I’m not even Catholic and I’ve read that book. But that’s a different story for a different day.
My Mother is dying.
Four words to chill the soul. I’ve become very fond of the old thing. I’m pretty sure I love her. Not in the old ‘‘She’s my Mother and I have to love her because I’m a little messed up‘ ‘thanks Mom’ way. I think I love her as she is now. Frail, lost, tiny, scared,,
Gone is hard, brittle, crazy as a kid in a candy museum, and chock full of dislike for me Mom. Gone is who she was. Gone is the monster and in it’s place sits a wounded human. As vulnerable as one can be. Unable to do much for herself. The list maker of my childhood cannot make an “x” on a line. Relying on strangers to help with her most personal tasks. Scared of everything and forgetful of so much.
I’m trying not to over think all of this. As I tell people, I’m a psychiatrist’s stiffy.
And none of that matters because my Mother is dying. And I’m glad.
How’s that for a mental tossed salad day? It all becomes real when the doctors talk to you about ‘comfort care’. I’d expected to feel angry or heart broken. I didn’t expect the feeling of relief that ran through me. She can’t see. She is in pain. She has something seriously wrong with her and we’ve run out of ideas as to what it is. She’s so confused. She asks me the same question time after time. She’s so tired she sleeps most of the time and she’s not eating much. When she does talk she makes little sense. She’s losing her words and she is a woman of words. The woman who battled mental illness, child abuse, health issues, cancer twice, and the loss of her anchor in reality-land, this woman who was a reader and a writer of a news paper column, this woman is losing her words and she knows it. Her soul is telling us it’s time. Her body is telling us it’s her time. And I think it’s a good thing. She has no happy days. She has happy moments and that’s about it. Chances are she can’t remember them. That is her hell.
My Mother is dying.
I’m not so sure I can handle this. I’m not as strong as people think. I’m not as stable or centered as the folks in my worlds think. I’m only strong when I have to act. Give me a goal and I’m Super Tia. This time my cape and awesome boots are in storage. There are no actions. There is no goal. There is only one four word sentence: My Mother is dying. And watching it happen may be my kryptonite.