“One year ago today…
The worst day of my life…
Laurin Long Bank 9/24/1988 – 10/21/2018
I got home from a conference in Oklahoma at about 1:00 in the morning. Laurin was supposed to drive home from her Aunt’s house that morning so we could start getting ready for a 2 week road trip we had planned.
I woke up to Laurin calling me and telling me she just didn’t feel well, and her stomach was bothering her. But she really wanted to get home that day, so I arranged with her Aunt to have her drive Laurin’s car to meet in Savannah, Georgia. I had a friend ride with me, and Laurin’s Uncle followed to drive her Aunt back home.
On the drive home Laurin was extremely uncomfortable, so we stopped several times to pick up medications, and try to help her get more comfortable. I called hospice to have a nurse meet us at the house when we got home.
The nurse checked her out and everything seemed ok, but she authorized me to start giving Laurin morphine for the pain. As the day went on, the morphine wasn’t helping, and they kept allowing me to give her more and more.
A few hours later the nurse came back to check on Laurin and took her vitals again. She looked right at me.
‘We’re losing her,’ she told me.
Laurin could not get comfortable, she kept moving from the couch to the floor and back. The hospice nurse was trying to get us into a facility where we could get an IV to give her pain medications through her port to help alleviate her pain, but was not able to get anything.
When I touched Laurin, her body was getting colder. I kept trying to wrap Laurin in blankets but she kept throwing them off. Then she started coughing with a gurgling sound, which was something the hospice nurse had told me about. It’s a sign that the body was shutting down.
I knew time was getting short with Laurin, but we both thought we had 2 to 6 months left. So I had not mentally prepared myself for this situation. I spent the whole evening trying to comfort her, but looking back, I wish I would have talked to her more. Told her hundreds or thousands times more how much I loved her. How much happiness she brought to my life, and how she taught me what true love is.
Every day for the past year, I have wished I said more that evening. Although logically, I know I did everything I could.
As she started to get weaker, I picked up Laurin and carried her to bed, and that’s when the hospice nurse told me to start talking to her and not stop…
‘I love you. I love you so much. Thank you for being in my life,’ I just kept telling Laurin over and over.
I don’t know exactly at what point she passed away, I just kept talking until the nurse came and took her vitals and told me she was gone.
This was probably around 11 p.m. I only made 2 calls that night, to one of her brothers, and her aunt. My Rabbi came and stayed talking with me until probably 4 a.m. It was several hours before someone was able to pick up her body and take her to the funeral home.
‘Do you want to see her one last time?,’ they asked me.
I declined because I wanted my last memory of her to still be looking like her.
I somehow got about 2 hours of sleep that night before getting up and calling a few of our closest friends before I publicly posted about her passing.
The picture with this post was the final picture taken of her enjoying a beautiful Florida sunset.
The polka dot queen’s humble king.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Michael Bank of Columbia, South Carolina. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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