Have you ever been confronted with an obstacle in your life that seemed too big, just too massive to climb over, too broad to go around, too deep to crawl under and too thick to penetrate? I am there now in dealing with the fact that my mom is her final days here on earth.
(I remember feeling this same way Christmas morning of 1994 when I lost my father to cancer.)
I am about to be without my mom, my only surviving parent.
Sometimes when I start to feel particularly overwhelmed and panicked with the knowledge that I won't have her here to call or go visit again I ask myself this question, "How is this different than with anyone else you love?" Because, we all know that we could be taken from this earth at any moment on any business-as-usual day. How is knowing that her time is short any different? We are never promised the next moment, let alone the next 10 years or more. I love my mother and although we haven't had the closest mother/daughter relationship, we've had our moments. I never really understood my mother. She wasn't as involved with me as I am with my own daughter. My mother was always involved with her friends or my dad or later on after my dad passed, her second husband. When I was a child my mother spent more time talking to me or yelling at me than she did talking with me. When I married and left home I didn't look back for quite a while. After I began to have children we developed a new kind of relationship. I was eager for her advice. I trusted her as a good source for information. I was no longer under her roof, I was now someone she had the opportunity to genuinely like or dislike. She often told me how proud she was of me (something I don't remember happening during my childhood). She loved being a grandmother. When the disease that finally gripped her in its talons began to suffocate the life from her I found myself alone on the mother/daughter portion of my journey and I began to miss her in profound proportion. She has always been a solid source for laughter, comfort, love, encouragement, and acceptance. When I visit her now I visit her body laying in a hospital bed in the guest room of her home. She is still and rarely opens her eyes. She rarely speaks. She looks ethereal. At the ripe age of 80 she is wrinkle-free and on those rare occasions when she does open her eyes the hazel green that was always there to greet me from birth until she became bed-ridden with this disease has now changed to a Caribbean blue color that is shocking to everyone that has the opportunity to witness it. Shes breathtakingly beautiful. I am in awe of the transformation. Please don't get me wrong, my mother was always very pretty but as she lays dying she is radiant. It is beyond explanation. I already miss her. When I see her I want to just crawl up in bed beside her and hold her and be a little girl again with a mother that is alive and well enough to yell at me or talk to me or instruct me, punish me, console me ... I just want my mom back. I would take (again) all of the things I didn't like about being a child if I could just have her back. I know that I will see her again one day. She was a beacon on this path of mine that is set out before me and the Lord. She showed me which path to take and warned me of going astray. I am so blessed to have been her daughter. I love her so.