Confession time.  During the past few weeks, it’s occurred to me more than once, that I kinda wish my mum had passed on.  Not cause I want her to die but because I knew the kind of family crap that was going to surface in the interim.  I just wanted it done.  Like ripping off a band-aid.  I can operate on all 4 cylinders, grace under pressure, that’s me.  But I can only do it for so long.  Then the wheels will come off, one at a time.  All the questions about how long she has left,  the realization that despite all the dramatic pronouncements she shows no signs of shuffling off this mortal coil any time soon, the funeral plans, the constant updates, the phone calls, ohmigod the phonecalls, the texts, the Pain Olympics that went on with my sisters, my husband co-opting my anger,  my father threatening to show up  (where there’s a will, there’s relatives), the juggling of family needs and schedules, the driving (oh, the driving) the guilt, the fatigue, unpacked boxes and the hours flying by, that drawn own weariness that sets in when the adrenaline is spent, that vague sense of loss that has haunted me for 9 years… oh the complexities of human reality.  No, I told my niece, life isn’t fair.  It’s just life.  I stopped asking, “why?” a long time ago.

I stopped by a friend’s place before I went home from seeing mum the other night and she shared with me her terrible weekend.  I hugged her and cried for all her stress and worry and then she asked me about my day and I told her that I (along with my sister) had planned my mother’s funeral.  And we broke up in laughter.  That’s probably why we’re friends. My husband and I giggled over the air miles promotion the funeral home had on cemetery purchases.  That’s probably why I married him.

Just a month ago, it was status quo with my mum, as it had been for years.  Bits and pieces of her dropping away with the dementia, but we had always found a way to connect, to find our moments as mother and daughter.  Then she’s in the hospital and it’s she’s not going to make it, no, she’s fine, nope, back to being on her deathbed.  And now it’s kind of weird, it feels like I’m keeping vigil even though I she’s eating and drinking and is the same as she was a month ago.   Her body is wasting, and she’s at an operational level of a 11 month old with a long, friggin’ memory.  Okay, maybe even a little better with tweaking of the mental health meds to keep her from hollering too much.  I could tell she really enjoyed having my sister here for the week, keeping her company and playing music and sermons.    Each of us has their own perspective of this whole journey.  Each one is valid. I’m trying to create value despite my own issues.

I’m back to that space when she first had a stroke and the first thing on my mind in the morning was her and the last thought I had before going to sleep was her. How could I find the way to fix her?  Yet now, I am no longer under the illusion that I can fix her.  That I can rescue her.   At least she’s not in pain.  I’m truly grateful for that.

I wonder if she knows why she’s getting all this extra attention from everybody.  Would it make a difference to her?  Every now and again, she sings a few words from a song, her voice shaky but still strong.  She looks at me and nods her head.  I was trying to show her a picture on my phone and she put up her hand and cried out, no, no, no.  She didn’t want her picture taken.  Still vain.  An awareness of how she looked.  Mum’s still in there.


14 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. oh so hard. such a tough situation even without all the rest — the toddler, the move, the relatives, the family dynamics, the arrangements — all of it. holding you in my heart, my friend. xo

  2. I’m here from Mel’s blog roundup and want to offer my thoughts to you. It is such a difficult time, but it seems you’re keeping a sense of humor. If we couldn’t have joked about the process and some of the craziness, I would have crumbled, so it is really a sanity saver. Take care and best wishes to you as you navigate this darker part of life.

  3. I think you’re handling this situation as well as can be expected. Wishing your mom had passed? Normal. Laughing through the pain? Extremely healthy. I work in an intensive care unit- I see people handling the most stressful situations all the time. Some handle things with grace, others… not so much. I think you’re doing very well. Hang in there… tough times don’t last forever…

  4. Oh gosh Deathstar. Just today I thought of you and thought about how I missed you (my own doing I know). I am so out of touch so tonight I thought I would check in, catch up and see how things are going. I am sorry you have to go through this. I don’t have any words of wisdom. You’ve always been the wise and strong one in this “relationship”. Just know I am thinking about you.

  5. Here from CdlC. There aren’t quite the right letters for the sound of sympathy I’m trying to write. I just wanted to let you know that I’m here, trying to write it.

  6. I read this awhile back but didn’t leave a comment then… couldn’t find the right words. Of course, there really are none. :p But I have been thinking of you. (((hugs)))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s