January 7, 2018
How is it, I feel like I’ve been here before? One full suitcase and one half-empty to put my parent’s belongings in and take home with me. Sitting on the plane with the music from my headphones so loud, keeps any thoughts away. The only thoughts the music allows are things like:
“Did I feed the cat?”
“Did I pack the cat?”
“Did I call the cat-house sitter?”
“Did I remember to turn off the stove?”
But nothing else.
I remember this strange feeling. I think it’s called denial. Yep, denial. I have this fantasy that when I walk into my mom’s room, she’ll be sitting up waiting for me. Like I’ll make it all better. I said it’s a fantasy. I can be fool myself in my own dreams, right?
As an adult, I know that’s not going to happen. As the 5-year-old child inside of me, I still hope and wish. I can still wish, can’t I? I can be the hero in my own story…just for a minute.
If only she could hear my thoughts from 2500 miles away. I think she still can. We’ve always had that connection. Every time we talk, I mean I talk, I just want to hear her say she loves me. We say it at least 2 x before we hang up on the phone. For some reason I let her hang up first. It’s not like the old days, where you would hear a dead buzz. It’s just silence. I don’t even have to hit the hang-up button.
When my dad’s memory loss began, he told me on a couple of occasions that he was proud of me. I even wrote the 2 dates down so I wouldn’t forget. But I keep racking my brains over and over trying to figure out the last time my mom said it. I think it was when I graduated. She and my sister sat for 2 hours and watched my entire graduation. I just don’t remember.
I hope when I am with her this time, the opportunity will arise when I can ask her questions. Maybe it’s selfish to think this since she’s dying but I need to apologize for some things. I need her to know she was an amazing mommy and did the best she knew how. And, most importantly, not to worry about me anymore. I’m okay, financially, emotionally, mentally and I’m clean and sober.
She made me who I am today. A strong woman who doesn’t curl up in a ball at the first sign of adversity.
She fights. I wish she’d fight harder.