1/16/2022 – R.I.P. – My Mom (Bobbie L. Johnson)

-Back when my Dad passed away (My Tribute to him can be read HERE), I said that for years I dreaded this day – as well as two more (at least) like it to go. Recently, one of those days has again come with the passing of my Mom on Saturday January 8, 2022.

-As private as my Dad was, my Mom was even more private. Like him, she didn’t want an obituary but, like before, I did it for me – and for the same reason. To repeat, I didn’t want her to just fade away without something out there. When my Dad passed, I became my Mom’s caretaker – which lasted just a little over two years. All the things you’ve heard about care-taking are true, good and bad – with me being able to avoid some of the bad things and miss out on some of the good. I made the decision to tone down (and at times, totally stop) doing things that would further my progression with acting and music, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if I could. My parents are the ones who gave me life. I wouldn’t exist, literally, without them. They sacrificed so much for me for so many years, could I do any less? Everything pales before my parents (and the welfare of my cats Scruffy & Five-Paw). Everything. As you may or may not recall, when I started being a full-time actor in 2011 (and had to become part-time in 2013 due to financial strains), I would quote from a book called “Put Your Dream to the Test” by John C. Maxwell – specifically Chapter Seven entitled “The Cost Question.” In this chapter, John talks about the sacrifices one must think of making to become successful and how you have to pay that price not just once, but over and over. The higher you go, the higher the cost. While I tried to anticipate and prepare for this, there were times that it hit me “out of the blue” and I had to make a decision. But I knew right from the start that there was one sacrifice that I would never make. My drive can be quite high at times and, as I said in my Dad’s tribute, I’ve been more that guilty, at times, of not seeing the trees in the forest so to speak. But there was no way I would cross this line. It was a total non-starter. For example, I did continue with acting here and there but one look at my CHRONOLOGY PAGE and you can clearly see that I was nowhere as busy as in the past. It was a line that I would never cross, which was strengthened even more after my Dad’s death.

-As I said before, my Mom was even more private than my Dad, but there were a few things that were in her obituary that I will share here. She was born in Taiwan. So many people think I’m Native American to some degree (usually a large one), but based on what I know, my ancestry is Taiwanese, German with a little Swedish thrown in. Her mother was a Buddhist Monk and yes, that means her head was shaven – just like male monks. I’m not really religious, but I will say that, if I was, I’m closest to a Buddhist (which isn’t close but…). My Mom and Dad met while he was in The Navy, which led to a long courtship between them. I’ve seen some of the letters between them during this time and they loved each other so much. They were married on April 11, 1963. I know of sources that site that Bruce Lee & Linda Lee were among the first to have an interracial marriage, (The US Supreme Court didn’t legalize interracial marriage until 1967), but they were married in 1964.My Mom eventually came to the United States and became a legal US Citizen, changing her name to Bobbie. So you have Bob & Bobbie…

-I do not know if this was because of the times or because of the way my Dad wanted it (perhaps both?) but Mom was basically regulated to the role of Housewife. Dad took care of everything else outside of housework – although he was more than happy to help with that as well (for example, later in life, Mom barely cooked at all. Dad took care of all of that). I do not believe that this was done with any intent of mean-spiritness or male chauvinist thinking. To me, it was what my Dad always focused on – the protection of me and Mom. And yes, he kind of did this to me; combined that with me being an only child and you could see where I was more than a little behind, growing up, in the “street smarts” department. Mom adopted Dad’s thinking to a degree in this area, always looking out for us as well as putting us before herself. While one could see all the good my Dad did to protect us, there were some challenges with this approach. With Mom, she became someone who couldn’t live in the modern world – especially by the time Dad passed. She didn’t know anything about bills, insurance and more (she couldn’t operate a cell phone or a smart TV). I took care of all of that, but it also made me more cautious because if something happened to me and I died, Mom would be in some serious trouble.

-I adopted several traits / behaviors from my parents and one of them was my Mom’s stubbornness, which has loosened up to a degree (depending on who you ask – HA!) as the years progressed. That has led to numerous times of me and Mom butting heads so to speak… And this led to numerous arguments where, especially in my younger years, it was – at times – like the immovable object meeting the unstoppable force. But deep down I knew that, no matter how intense things got, she was doing this out of a place of love, as well as always being so worried for me and my safety – probably due to me being an only child. She was always worried, as well as constantly overthinking things, the later of which has incorporated into my being in various degrees…

-As per my Dad, Mom was from the generation where you don’t go to the doctor unless you really have to-and maybe not even then. She hated hospitals and told me to never have her in one. It was pretty much the same with doctors, although every once in a great while she’d say that maybe she should see one. That would be reversed before the next day arrived. As the years went by, she became more frail. It didn’t help that she was allergic to most foods and had to be on a very strict diet. Years of seeing doctors decades ago to find out even what this was or what was causing it proved to be fruitless. But we were hanging in there and I was doing the best I could to take care of her. Then came December 2021…

