Saturday, January 8, we got a call telling us that Mom had a bad night, was having trouble breathing, and had begun taking morphine. The nurse guessed that she would die that day. My family and I rushed down to be with her.
Sunday, we spent the day with her. That night, I said a goodbye.
Monday, Mom asked for a Coke. She'd been on a feeding tube for months and hadn't had anything in her mouth in that time. Since the feeding tube had been removed Saturday (to help with breathing), we'd been swabbing her mouth when it got dry. Monday I dipped the swab in Coke instead of water, so she could taste it.
Tuesday, Mom died. We knew she was having trouble around 6:30, and we called family. Before this, her only response to us was blinking and eye movement. We knew something was wrong because she no longer responded even that way. She died at home, surrounded by family. I sat next to her mother, who held her hand.
Wednesday, we made the funeral arrangements and otherwise had a free day in which to contact those we hadn't contacted the night before. We gathered pictures for the memorial.
Thursday, the obituary appeared in the Peoria Journal Star. I've reprinted it below (complete with errors). That morning we talked to the minister about the funeral service, and that night was the visitation.
PEORIA -- Carolyn Lee Beaumont, 53, of Peoria died at 7:67 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2005, at her home after her battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.Friday, we went to the funeral. Afterward was a lunch at a buffet. My sister put up a sign that said, "Carolyn's Party. Putting the FUN back in funeral!" We drove home afterward, and I'm posting this now with the first network access I've had since Saturday morning.
Born May 15, 1951, in Turlock, Calif., to Carol O. and Joyce E. McLaughlin Johnson, she married Kevin Hasselbacher. She later married Robert J. "Beaver" Beaumont on June 11, 2000, in Peoria. He survives.
Also surviving are one son, Kyle (and Dana) Hasselbacher of Lombard; one daughter, Lee (and Jim) Trifone of Peoria; three stepdaughters, Melissa (and Steve) Deller of Madison, Wis., Susan (and Frank) Korfias of Kingston, Wash., and Alyce (and Jason) Welch of Chillicothe; one sister, Kathy (and John) Maher of Brimfield; her mother of Elmwood; one granddaughter; and four stepgrandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her father.
She was a window clerk for the U. S. Post Office in Chillicothe for 12 years. She also had owned and operated the Candy Corner at the Pekin Mall for two years.
She received a bachelor's degree in economics from Illinois State University in Normal.
She was a 15-gallon blood donor for the American Red Cross.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Wilton Mortuary, where visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today. The Rev. Michael Brown will officiate. Cremation will be accorded after the service.
Memorials may be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic of Peoria.