That’s the lie I tell myself every day. I’m not fine. My mom is dying. I’m not trying to be over dramatic. It’s a fact. Since Memorial Day, she has had 5 falls. All of which have set her back in one way or another. She’s not orientated to her surroundings and can’t care for herself on her own anymore.
According to the nursing home she’s in now, they don’t think that she’s going to be able to return to assisted living. They think that she’ll need around the clock care. Currently, her bed is all the way on the floor with mattresses on either side of her so that she can’t fall and hurt herself.
I don’t know when the end will come, but it’s quickly approaching. She’ll be going on hospice soon. So the next time you ask me how I’m doing, and I tell you that I’m fine, I want you to know that I’m lying. Not because I want to lie, but because it’s easier than telling the truth.
This Mother’s Day weekend is bittersweet for me. I get to spend time with my family, and I get to spoil my own mom too. However, this may also be my last Mother’s Day with my mom. After a couple falls last week, she’s been in the hospital and hasn’t seemed quite herself. She has been improving, but this has made me realize that my mom’s cancer is very real.
I was really struck with this realization as I was picking out Mother’s Day cards at Wegmans. May is a busy month for us, between Mother’s Day and both of our mom’s having birthdays, so we have a lot of cards to find. We picked out some cards that would from Liam and then found a card we would get for my mother-in-law, but when it came to find one for my mom I hesitated. It dawned on me in that aisle that this would likely be the last Mother’s Day card I would ever buy for my mom. This didn’t sit well. I started to feel the tears coming on, but I powered through because I felt like I had to find the perfect card. When I finally found one that would work, I tossed it quickly into the cart and dashed away from all the other families looking for their own cards. I rushed over to the next aisle and started to cry. There I was, a 31 year old, crying in the middle of the grocery store.
No one can prepare you for the death of a parent. Even though my dad has been gone for over 5 years now, I still think about his passing almost every day. It changes you. Grief comes upon you in strange ways. And even though my mom is still here with us, she has also changed in a way that I don’t recognize her anymore. I’m already grieving that loss. It’s weird to think of a world where I exist without my parents. I lived with them for 20 years. They raised me and gave me most of the knowledge about life that I have today. Never in a million years, did I think that I would have to say good-bye to both of them this quickly. It’s not fair in many ways.
On this Mother’s Day, I urge you to really cherish the time you have with your mom. She is the one who gave you life. If it weren’t for her, you literally wouldn’t be here. I know it’s hard sometimes to not be angry with our parents, but when you’re faced with the fact of losing one (or both) it really puts things into perspective. You never know when it’s going to be your last Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday or Christmas with them. Treasure the moments because they can be so fleeting and before you know it, they’ll just be memories.