Mom and Me
Carol Helena Ledtje ~
1929 ~ 1984
My Mom and Me
On December 10, 1983, on my mom's 54th birthday, I showed
up to take care of her in her final months of living with
cancer. I was 24. I did the shopping, housework, I bathed
her, fed her, gave her medication, changed her dressings,
massaged her, let her yell at me one minute and laugh the
next when the cancer entered her brain, and spent every
minute I could with her. She was in insurmountable pain.
With all the pills available, she just couldn't stand it.
It was extremely hard to watch this feisty, independent
thinking woman that used to stop me in my tracks just by
putting her fingernails on my scalp, withering away at 75
lbs. I remember getting in a contest with her to see who
could lose 20 lbs the fastest when we both weighed in at
165 lbs. - 7 years earlier !
She won... it was then we discovered the cancer. It was a
most deadly strain. My best friend's mom had just died of
the same strain that month. I didn't handle things very
well the next few years.
through the gamut of treatments, and they didn't work.
She fought for about 7 years. So there she was on the
last leg of this horrific fight, losing it with no hope.
Sent home to die because the hospital could do no more. I
was smoking cannabis for the stress I was under, and she
thought that was fine. She knew it was therapeutic with
the dosage I was consuming, and she relied on my
noon and night without regret or question.
There came a point, just before Christmas when the pain
was too much to bear. She asked me if cannabis would help
her. In my experience, I said, " Yes, definitely."
people do serious things for the wrong reason, this was
not the case. We smoked... she got some much needed sleep
and I cleaned the kitchen and prepared dinner. No crimes
committed here. I was grateful she got some rest. When
she awoke, a most awesome thing happened. SHE WAS HUNGRY
! I thanked God and Lord Jesus and cried. I made her some
food, she ate it and smiled. She said, "Kathy, I had
no idea. I wish I knew sooner how this helps." I
told her " You know now, so whenever you need it mom,
just tell me." So from then on until I had to
leave just before her death, we smoked, we talked, at one
point she wanted to know why she had to share with me. I
smiled and said, " To share in this stressful time,
and to keep it lit." She didn't understand so I
rolled one for her, lit it and handed it to her to smoke.
Every other 'puff' as she called it, I had to re-light it
for her, so she understood. It didn't become an issue
Her hospital bed was situated in the breakfast area off
the side of the livingroom. There was a 'pass through' in
the wall if anyone wanted food or coffee passed through
to the breakfast area but now we were using it to talk to
each other while I was in the kitchen. One time I recall
vividly, We had just smoked before I prepared dinner so
she could rest before she ate. She had just received this
beautiful music box that had one of her favorite
classical music pieces, and she was playing it while she
was resting, waiting for dinner. Her eyes were closed,
her fists were under her back, (part of her spine had
been fused.) and her legs were rocking side to side. Her
look was peaceful. Her husband came into the kitchen to
discuss her comfort. We must have been a bit too loud
because all of a sudden her forehead got all crinkly and
she said in a whisper... "SSShhhhhh.... I'm skating
! " We were disturbing her
visualization of that peaceful place where cannabis
helped her go.
Before she died on January 29, 1984, she learned of it's
Please don't watch your loved ones wither away and die
before at least giving cannabis a chance. Obtain it any
way you can for their comfort.
It is the most compassionate thing you can do. The law is
They deserve that much comfort from the pain. I've seen
Nobody will EVER convince me different.
Rest in peace, Mom.
God knows you didn't get much of that here on earth.
Kathy (Wain) Colton
my sister, left, and me