When my father passed I had a little time to prepare, but unfortunately, he was unable to communicate during those all too brief days. They said he could hear us and I knew that to be true when I told him goodbye and he kissed me on the cheek.
My mother has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic lung cancer. The prognosis is another month or so. Although the diagnosis was a shock, it was not a surprise. I have watched her slip away for some months now.
My mother has always been a caregiver. Her sisters, then her children, then her parents, and on it goes. I have been there at times to help her to care for those transitioning and have learned many life lessons, so, now as she prepares to move on, I will care for her.
It is already challenging, trying not to smother while being present. Having her at home is a choice we made together and I am grateful for the time to mend fences and share memories. Although, it seems that once we heard the news, all the old hurts faded away. Perhaps it is something I will need to reconcile once she is gone, but for now, I chose kindness and love. I offer her the best care as not an atonement for real or imaginary slights, but as a part of the grieving process.
Mothers and daughters are the best and worst of our relationships with life. So close, so similar, yet insisting on finding our own way until we realize that it was indeed in front of us all along. I have missed my mother for a long time now, situations that have come between us creating hurt and anger may have disappeared now, but the time lost can never be returned. I look at it as part of growing up, away from the pettiness of life and learning to focus on what is important.
As my father taught me the importance of self-reliance and dying alone, my mother is showing me the importance of forgiveness and unconditional love.
I try not to look back at the good times, the easy times, too much right now. It is difficult to maintain the calm demeanor I present not only for her wellbeing, but the peace of my family as well. My son is here and helping, but I remember, too, that his grandmother was an integral part of our single parent household and like a second mother his loss will be profound.
One day at a time… I find myself spinning like a top on most days and bone weary exhausted at night., but somehow the adrenaline keeps me going. Hospice and her caregiver have been a huge help, but the constant waiting is emotionally draining.
I may be a little lagging on the blog over the next month or two, so, please bear with me. And any prayers, good thoughts, petitions to the Universe are welcome.
My goal is for my mother to die with peace and dignity in her own way. We may not want it to happen, but it will regardless, so, I plan to grant her final wishes. I know it is the right thing to do and that I can do it, because she taught me how. Thanks, Mom.