I stood in the hallway where there were a few couches and chairs because the dark, cramped up waiting room was too much to bear at that point. I texted my boss at work, keeping the office up-to-date. I saw countless tweets come through, strangers reaching out to me. I texted my best friends with updates. I sat down, stood up, leaned against the couch, and leaned on the shoulders of my family.
We all took turns. While some of us waited there at those couches, others went upstairs to visit. Then, my phone started to ring. It was my brother who was upstairs at the time while I waited.
"We need you to come up here," he said.
"What's wrong?!" I asked in a panic.
"She keeps trying to tell us something but we don't know what she's saying and you're the only one who can understand her."
Before I could even hang up the phone in time, I rushed to the elevator, pushed the button, and ran into the room where I saw my brother, his fiancee, and my dad all distraught, in tears. I looked at my mom and back at my family, standing around her hospital bed. This wasn't good.
I took her hand as I knelt down close to her side.
"Mom? What are you trying to say?"
She was frustrated, exhausted, as she tried again to communicate with what little oxygen she had left.
She kept trying to tell us that my dad needed to go get something that was green. Something particular. Her words were muffled, twisted, and didn't make much sense.
It was at that moment that I started to see her go.
It was the first instance I could really see the life in her dissipate, rapidly.
With concerned eyes, I looked over at my brother who was at my mom's left side.
He looked at me, nodded, and said:
"It's time to say your goodbyes."
After that short moment that we shared, my mom said a few more things that I'll never forget. They were very spiritual moments for me. They were symbolic to me of her being ready to pass into the next life. I lost all control of my emotions. My heart sank deep into my chest and my knees buckled. It was happening. She was dying. Mere hours after receiving the prognosis.
Life stopped for me right there in those moments. Looking back, all I can see are flashes. I remember my mom telling us it was time to go. I remember walking back to the elevator with my brother and his fiancée. She wrapped her arms around me in the elevator as I cried the deepest cry my soul has felt. It was the moment of acceptance that my mom was really going to die soon. That I would soon be without a mother. That she was forever going to be gone from my life on Earth.
My mom lived for another twenty-four hours, enough time for her brother to fly in and for her best friends to visit to say their goodbyes. Enough time for her to tell me one last time,
"I love you."