Evanescent Motherhood

Did it start the moment she was born or me? It’s hard to think clearly or think at all. Every day I think I can accomplish something, there’s something of her languishing existence I am called to deal with or support someone else in their disturbed refusal to accept the inevitable…Life is death, which again is life again in its ever-changing-states, like water. Dealing with personality and maturity issues along with constant misunderstandings of people with merely a glimpse of the grand dame’s total being is ravaging my insides and sensibilities. The mind races to provoked reactions of anger and awful thoughts, much too consuming to allow the impending grief until she was finally and safely handed over to understanding, caring embraces. Why do people say and do the nastiest things as the last lights of loved ones dwindle? I cannot say disappointment was experienced when I am fully used to the typical actions of those involved. There were times as my mother helped create her troubling environment that I selfishly wished I were the one to dissipate instead. I say selfishly, because I didn’t think of the hole that I would leave or the commitments I had made with others and myself, even my mom. Sometimes the pain life injects into us does feel unbearable and then you wake to another day of uncompassionate dribble by those charged to do otherwise. When my mom told me she couldn’t experience another day like the one that sent her scrambling for a way out of this existence I thought of the day my oldest brother called her almost 30 years ago crying “mommy it hurts.” She dropped everything and flew 2000 miles to her oldest, strongest, war hero son who had been reduced by a physical anomaly left untreated too long to be rectified. Back then I was left to impart his passing to a Southern Family too close to handle the loss of one held to the highest esteem globally. It was a much larger family then and the calls were brutal. Some dropped the phone wailing, others berated themselves for not doing more for him, while still others denied the news I was messengering to them. It took almost all night to call them all. By the time I finished I must have looked like a shrunken head as my roommate tried to assure me I was way too stricken to be left alone. I finally realized what she observed…no one, not one family member had asked me if I was okay or going to be okay. I guess I didn’t have time to consider the damage to my spirit or person that might occur. Since I was told by mom to do this task; I simply did it. Now after about two months of trying to support the disappearing mom, a great lady, no—not perfect, but grand nonetheless in her own way, I am beyond exhausted with all phases of life. I can’t wrap up in my blankies enough to shut out all the harms that come with such complicated exits. Meanwhile my dissertation has been hopelessly neglected, along with my dogs, my mind, and physical care. All the events in my life that were to take place are still waiting. My body has started rebelling with sharp enduring pains, loss of appetite and sleep. This might be a good thing according to a nasty statement made by one who does know better but at this point for whom one cannot expect better. Tonight I fell apart listening to a gospel song….

“Lately I’ve been going through some things that really got me down.
I need someone somebody to help me come and turn my life around.
I can’t explain it; I can’t obtain it. Jesus your love is so, it’s so amazing…”

“When I think about the goodness and fullness of God,
Makes me thankful, pity the hateful, I’m grateful.
The Lord brought me through this far…”

Again it was a close friend who listened patiently as she has done since “the beginning of the end” for my mom. I’ve kept my emotions in check, tightly until the last couple days, especially when my mom asked to be given “Last Rites” by her priest. I knew my seams were coming undone when the newest doctor in a slough of healthcare professionals in the new hospital vowed to take care of my mom’s transit from the inept hands of the people who contributed to the mismanagement of her last days and started crying. I normally don’t cry in front of strangers, I maintain control to avoid further nasty scenes or potential manipulation by others. I had been praying to move mountains in the last couple weeks especially the last couple days when I practically begged God to help with a better solution than constantly having to witness almost criminal care of our mom without the legal authority to do much about it. It required more involvement than we expected or were able to handle. I thought once she was in competent and good hands I could sleep, but “Passages” still require so much more: obituaries, contacting more people, programs, service planning and securing of spiritual lay persons etc. The coordinating requirements upon mom’s final exit are another layer of confusion and personality quirks etc. I feel like throwing up at the thought of all this extending beyond this moment, which it clearly will. Is it worth it to have a few more moments of the disappearing Diva? Academically I say yes, physically I do not know if I have more to give with the worry and constant expectations to handle things because there is no one else or those that are available… well let me say I no longer trust “expectations” to provide anything but chagrin. On a spiritual level I know everyone is doing the best they can do. Most of my grousing is due to the fact this compassion has not been reciprocated especially to the ones I know to be almost always mercilessly on the frontline to this uncomfortably developing “herstory.” Since I couldn’t sleep I have been listening to Christmas music…my best comfort is in this beautiful song, which reminds me to be loving, forgiving, and understand there is more to the prickly events of the last couple months than has been shared. We all have personal issues that contribute to anger, and creepy behaviors; issues rarely explained to those affected. This is why I have been on the journey of becoming a psychologist…there are always underlying issues especially during peoples’ last days. I love you mom, no matter what anyone says or thinks, our relationship on this earth together that quietly drips away can’t ever be replaced. – Love your “baby” (you know how I hate it when you call me that! -B)

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