me and felt that this was a way to road block them all for myself. Plus no mother dreams of being a grandma at only 37! During my pregnancy we rarely talked and when we did we would argue and fight. As I got closer to my due date she began to realize she would have to accept this or we would never have a relationship, so we began to build. To build a new friendship and a new understanding of each other. It wasn’t the same fun exciting relationship we had as I was growing up, it was more of a mature “soon to be mother” to mother bond and relationship. It was what I was longing for so very much. She was there in the delivery room when I delivered cheering me on, to see her hold her granddaughter was a sight I will never forget! She fell in love, instantly and from that point on I knew we would all 3 be close. In the weeks that followed she had me meet her at the bars she hung out at, the bowling alley etc so she could show off her granddaughter! She was a young and proud grandma J
After leaving the church and still no sign of my mom we headed to my grandmas place of work to pick her up so we could head to the after party. As we pulled up there were cops everywhere by the front door, which is where we were supposed to pull in. She works at a retirement home and we see cops and ambulances there often, no worries. We get as close as we can and I can see my grandma walking towards to door, she is crying and crying hard. I am now thinking her favorite patient just died, oh no. As she approaching the car a few officers are also walking towards us. Hmm this is weird. I am getting the baby who is still all dressed in her white dress to show grandma in hopes of cheering her up. An officer reaches out and takes my baby from me as my grandma starts talking, she says “Kelly, its your mom.” I say “What about my mom!? And why the hell are you taking my child from my arms!?” She then tells me that my mom has died. “What NO no she hasn’t she is home she isn’t at work.” My mom was a heavy equipment operator at the mines and it was a very dangerous place for her to work, many accidents had happened there and if she was to ever die, which of course no teens mom is ever going to die, but if she ever did it would be at work. Grandma stop this I say. “She is off today she told me so!” She says “She died, she died at home. She was very sick. We need to go with the officers and they will take us to her.” At this time I have NO clue where my infant is and I am leaning against the car wishing I could wake up. This is bullshit, it’s a lie. Not true not true at all. The officer with my baby walks over and wraps his arm around me and walks me to his car while another officer is basically holding my grandma up as she walks to the police car as well. We all get in and start driving. I am asking question after question and no one is answering them, they all keep saying we don’t have details yet etc. UGH! After what seems like a 2 hour car ride we get to St Joesphs hospital. “Okay she is in the hospital, she has not died she is just very sick. People that have died are not in hospitals! What is wrong with these people telling me false info. See grandma they got you all upset and she is just in the hospital. She is going to be okay, she just needs us here.” No one speaks… The officers, carrying my baby in her car seat refusing to let me carry it, walk us in the emergency room area and thru the halls and then into a room where there is another officer sitting and my mom on a table covered with a blanket to her neck and a tube still hanging out of her mouth. My grandma very loudly loses control and begins to cry out to her daughter, her 1 and only daughter. The officer holds her upright and keeps her from hitting the floor. As I slowly approach the table looking at her intently thinking she will ask me what the hell I am staring at I realize this is real… She is not moving and she looks so different. I walk up next to her face with my grandma. We both are talking to her, almost yelling at her. This can’t be happening! This is my mother, the only parent I have. I am 17 I can’t be without my mom! Why would God do this!? What happened!? Why didn’t they save her!? She was SO young SO healthy! Our lives at this moment are forever changed…
My mom died at her home from a mixture of the flu & pneumonia with her long time girlfriend there as she is the 1 that called the paramedics and after working on her for over 30 minutes they pronounced her gone at 1pm. There was entirely too much fluid build up in her lungs for them to get any oxygen into them. She was sick for a week and saw 2 docs that told her she had a cold and to take cough syrup. Not 1 of them took the time to take a chest x-ray or any blood work etc. Not 1 of them took their time to really listen to her and diagnose her correctly. Wrong doing on their part, YES! Did we sure them and their practice, YES! Did we win, YES and NO! We won the lawsuit and they financially paid their dues but then again we didn’t win as we still didn’t have her. We still had a HUGE hole in our hearts and lives that can never be filled… Would she be here today if they did their job better!? Nobody can answer that! But damn it she would have had a chance! Beating myself up for years over cursing her and being angry at her for not being at my childs baptism when she was at home taking her last breath…UGH! For many years my faith in God was 0. After all how could God take my mom from me when I am at church baptizing my baby!? There is no good mighty powerful God that would do that! So for years I blocked out any and all things that was God related, until my mid 20s when I was able to really find faith on my own thru several life experiences that I endured. I then came to realize that it was just time for her maker to call her home. There is nothing any of us can do about that no matter how much or how good of care she would and should have received.
I have many moments in my life where I wish Heaven had a phone, just to talk to her 1 last time… ALL the things I want to tell her, talk to her about, ask her! The list is endless… The 1st thing I think I would say is how much I love her, because I just never told her enough and how I miss her beyond words. How I am so sorry that I didn’t stop by her house on my way to the church at noon even though I was right up the street and just assumed I would see her at the church. How I find SO much of her in my own parenting and the things I say to my own kids sounds like it is coming from her mouth! I would ask her if she is proud of me & the person I am today, even though I was once a teen parent and was destined for failure as so many people assume. I would give anything to see what she would have to say about all these grandchildren she has and how amazing they are. How she would spend her time with them and teach them to bowl like a pro like herself and how to play a top notch game of pool. I would give anything to see her have her dream of owning land with a horse, and the smile on her face after accomplishing that since she was saving every last penny for it before she passed. And SO much more!
Life is short! You just never know when your time will be up or the when the time will be up for the people that you hold close! Be patient with the people you love and cherish them and the moments with them for the time you have is limited. Tell them you love them! Forgive them! Like they say, life is like an hour glass and when it runs out of time you can’t turn it over and start it again. And if you are lucky enough to still have 1 or both parents, call them. Tell them they are important to you, you will be SO glad you did!
Mama Bear Plus 6