Monday, July 6, 2009
Kara Hubbard, 1932-2009
Late last week, my mom Kara Hubbard slipped into a coma. She had not been well for many years and had a caretaker 40 hours a week. The caretaker Esme called my sister Karla and my brother Michael, and they began to take care of her in what would be her last days. Mom had trouble with her kidneys and fibromyalgia, so making sure she had pain management even in a comatose state was a challenge, but my siblings figured out the best way to manage it. I should also here give credit to Karla's husband Tino, who is soon to complete his training as a nurse, and Michael's wife Janelle, who had helped take care of her own mother Verna for many years until she passed away in 2007. Also assisting with the vigil of this weekend were Karla's son Eli, and my niece Holly and her betrothed Cleavon traveled up from Oakland to pay their last respects. My sister Jenny, who lives out of state, was part of the phone circle keeping folks up to date and making sure we were okay.
It was a great blessing for my mom to move up to Santa Rosa at the end of last year, because Michael and Karla and their families could help give her much more care than I ever could. Still, I missed the regular visits with her a few times a month that were easy for me to do when she lived in Alameda, just a ride on BART and bike from where I lived. Without a car, Santa Rosa was a tough trip for me to manage, but I did go up to visit a few times this year, either renting a car or bumming a ride from a family member.
I'm in the middle of the summer term right now, a very busy time, and I didn't know if I'd be able to visit my mom this weekend. My dad told me he would be going up on Sunday afternoon, so I got all the grading and prep work out of the way that I could join him. Yesterday, I went up to Santa Rosa with my dad and his happy puppy Bailey to spend time with my mom and Karla and Tino and Eli. Karla and Michael were working in shifts, so I didn't get a chance to catch up with my big brother.
I held my mom's hand. I listened to her breathe and placed my hand on her forehead to see if she was too warm or just right. I didn't say much. I really couldn't think of anything important to tell her. I figured she could feel the pressure on her forehead and the feel of my hand in hers and know that someone who loved her was nearby.
This morning at about nine, my mom Kara Hubbard stopped breathing. The troubles of this world are over for her and no one knows for sure what comes next.
I know I miss her now and I will for as long as I live. She sent me many e-mails this year from Santa Rosa, telling me how much she enjoyed reading my blog every morning, that it was almost like having me visit. She liked the silly stuff I wrote, whether I was trying to be funny or trying to be clever.
Right now, I don't feel very funny or very clever. I did well enough teaching today, able to hold it together. But teaching is performance, and writing is rumination. There's only the one thing I can find to ruminate about right now, so I'm going to take a little break and see if I feel funny or clever some time in the hopefully near future.
My mom liked the lolz cats, so I hope she'll forgive me for expressing this sentiment in this particular way.
I has a sad and it gets in the way.