A loved one goes home

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The final goodbye of a loved one.

Submitted: May 08, 2012

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Submitted: May 08, 2012

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“Going Home”

By James Pacheco

 

Ottana, Minnesota….her place of birth. Every year in the summer months all of her family would travel from West Texas to Minnesota to go and work the fields. In the summer of  1963 Ophelia was born. She was a happy baby, surrounded by all of her aunts and family. As she grew, she made her home with her grandparents, Pablo and Clara Gonzales. As a teenager she discovered the world of disco night clubs where she and her many friends could always be found on the weekends dancing the night away.

 

The years seemed to pass so quickly. In 1991 she discovered that she was pregnant. Gestational diabetes, that’s how it had started for Ophelia. Twenty years ago. For most of her adult life she had battled the disease. Her little baby, Amber, had been born a premature baby; when she had been born the doctors were convinced that she was not going to survive. Ophelia and her entire family refused to believe that. They prayed daily that little Amber would gain enough strength to pull through the rough times.

 

After a length of 2 ½ to 3 months in the hospital, Ophelia was finally able to take baby Amber home with her. That was twenty years ago. The years continued to pass. Each day had been seen and accepted as a blessing that Amber was getting stronger and stronger. She had grown into such a beautiful young woman, always being the pride and joy in Ophelia’s life. Having been born a ‘preemie’, Amber had developed health issues of her own. Just as God had heard and answered Ophelia’s prayers when Amber had been born premature and was not expected to survive, Ophelia continued to pray and ask for God’s favor over her daughter.

 

For many years Ophelia had been in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals due to diabetes and its complications. In recent years many of the complications had been so severe that her attending physicians had more than once believed that she would not pull through and had suggested that all of the family be notified and to gather for fear that Ophelia would not make it overnight.

 

Each time Ophelia had pulled through but her strength had not fully recovered and she kept getting weaker and weaker. As Ophelia once again lay in a hospital bed, memories of those early years with Amber flooded her mind. Her little miracle baby had grown up into such a beautiful young woman. Tears filled Ophelia’s eyes and the sorrow and the pain in her heart was so intense. Ophelia knew that her course with diabetes was soon to be over, and she was losing the battle. Her constant bout with the disease and the complications associated with it had taken its toll on her body. Once weighing almost 175 pounds her current weight was now just below 100 pounds. Diabetes - a life-time of complications, a life-time of bad moments, a life-time of pain. The worst pain was the one that she felt in her heart knowing that soon she would have to leave her beloved daughter. She knew that Amber would be in good hands with her family and that she would be taken care of. But it was going to be so hard and so different for Amber, living with someone else. It had always been just Ophelia and Amber.

 

Now, as her time came to a close, she knew that she would never get the opportunity to walk Amber down the aisle or see her daughter get married. She would never get to hold her first grandchild. There were so many things yet left to do and just not enough time. Ophelia’s breathing was getting difficult, and definitely shallower, with her lungs not getting enough air. The diabetes complications and infections had left Ophelia unable to speak. It wouldn’t be long now, she thought. Just a few more hours of precious life and she was not even going to be able to say good-bye to her daughter, nor to her family. Nothing left to do but take one more look around at all of the family members surrounding her hospital bed and breathe the last breath of life.

 

From far away she could barely hear the voice of one of her aunts, Maria. The last thing Ophelia heard was the voice of her aunt Maria promising her that she would take care of Amber. Ophelia, unable to speak and say “Thank you”, shed one last single tear and as it rolled down her cheek she closed her eyes one final time and went home.


© Copyright 2019 JamesPacheco. All rights reserved.

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