Ever have one of those days where you absolutely did NOT feel like blogging? Last night was one of those times, but I really felt like I needed to write what was on my mind because it was a pretty emotionally draining day.
On Saturday my dad called me to let me know that they were moving my mom from Halifax to Amherst, which means she’d be coming home to die. On one hand this was a huge relief to me…family and friends would now be able to see her whenever they wanted instead of making a 4-hour round trip (like my father has been doing for over a month now). On the other hand this meant that the finality of the situation was glaring; my mom is going to die.
So yesterday was the day I took Ankle Biter to see my mom…quite possibly for the last time.
It was tough. Dad was already there, hand-feeding mom lunch because she was too weak to feed herself. Thankfully they provided a private room…she’d been in a semi-private room for over a month now and we all wanted just a little bit of dignity for her in her final days.
I set Ankle Biter up by the window to color for awhile, and I turned to stand over this frail woman who I barely recognized.
Her hair is thinning to the point that you’d think she’s going through chemo again (she’s not). Her arms are shriveling up…they’re cold from the lack of blood flow and bruised from the (seemingly) hundreds of needles that have gone into her arm over the past40+ days.
But yet this woman is still my mom…still the woman who gave birth to me 38 years ago. Thankfully, she was alert and able to talk and understand what we were saying.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot to say.
I teared-up a few times…just looking at her was painful to watch. Seeing her cry in pain just from the bed being moved (it’s pain in her kidney from the new tumor) killed me. I can’t imagine what my dad’s going through.
After about an hour, mom was scheduled to have her morphine…this was both a relief and a bother. It was a relief because she had been in pain the entire time we were there. It was a bother because it made her sleepy and, thus, our visit was over.
Dad held up Ankle Biter to kiss his grandmother goodbye…and I just lost it. I tearfully told mom what Sunshine had told me the day before…that her girls considered my mom to be like another grandmother for them. I told mom that the girls loved her, that Sunshine loved her, and that Ankle Biter and I loved her very much. Mom said what she always says…that she really thinks the world of those two good girls and that Sunshine has done an amazing job in raising them.
Through the tears mom told me that she was dying. I could only say what dad has been telling her all along…
“Yes…but not today.”