I Want To Get Closer To Mom
The closer mom gets to death, the closer I want to get to her, but the farther she seems to slip away. She's not dying in the Hospice sense of the word, but subtlety, slowly, every day, she goes down a little bit, moves a little bit farther away from the world. On her part, her body is no longer a comfortable place to be. She can hardly see anything, can't watch TV, and this makes it hard for her to do everything.
She has some hip pain and walks with a walker.
There's not much at all she does all day. Her mind is slipping so it's hard to have conversation or deep communication. A lot of her self has very little left on the surface because most of it has gone deep underground and gradually she is disappearing, much like the Cheshire Cat. In fact our best times now are when I crack a joke and she laughs like a child, long and genuine. Her laugh and smiling face will be a wonderful memory.
I want more of that.
On my part, I'm in overdrive. Working a job, taking care of an old dog, and maintaining two houses and the endless myriad of tasks that go along with that. When I do have down time, it's hard to sit with mom and enter her world, go her speed, converse her thoughts, all of which seem like just another task to check off the list.
I don't want my last times with mom to be just a checklist. At night, when I'm cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry, getting everything locked up and ready for the next day, I just want to hit the bed and the quiet and alone time in my room.
I think to myself, job well done, I got almost everything done today that I wanted to accomplish.
But in the early morning, before mom gets up, I remember that I forgot one thing to do. I think what if mom does not get up today. What if mom passed in the night and I didn't get to that most important thing - spending some quality time.
It doesn't have to be all day, just something that I can tuck away in my heart, a memory, a connecting moment, something that I can keep forever, something that's real.
When mom passes after all these years of taking care of her, I'm only going to remember those moments, not a clean counter, or a full fridge, or bills paid.
So I'm putting that on the list in my heart, to be done everyday, in some way, big or small, makes no difference what it is. I want to wake up each morning knowing that I had that moment with mom because when it's all said and done that is the only thing that will stand out in this journey.