-Around the first / second week, after work I started to feel really lethargic and beat, as well as visualizing that my blood had been transformed into molasses (I’ve been told that I have an active imagination by more than one person 🙂 ). I have an auto-immune disease called Sarcoidoisis in my lungs, which has some similarities to Covid: shortness of breath, fatigue, brain fog and more…So I thought I was having a Sarco flair-up and, upon getting home, did 1-2 quick things and went to bed.. In the following days the symptoms grew to include me partially losing taste & smell, getting chills / sweats as well as being even more fatigued. It wasn’t Sarco. Could it be Covid? I didn’t know, but I had to find out and fast. So I went in for a Covid test, which came back negative. However, with all the symptoms I had, they still put me on a ten day quarantine. Not to long after that, our furnace broke down…

-It took four days for me to get someone to fix the problem (it needed a new ignition switch). Four days of just cold air blowing. I’m convinced that this made things for me and Mom worse and, if this didn’t happen, maybe she’d still be alive. Things started to get worse for the both of us after the furnace fiasco. For me, it got to the point where I would go to do one thing, like bringing something from one area to another (something light) and I’d have to go to the couch and sit for awhile cause just doing that one thing wiped me out. My fatigue level was very high and I would get the sweats so bad at times that it was like someone threw a bucket of water inside my jacket. My breathing was also becoming more labored and, when it hit, the brain fog became worse…

-It got so bad that I decided to go in for another Covid test cause what else could be causing this? So on the 23rd I went for a second Covid test and my fears were confirmed: I had Covid Pneumonia – which meant Mom had it. Me and the doctor there actually got into a pretty heated argument cause he basically said that, due to my oxygen level being so low, I had to take an ambulance to a hospital immediately or I was going to die. However, when I went to get the test, I anticipated being away from maybe an hour, not the 3 or so hours that it actually took. My Mom was all alone for that long. I had to go back, no matter what the doctor was saying. In the end, he had me sign a paper saying that if I died, it wasn’t his fault. Nice huh? I can’t blame him though. I still had my Mom’s stubbornness…

-Both of us were getting worse, yet even when I got home and explained to her what happened, she absolutely refused to go to the hospital. I did the best I could to make things easier for the both of us, but my best was rapidly dropping. I guess Mom saw the toll it was taking on me and tried to get up to go to the bathroom on her own – and fell…twice. At this point, she could barely hear me and I was yelling in order for her to be able to. The second time, when I found her on the floor, I knew what I had to do, no matter how much she objected. I got on the phone and called 911.

-Two ambulances actually showed up and the people on them were kind of like in these hazmat-type outfits. Mom had to be carried out. We both were transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital, the place where my Dad passed. I’m very glad that Mom got her room right away, although that meant things were worse for her. Me? We got there around 7:40 PM (by the way on Christmas Eve – what a way to spend Christmas right?). I was still in the waiting room around 1:00 – 2:00 AM. I was finally led to a temporary room, where I stayed until I got my actual room at 12 Noon (!). During that time, I suddenly started to experience a lot of pain. Not sure if it was the disease or stiffness or a combo of both (maybe something else), but I was painfully moaning out loud for quite awhile. I lost track of time due to all my focus being on my pain. I knew inside this would all pass eventually, but when you’re in the midst of it…

-I was at St. Josephs for five days. During that time, I constantly asked about Mom and while I believe they relayed messages to her, all talk of me visiting her went unanswered until the day I was discharged, where I could see her. She wasn’t doing well, but didn’t look too too bad. I was there for over an hour and talked with her, but she didn’t seem to hear me. She would just moan. I’m sure the bed didn’t help (they’re built for security, not comfort and I had issues with the beds myself). I have no idea if she even heard anything I said or, if so, if it registered cause the doctors said she might have what is known as “Covid Brain” which is a little similar in effect to the Sepsis infection that eventually entered Dad’s head. They even though she had some dementia till I explained a lot of what I said earlier about her being clueless about the modern world and her allergies. When I left, she still looked OK and I told them to do all they could to help her recover. As I mentioned on Dad’s tribute page, one of my core beliefs used to be, “where there’s life, there’s hope.” With all that happened during his ordeal and even some afterwards, “hope” became like a dirty word to me. As Tony Robbins once said a long time ago (and he may not think like this anymore – i mean, this was from a cassette so…), and I’m paraphrasing here, “…saying hope is like saying a weak prayer that has no chance of being answered…”). This was more in regards to things like someone have a problem and thinking along the lines of “Let’s hope this works out on it’s own” instead of just dealing with the problem and moving on. I know it’s different from how I was using it, but it still hit my mind at that time. But here, maybe “hope” can be reborn with me. Even though it was basically just the IV keeping her alive, she was getting the medications and they helped me so I really did think she could pull thru and be well enough to come home. That’s what I thought…

