Mother's Day Strangers

A couple of weeks ago, my bad-breathing baby landed us in the Trauma Room in the Emergency at our local hospital. On about his fifth Ventolin treatment, a woman was brought into the bed beside us.

The woman was explaining her symptoms as they were going through triage a few feet away from us. Now, I’ve only seen ER twice and maybe half an episode of Grey’s, but it was pretty darn clear to Dr. Mama that this woman was about to have a massive heart attack. During the chit-chat, I learned that her two young daughters had brought her in and were waiting in the lobby. I also learned that she was 50 years old, the same age her mother was when she died of a heart attack. At that point, I started to feel panic - I just wanted the questions to stop and the treatment to start. I kept thinking “If that were my mother…”

No great surprise, just as the question period was finishing, she went into full-on cardiac arrest. After 40 minutes and 7 shocks to the chest, she was pronounced dead. I was selfishly thankful that I was there with my only kid who would remain completely clueless that someone just died beside us.

Then I thought about the daughters in the lobby. The doctors bickered about who was going to take them into the Family Room to deliver the news. They managed to get the girls to call in their aunt and uncle before telling them their mother was dead.

Within a couple of hours, I was heading home with my son. As I got into my car, I noticed two sisters standing by the hospital entrance, embracing and crying. So this Mother’s Day, I’m thinking about how they have no mother to celebrate with. And 10 years down the road, they may have babies of their own, who will never know Grandma.

In perfect honesty, I’m still frustrated that when that very sick woman entered the Trauma Room, there was too much chat and not enough action.

We only get one mother - there is no time to waste.

Picture of Julie Cole

Author: Julie Cole

Julie Cole is the co-founding vice-president of award-winning children's label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards. Cole is a regular television contributor, an influential and syndicated blogger and a mother of six. Follow her on twitter @juliecole and Instagram @cole.julie

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