I've been fighting myself for weeks now, sensing I am on edge a bit, slightly out of sorts, or just plain grumpy. There might be a lot of reasons for that. There has been some setbacks on the timeline I had with the travel plans for the coming spring/summer. There is still a void in my romantical department, which got downsized from a department to an empty folder hidden away in the closet. There has been a struggle in my mind with Mom because of her relentless slide towards nothingness. Communication has gotten to be a chore. Things she could do seemingly weeks ago are now lost. She has noticed a few times that I wore down my patience and she simply stated "You don't like me anymore"..... I can't imagine a worse feeling than knowing that I wasn't strong enough or smart enough to keep my emotions in check while she is right in front of me. I only see the "bad" son in the mirror at THOSE times...
Then I get a message from a friend like "My mom just turned 80 and seeing all the things you do for your mom touches my heart and makes me want to be a better son you are a inspiration to a lot of people . I share your story and journey with people at church your mom is blessed to have you as a son and i am blessed to call you friend"
I read this to Mom and had a hard time not getting choked up. I don't think because I wanted to HEAR it, but I aspire to be a good son and a good friend. I know I fall short too often on both counts, yet I hold out hope for a better me. She only sees me as "good", but then again, she calls EVERYBODY good! hahahaha
I had a dream the other night that was surreal. It was of a forgettable situation that was interrupted by a call out for help. I awoke instantly and listened closely. It was 2:30 in the morning and all was quiet. Was that Mom calling out? Was she ok? I had to check.....
Of course, she was asleep, but in checking on her, she opened her eyes and smiled. I knew right then it was just a dream and went back to bed, hoping to stop shaking, hoping to stop the thoughts of Mom needing the kind of help that no one can give her. It was an uneasy morning.
Like any challenging ordeal, there IS a bright side that I constantly remind myself, sometimes aloud. If Mom was her normal old self, we WOULDN'T be spending so much time together. I would be working and she would be doing something to use up the time I was away. She wouldn't need me to cook, do the laundry, or even wash her hair. While at times that sounds like my version of heaven, mostly I appreciate the closeness we continue to have. She may unknowingly stand in the way of a so-called normal life for me, but she ALSO allows me to do what many many kids can't do.... see the joy in a Mother's eyes at the smallest of things. Not just every now and then, but OFTEN.
And THAT is what gets me through.
I don't know what I will be writing a year from now. I've written a few times about her [here] and re-reading it brings me to tears. I try and not think about the day she will no longer be the light of my day. The day she may quit speaking at all. The day she doesn't know she has a son. The day she no longer takes a breath. It's the natural cycle of life yet I cannot accept it yet because I feel like her life is not yet balanced. She has so much happiness to catch up on it will take years.... and I will be right there to help with whatever she needs.
I just hope that I can bring a smile to her face, even if the words to explain it are gone.