I Got ‘The’ Call Today

Tissue alert.

Iva Ursano
5 min readFeb 4, 2019


That dreaded call that no one wants to get. The call that turns your world upside down and changes you in ways you didn’t think possible. That call.

I have a foster puppy in my care right now and he got sick last night. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. This morning I was sure he was going to die. In a panic I reached out to a friend here for help. “Bring him over quick”, she says.

Just as I’m getting my shoes on, I got ‘the’ call.

My younger sister back in Canada calls to tell me mom hasn’t eaten or drank anything in almost 5 days. She won’t last much longer.

I felt dizzy at first. Then I felt like I got punched in the stomach. Then I felt this huge rush of relief wash over me, then guilt.

You see, we’ve been waiting for this day for almost 10 years. It’s not a surprise, but it is. I was sure mom was going to outlive Betty White and Keith Richards.

But she won’t. And for that, I’m thankful.

Mom has been rotting away in a nursing home, in a diaper, in a wheelchair, being spoon fed mush for a long fucking time. Too long in our opinion but it is what it is.

I’ve talked enough shit about my parents and how horribly I was treated growing up. You can go through my stories and read any of them. I talk about it a lot. It’s healing for me but it’s hopeful for some. I share how I forgave them and moved on. I try to show people, through my stories of abuse, that healing comes through love and forgiveness.


I’ve dragged my parents through the mud enough. This time I promise I won’t. This time I will talk about what an amazing lady my mom turned out to be.

There’s so much good I never shared about my mom. And I think it’s time. Independent of the fact that my childhood was rough to say the least, when all of us girls became adults and had children of our own, she became the mom we longed for.

My mom was smart as a whip. And damn proud of it. Coming from Italy at the age of (shit I don’t remember, 16 maybe?) she had no education and was practically forced to marry my dad, a man she didn’t love, at 18.



Iva Ursano