I saw my mom recently.

She’s dying of cancer and has advanced dementia. I was surprised how hard the diagnosis hit me. She’s been increasingly not there for over ten years now but somehow the prospect of her passing is hard. Really hard.

People die all the time. It’s one thing we all share. Like taxes and getting old (if you’re lucky). So why is it so fucking hard? I mean that literally. You’d think we’d have sorted out how to do this by now. A passing away party sounds way more fun than a funeral. My mom would approve.

Anyway, I traveled to Texas to see her. I met with the people in charge of her care. I swear those people have wings. I’m not religious but they are angels. A couple of times while I was there she mentioned flapping her wings and flying away. I hope she does that soon.

The visit wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I managed not to melt in a pool of tears. At least in public. I walked into her room to find her lying on the bed. She smiled as I put my things on the table before I walked over to her.

“Hi. Do you remember me?”

“Yes, of course.” She didn’t.

I gave her a kiss on the forehead and said, “I love you, mom.”

Her eyes light up at that. “Mom,” she said, and then “Daughter.”

That’s right, I told her. Didn’t really matter if she wasn’t sure who was who. I stayed for three hours. Mostly working on edits. Her hospice nurse came and we talked. She checked out mom while I was there and I went and stood by the bed. Mom looked up at me, eyes bright, and exclaimed “You’re here! You made it!”

I kissed her again. “Yeah, had to come and see my best mom.”

I asked her how she felt and if I could bring her anything tomorrow.

“A tall handsome man,” was her reply. *That* was the woman I’ve missed all these years. Dementia sometimes gives a little bit of them back. For a moment or two.

I surprised her with my ‘arrival’ three times during my visit. It was nice.

 

 

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11 Responses to I saw my mom recently.

  1. Such a difficult thing to go through. Hugs!

  2. Sarah Hegger says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I am awed by your courage. Love you.

  3. Girl, I hurt for you so bad. But I’m thankful for your posting. It’s good to keep perspective and you helped me hang on to mine. Thank you. <3 (And I think I'd totally love your mom. I have a feeling your kick-assness comes from her.)

  4. Terri-Lynne says:

    It’s so hard, love. So hard. I wish I had words, but there are none. Know my heart is with you.

  5. Kyra Jacobs says:

    Hospice workers were definitely born with wings. So glad your mom is in such good care. And I am so sorry for both her and you. I have yet to experience a family member with dementia but have stood by a few friends who have, watching as it breaks their hearts over and over. But then there are those moments, those glimpses beyond the veil of confusion, that offer a clear look into your loved one’s heart, and your love for them is in an instant renewed. Praying that her care is wonderful, her suffering short, and for peace, strength, and comfort to you, my dear friend. Know that there are many chicks lifting you up in their thoughts during these difficult times. XOXO

  6. MW says:

    Thank you for posting this and sharing a bit about what you’ve gone through. The insight into your heart and soul is a privilege. Be strong..Love you…

  7. Robin Little says:

    Thank you for sharing Steph. Xoxo

  8. John St. says:

    Sorry to hear about your mom. Glad you got glimpses of the past because sometimes the best we can do is remembering the joy of the person in better times.

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