Monday, January 30, 2012
Mom's hard battle
This morning I went to Windsor to see Mom. I'd visited in December for the Christmas party and she had no idea who I was then. I didn't know what to expect, but figured she wouldn't know me.
But without the glitz of decorations, confusion of overly loud carols, and general over-bearing good will of the season, Mom seemed less anxious and more aware. This saddened me. I'd hoped she didn't know what was going on around her. She knows.
It wasn't difficult to convince her I was me. She kept repeating, "I can't believe it's you," as she hung onto my hand. "Life is so frustrating . . ." her voiced trailed off many times to a humming she did to try to focus. "I just sit for hours and look . . ."
"What are you looking at, Mom?" "Junk. Just junk. I'm just wasting my time."
"I can't see any more. I can't hear what they are saying. You don't know what it's like in here." She pats her body. She isn't complaining about the environment; it's is her body that has betrayed her. Her accountant's precision and organization are lost in the confusion of being wheeled here and there for meals and visits to the toilet. "When can I go home?" When, indeed?
"It's such a struggle here."
"Mom, stop struggling. Just relax and let go." Her eyes look haunted. I feel pain and guilt and dread and yes, confusion. She doesn't deserve to be here. No one does. Looking around I see elderly folk nodding off in their wheelchairs along the aisles. One lady rolls her knee socks up and down, up and down.
Mom's hands are bruised and spotted from the effects of blood thinning drugs. Drugs designed to keep her alive. "Dad has been gone such a long time and I really want to see him," she whispers to me. She knows what she's missing. She doesn't understand why she is still here. Nor do I.
I have no answers.