I spent some time with my mom today. I grabbed a stack of childhood photos before I left, fully intending on showing them to her. When I got there, the caregiver told me she was in bed. When I saw her, I greeted her like I always do: ”Hi Mama.”
When I pulled the chair close to her bed and sat down, my plans of showing her the photos drifted away. Her eyes were open and she was moving some, but was otherwise unresponsive. I don’t know what compelled me to do so, but I started talking about the dogs. I told her how Maxine sounds like a seal when she barks at squirrels she sees during walks. I mentioned how I went to PetSmart the other day and saw ”doggijuana” (basically catnip for dogs) at the register and just had to buy it and how I’m pretty sure I accidentally got Roxy high. I talked about how even more spoiled they are now and how much they miss her.
I started talking about my apartment, how it’s still a mess. I said that I found the stained glass piece that hung in Grandma’s house back in December. I told her I was going to clean the faded paint off and repaint it so I could hang it up and have a piece of Grandma there. I started talking about the custom framed posters that hung in our old home and how all but one is in storage now. I kept the Diego Rivera one, the woman with a basket of flowers in front of her. If you look closely, you’ll see that she is breastfeeding a baby and I’m going to hang that up so that I have her spirit there too.
I thanked her for all the sacrifices she made for me and told her how much I love her. I apologized for all the times I hurt her and all the things I didn’t do. I promised that I will be okay when she’s gone. When I mentioned that she would be able to see her beloved corgi, Bowser, again, she looked straight at me before going back into her non-responsive state.
As I was leaving, the caregiver asked me, ”So, what do you think?” He didn’t have to go into detail, I already knew what he meant. I just shook my head and he gave me a sad smile before promising to call me if anything changed.
I feel detached and disoriented. I am not sleeping well and have been having strange dreams. Nothing feels quite real right now. This visit was peaceful in a way I wasn’t expecting, which is somehow both comforting and disconcerting. I don’t particularly want to talk to anyone out loud about this, at least not now, which I suppose is why I’m writing tonight.