Sunday, January 4, 2015

Something fierce

When I look back at 2014, I see a string of deaths, my Uncle Roy, my Aunt Winnie, my sweet father in law, my cousin's husband. When I look ahead, I see that it will be a miracle of my mother makes it out of 2015. Of course, we thought the year just past might be her last one and here she is with us still, but I confess I had no idea at the start of the year how much worse her condition would actually get. She is mostly in bed these days, and every time I call, she is sleeping. My brother says she looks like a skeleton and it pains him to see her that way. My cousin, who has been her rock, says my mother seldom converses now, just stares into space and then drifts off. My aunt says she sees their brothers and sisters who have already passed on sitting beside her. When I told my cousin that we were flying to Jamaica to be with my mom for her birthday, my cousin sighed and said, "I hope she makes it till then, but at the same time it would be a grace if she just slept off." There is a grey pall over the changing of the year for me. I go about my life, doing, laughing, being, enjoying having my daughter home, and my son and my heart son, too, enjoying the sound of the young people in the living room come evening, chatting and laughing. I join them sometimes. Other nights I lie in bed next to my husband, both of us reading, content that they are nearby. But quietly weaving underneath it all is the knowledge that my mother's time is short now. Oh, it aches.


The photo was taken in St. Lucia in June 2011. My daughter and I spent a week with my mom at her house in Rodney Bay. She was thinner that I had ever seen her and so tentative when she walked. I had no idea that we were still in the good days.



14 comments:

  1. This is probably not appropriate but I'm going to say it anyway- do you know how precious and miraculous it is to have a mother for whom you are going to grieve so fiercely? I am so sorry for what you are going to go through but my god, I am so grateful that you had this woman as your mother. When I think of my mother and her last years and her death, none of it touches me much except to feel that I am inhuman because it doesn't touch me. My grief is for never having the mother I could grieve when she died.
    Somehow I think you will understand what I am saying. And it is going to be so hard for you when she goes. But you have HAD her. You have always had her love and that will always live on in you and in your children as surely as the genes she gave you.
    And I can even feel that love from here. The way YOU love. Her gift. Now yours.
    I hope her ending comes as peacefully as one of her dreams.
    And that there will be peace for all of you.

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  2. No matter how old we are, Mom is always Mom and it hurts to see her suffering and knowing that time is limited. Sorry to hear that mother's health is declining.

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  3. When my dad was dying I just wanted more time...another month...another day. When he did pass away peacefully in his sleep I realized we had exactly the right amount of time and I do believe you will find this also. It is so hard when we love them so much....

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  4. Ah I am just where you are but with my father who is slowly being overtaken by the dead hand of motor neurone disease. He is still himself, although he cannot move or feed himself. We still laugh and talk but even that is going. It is very hard isn't it. Like you I try to hold on to the very many others I love, to children and grandchildren and my husband. Let us hope both our parents go in peace.

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  5. I'm so sorry, Angella. I am holding you and your mother in my heart.

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  6. Your fatigue is in your words, entwined with love. The waiting must be the most difficult, the inverse difficulty of knowing what is past and letting it go. I'm sending you love.

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  7. I hear you and I hold you and your mom in my prayers and thoughts. Sweet Jo

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  8. You said it all. I wish you well in 2015.

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  9. You and your family are in my prayers, as always. Losing one's mother is difficult, and losing the last parent is harder still. Hugs from afar.

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  10. I watch with intense fear, love, curiosity, wonder at others who are losing their parents. Mothers and daughters… it's truly amazing, beyond really grasping, that we all have to lose each other. Sending love, love. Sending prayers to your mother.

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  11. This is hard, dear Angella. Watching a life come to conclusion and feeling left out and helpless. I am facing something similar with my father maybe this year, maybe next year. And yet, isn't life so amazing in all its stages?

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  12. I feel like it's not really appropriate for me to try to talk about this, since I still have my parents and, for now, their health remains more or less OK. But they are aging and I see weakening in them, too, so I can identify with that. They're definitely at the age where they could go at any time, and it's a scary thought. Ms Moon is right that you can at least appreciate and treasure the relationship you both have, and your mother has lived such a long and rich life. I hope she gets better, that some of the confusion and fatigue she feels proves transient and that you can enjoy your visit with her.

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  13. Sending you love and hoping you remember to breathe slowly and deeply and get all the hugs you can.
    xo

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