-I would call every day or two to see how she was doing (I, soon after, returned to work, so time issues…). I couldn’t visit cause she was in the Covid ward: No visitors – even if they’re dying. That was a big fear for me cause, like with Dad, I didn’t want her to pass alone. One of the nurses even held the phone up to Mom’s ear and I said numerous things. No response. Days later I talked with a doctor. She wasn’t getting better, but not getting worse, but that line was painfully thin and if she got worse, she’d have to go to ICU and be put on a ventilator. This would be brutal and chances were high that, while this would initially save her, it would make her so weak that she’d die and it wouldn’t be painlessly. I made the decision that, if this was going to happen, to just switch her to comfort care. Mom has gone thru too much as is. I was still hoping she’d turn around and get better.

-Then, on Saturday, January 8, I was told Mom had been moved out of the Covid ward and into a normal room. I could now visit! I came to her room later that afternoon and thrown into shock. She had not only gotten worse, but looked quite gaunt. Then I talked with another of her doctors, who told me that, not only will she not be recovering, but that she was going to die soon and by continuing to try to treat her, it was just making her suffer more. I don’t know how many days she was like this so I did what the doctor was suggesting I do; I immediately had Mom put into comfort care. Hope be damned…

-The thing is, I was totally unaware or prepared for this happening when I came to visit. I had to leave to make sure the cats were fed and OK, get a few things and then come back to be there for her. I was told that her passing could be as long as a few days or as short as a few hours. I did stay there for awhile before they put her on comfort care, and talked with her, telling her how much I loved her and how she was such a great Mom for me and much more. Again no response… I rushed home, hoping her passing would be the few days. Unfortunately, by the time I got back to her room, she had already passed on…

-Mom’s life was a hard one in a lot of ways. Thru it all, her love for me and Dad never wavered. Like Dad, she was cremated and her urn, made just like Dad’s, will be together, like they hopefully are in the afterlife. I don’t know if there really is one. Mom would tell me from time to time to be happy when she passes, because her suffering will be over. I’m very happy that the suffering is no more, but I will never be happy from her passing. She so hoped to be reunited with Dad when she died, and I would like to believe they are now back together again and that, maybe one day, I will be reunited with them. It’s a dream I have…You told me I’d miss all your nagging and worrying – and you were right…Good-bye Mom. You and Dad will both be forever in my heart. I love and miss you both so deeply…



-One more thing…in the paper, they forgot to add this. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to HUMANECNY .

About Wayne W. Johnson

Hiya-this is Wayne W. Johnson (WWJ) & thanks for dropping by to my site! I hope you enjoy your visit to my home away from home online. If you have any questions, comments and /or concerns about this site, please let me know via the CONTACT page. Thanks & best wishes to you & yours!
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9 Responses to 1/16/2022 – R.I.P. – My Mom (Bobbie L. Johnson)

  1. Debbie Caley says:

    You have true talent in writing! Tears are flowing and I am not only so sad for you, but so grateful that we are (online) friends. You’re as true as they come. I enjoy your posts. I was praying hard for your mom and you! I can’t tell you how sorry I am to hear of her passing. I bet she was a strong woman to overcome what she must have had to, to be with your dad and coming to the states. I bet she was a spitfire too 😁
    Of there is anything I can ever do, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Even if it’s just yo lend an ear. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula Bachman says:

    Wayne my heart breaks for you as I read your tribute to your mom. She was very much loved I can tell and I am sure she knew it and heard every word you said to her even though she was silent or moaned. She now knows what we can only guess or hope for when we pass on. She us is with you now always as your dad was with you and her. The hardest thing is to lose those you love, but keep on pushing forward and keep strong. My prayers are for you and your future…. my hopes are that your parents are united again in heaven and the happiness they so deserve to raise such a son. Take care ….. ❤️💔❤️💔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Merri says:

    So glad we were able to bring mom to Liverpool and have a great visit with both of your parents before their deaths. Your mom was always the sweetest and so happy to see us. Peace to you
    Cousin Merri.


  4. Melody says:

    Wow!! Your words filled my eyes with tears. Your parents sound amazing and your words full of passion. Again Wayne, sorry for your loss.


  5. Pingback: 01/08/2023 – UPDATE – 2022 Year In Review | WAYNE W. JOHNSON

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