Thursday, October 24, 2013
Mostly, the anger. I think the anger was disappointment and frustration really. I get it now. I've known it. It breaks a heart. Sometimes there's nothing a heart that is so broken, can do, but be angry. It was more apparent at times than others.
"You were such a good baby. You never gave me any trouble," she said. Implying I did now?
The ktbunch and I stayed at her house that last week. My sister-in-love and I took shifts staying near her. We wrote down her temperature, doses of medication, blood pressure. I slept in the living room, on an air mattress, trying to get some rest occasionally for a few hours.
People wanted to come and visit. It seemed a little too late to me. It created more work for us. I felt like my attention was divided between 'entertaining guests', who whispered in not so hushed tones, 'How much longer does she have?' and spending my mom's final moments with her. There was the occasional out of place laughter in the living room, as if there wasn't a woman dying in the next room over.
"I am going to wring your neck!" OR "I swear, I will break your arm!" She yelled at me often. Even though I never really believed her, I knew better than to risk it.
The hospice nurse stayed up with her, informing us another nurse would be coming to relieve her. I don't remember how many nights it was before she passed. I went to the living room to get some sleep on the air mattress. I thought it was a dream. I don't think that now. Something woke me up. I saw mom passing by the doorway. She was slowly walking down the hallway to the restroom, accompanied by a male nurse with very long hair. I knew she'd be uncomfortable with the male nurse but I was just too tired to care that much. I figured, he's a professional. I'll meet him in the morning, I thought and went back to sleep.
The next morning, I went into the room and saw the same hospice nurse from the night before. She must've come back after the night shift nurse? I was confused. "Where's the other nurse?"
"Huh?" She was confused.
"Did you take my mom to the restroom last night?"
"No. She's been asleep all night," she answered.
At some point I stopped taking it. I didn't care if she was able to get me over her knee-I was not going to let her spank me any more...or see me cry about it if she did. The counseling started soon after the wrestling. I only remember going one time but it may have been two. I sat there in defiant silence, refusing to speak a word to the counselor.
She was waking up, indicating she had to use the restroom but was too weak. She sat there, embarrassed. The nurse, my sister-in-love and I wheeled her down the hall. We set the bath chair up in the middle of the restroom. I was so glad my parents had redone the floor in tile. It was awkward transferring her from the wheelchair to the bath chair. She could barely sit up. We washed her up quickly using the hand-held shower head. Once we got her back in bed, she never got up again. I don't think she ever woke up after that either.
"I thought we'd be best friends and you would tell me everything," she told me often. Initially, she seemed more hurt that I didn't tell her I was interested in having sex with the Mr. than the fact that I had gotten pregnant.
Grandma died four months before mom. I thought that was hard. It was only the beginning. Grandma, mom, my father-in-love, a dear friend, a childhood friend, a church friend...and those were just to death. Security, stability, income, a car-though we got it back. I've lost my husband twice-or I guess, he's lost himself. A ministry, friendships, trust, love, dreams, years of pictures. At least grandma was old enough to die.
"I just wanted you to be happy and everything to be perfect. I wanted to be the perfect mom," she said. She never understood how valuable it was to be enough.
Seven years of losing has led me through seven years of finding.
"You don't know what I gave up for you!" It wasn't for me to know...or carry.
Here I am.