We're back in New York for one night. Our daughter will travel down from college overnight then the four of us will fly to Orlando with the family tomorrow to celebrate Aunt Maisy's life. My mom called to make sure my son and I had got home safe. Her voice on the phone sounded strong, bright. I had worried, leaving her this morning, that she was depressed. She sobbed as she hugged us, her voice a weak whisper. Hearing her just now, I exhaled. I will hold on to the sound of her voice on that call.
While in his home this week, I said to my brother, "Do you find that the hardest part of taking care of mom is the emotional part?" He shrugged and said, "It is hard emotionally, but I can't take on everything that she feels because most of it I can do nothing about." I didn't think he was being callous in saying that. I envied his realism. He cares deeply for her. He does everything he can for her. But old age is a hard passage and most of what is hardest about it cannot be alleviated. As my mother herself used to say, "What cannot be cured must be endured." It was good to be with her this week and hard to leave her again. Every moment counts now. I suppose this was always true but now I am more aware.