Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Frail

My sister in law called this morning to warn us that my mother is increasingly frail, that we should not be surprised when we see her, that my cousin visited her last night and commented as she left that she thought my mother was "declining."

I have felt and heard my mom's decline in her whispered voice on the other end of the line, but when I got on the phone with her this morning, she said, "I think this is my last New Year. I am glad you are coming," and suddenly I was in tears, unable to speak for fear I cause her to dissolve into tears, too.

After I got off the call, I told my son what his grandmother had said. He reminded me that she had once told him she didn't think she would make his eighteenth birthday, and now he was twenty-two. He reminded me that she had once said she didn't think she would see him graduate college, and now he is eight months out. And then he said, "But she's going to be ninety-two next month. One of these years it will be her last New Year." He said it gently.

I don't know what I will do without her when she goes. I feel stabs of guilt that have not been a good enough daughter. I have not been present enough. But my children have been a very good and loving with their grandmother. Here is my son helping his grandmother do her walking exercise when he visited her earlier this year. I have posted this photograph before. It is one of my very favorites.


9 comments:

  1. There bo words to house that kind of saddness. And words like "not good enough" shouldn't be allowed to house anything. From this short post I would say that your mother has been well loved. Just enjoy what time you do have with her.

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  2. I agree with Lisa that there are no words to "house that kind of sadness." Perhaps your own self-denigration is a way to do so, and I hope that you will let it go. I am a relative stranger, yet those pictures of your son and daughter with your mother live inside me from when you've posted them before -- that is a gift to your mother that is unsurpassable. You are IN your son and daughter. I wish you safe travels and much heart time with your dear mother.

    xoxox

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  3. Oh, Angella. I know so well how you feel. I'm so glad you are going to be with her soon, I hope it's a happy, comforting visit. I've heard the same thing in my own 92-year old mother's voice, I've heard other say words like "frail" and "declining", and yet my visit with her last week made me feel so much better. I wish the same for you, my sweet friend.

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  4. *heavy sigh* my prayers are with you/ enjoy this time that you do have with her. love her as much as you can.

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  5. I imagine you are as present, kind and loving towards your mom as you are towards your husband, children and others important to you. I feel sad that you have to witness the decline of someone you love and know you will treasure every moment you have with her. I will hold you and your mom in my heart. Sweet Jo

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  6. We are all here with you, Angella. Travel safely. I wish the very best for all.

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  7. it's wonderful that you are on your way to see her, that she knows you are coming. these are huge gifts, angella. you are such a strong and beautiful bridge in your family, providing the connection between a beloved mother and your beloved children.

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  8. Angella, I am wishing you and your family the best. You are a wonderful daughter, mother, friend, spirit. We are all lucky to know you here. xoxo

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  9. Angella, this post brought me to tears. You have been a good enough daughter, I'm sure of it. Please be kind to yourself as you love your mother the best way you know how, and as you watch your wonderful children do the same. Your family is a model for love done right.
    Wishing you the best this year, with safe travels and a lighter heart.
    xxoo

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