It was 2018. I had one of those dreams where I had lost someone, but in life they were actually still alive. In this dream, I remember it began with me walking down this narrow hallway, where I had approached this small older concrete room. It was here that I found my mother lying on a hospital bed. My surroundings did not look like a hospital of any sorts, more of an older institution, beige and gray colored concrete castle walls.
As I looked down, I analyzed the bed she had been on, seemed more like some sort of a makeshift metal table, with blankets and pillows. I then noticed there were three clear IV lines running from this bag of fluid and into her arms. Almost immediately after tracing and realizing the IV lines were not representing anything good, she looked at me and said "I have to go now, it is my time". It all started to click; I realized I was about to watch my mother pass away. I immediately began pleading with her for just "five more minutes", begging for this over and over again. For a while, each time I asked I managed to buy myself five more minutes, but it finally came to the final moments. As I watched the liquid fill the lines, there was nothing I could do. I stood there helpless, as the chemicals reached her veins, watching her finally let go.
I remember waking up in tears, my husband kindly reminding me that it was just a dream, but with this look in his eyes of worry as he also knew I had a unique gift of knowing things before they happen. The dream felt so real. In that moment I felt the pain and despair of losing a mother. So, I decided to call her immediately, still wounded from the dream and just asked if she was ok. I realized that I had to spend every moment with her and really value each time I was with her. The next year, it was true bonding experience and connection ever since. Sincere forgiving and a pure mother-daughter relationship. We had girls’ getaways (sleepovers), fun local trips and finally just having the time of our lives.
It was August 12th, 2019, a sunny Monday morning. It had to already be about 70 degrees at 10am. My phone rings for the first call of the morning, it's an incoming call from my mother. This was perfect, I was going to be able to share the news that our offer was accepted for the home we would all live in, my mother, father, the whole family. To my surprise, my father had answered the phone instead. As I was just about to tell him the great news, he asked if I had been sitting down. My sunny day on August 12th, 2019, turned into a dull abyss, as I heard the words "Your mother has lung cancer".
After hearing the news, I immediately went into survival mode to save my mother’s life. My hopes were shattered even more when the biopsy results revealed that this was end-stage. Despite the odds, for the next four months, my mission had been to save my mother’s life. I didn’t care about the statistics or odds; I had been through many challenges in life already that my spirit was too strong to be knocked down. I spent the next four months doing what most would think was impossible. Watching her hair fall out, weight loss faster than you could blink, and watching bags of liquid fill IV lines into her arms. Her bed was exactly how I imagined it, the facility she had been staying at constructed of beige and grey concrete brick. Since I still had to still work, I would often arrive at the Boston hospital after 7 p.m. (sometimes even later depending on which shift I was working) to bathe, change, and rotate my mother. There had been a shortage of CNAs at the time, so instead of her waiting uncomfortably I had taken on these duties as much as possible. We spent time afterwards talking about anything that came to mind. It was harder when she would ask me if she was going to die. I would arrive home very late and wake up early again to work the same job, then tend to her needs. All weekends were spent by her side. Eating right, working out and self-care was out the window. In my mind, there wasn’t any time for that.
Mid-December, I was advised by the top Boston Oncologists that she is no longer able to make her own decisions, and that they were invoking the proxy (me). In that same moment, I was told that the current treatments and medications she had been on were no longer working, and in fact, wearing on her comfort level. I made the decision to remove any medication that was designed to fight the cancer, and instead just focus on keeping her comfortable. To this day I will always question if there was another way.
A few days after, I received a call from the hospital advising her health was declining severely. I rushed down to the hospital and was met by the charge nurse, where I was advised she would not make it to Christmas. I entered the room she was in, and broke the news to my siblings and father. I watched them crumble, and tried to keep myself together to be a support for everyone else.
When everyone had gone home for the evening, I decided to stay with my husband and sleep in her room, like a girls getaway that we hadn't had in such a long time. Before I went to bed, I told her about a dream I had, in August 2018. I told her how in the dream, I kept asking her for 5 more minutes, and consistently just wanted her to hold on. I then whispered to her with tears steaming down my face, "but this time, I don't need 5 more minutes, it's ok for you to go, you can go and be at peace". I held her hand while sleeping, an she passed away the night before Christmas Eve holding mine.
After the wake, I developed a lot of anxiety from being in consistent survival mode. My grief was almost unbearable... Until one night where I had a dream. My mother and I were in this dream together, I remember feeling in this dream that it was so nice to see her again, but not realizing I was seeing her after her passing. We had been driving up this six lane highway, and I just knew, that we were going on a trip. I wasn't sure where we were going, but I noticed three crystal towers in the distance. This was our destination. It was an enchanted airport of some sort, where everyone had been heading, some on the way there, some on the opposite side of our highway, on the way back. I remembered constantly being so paranoid that I was going to loose our tickets and passport. I continued to check multiple times throughout the dream. As we entered the tower, I noticed this larger lobby, many people walking around attempting to find where they need to be. I noticed a hallway, that led to these double doors which was our gate. Of course I went to locate my passport and tickets, they were gone. I lost them. A woman appeared beyond the doors and motioned for my mother and I to enter, but I expressed in such a devastated tone that I lost my tickets, identity, and couldn't go anywhere. The woman and my mother calmed me, simply stating it's ok and that I would just come inside and there would be a kiosk to where all of my information lives already. What I saw upon stepping inside, does not exist in this world.
There were enchanted objects, mystical beings, in a crystal glass ceiling that appeared to go on forever. Everything seemed to float up within this tower and all around. From their sparkle and magic, you had to be there. After absorbing all of these beautiful items, my mother grabbed my hand and said "We are going on a journey, we are going on an adventure", and then I woke up.
I knew immediately, that I had to introduce what I saw in my dream and all of the arrangements in this world. Remembering how I felt in those moments, how healed and mesmerized I had awaken.
Welcome to Intentions By Christina.
Throughout this adventure, we have gone through many journeys. Including our visits to festivals, being featured on Studio 10 NBC, Fox25, and several other recognitions along the way. Through this journey, we've been able to support so many others and bring light to their life. There was just one person that was still suffering throughout this all, my father.
As much as I wish this story stopped at a softer ending, sometimes we can't control how it ends.
After three long years of my father trying to live without my mother, trying to be here for my sister, myself, and his grandchildren, sadly he committed suicide on November 7th, 2022.
In honor of his passing, we are coming out with our November Rain candle, where 100% net proceeds will be donated to a suicide prevention organization.
You see, Intentions By Christina is not just a brand. It is you, it is me, it is our trauma and our hopes, all together as one, dancing to our own beat and as best as we can.