You see, earlier I had the opportunity to feed my mother lukewarm, then cold, ravioli. She was the only one in the feeding room who was eating solids. She doesn't drool, and her countenance is pretty pleasant. There are lot of really ornery old dudes with neurological issues who get pretty combative. So she's basically a feeding room superstar.
And that might be something.
After it was determined she would likely not eat anything more--she refused the cold and soggy zucchini-I was making small talk with the staff- and ended up blowing bubbles for the young woman with CP since she enjoyed it more than Lynn.
The snow was blowing outside and it appeared to be getting worse (it was the only legitimate storm in a month) so I told Lynn, back in the multipurpose room, in front of the drink dispensary, that I had to go.
I hugged my mom and said, "I miss you." She can't hug back, but it doesn't matter. She's still there. And I then sobbed, "I miss you," for about five minutes. Then I took a deep breath, kissed her on the cheek, said "I love you" and left.
December 26, 2013
But which kind of sweet liqueur goes best in a post-Christmas Thursday morning/pre-mourning cocktail? I wanted something creamy and coffee-ish for my Starbucks drip; my brother was trying to stay true to his non-dairy diet and was pushing for something whiskey-ish. But, really, when you're a brother-sister combo off to visit a lady who used to be your mom but kind of isn't anymore for the one time a year you get to see her together..is it the time to be health-conscious?
Ultimately, we chose Jim Beam Maple.
Chris drank on the way out of town; I did my coffee slamming before going in. Mom was nodding off in her sky blue sweatpants and sweatshirt when we entered the big room. There was a white rose on the front of the sweatshirt, and she was clean. Once we rolled her wheelchair into the TV/plant room, we each set out to rubbing lotion on one of her dried, flaky legs. Chris was holding her hand, talking at her, and showing her individual and perhaps baseball team photos which he'd just scanned onto his iPhone from a pile of her old photos.
|She likes the toddler toy in her hands. it gives her something to do and it's not very challenging.|
When we were sure it was time to go, we rolled her back into the big room. Chris thought she'd like it over by the window because she'd been looking out the window when we'd been sitting with her. Plus outside there looked to be a magnificent sunset beginning. I was talking about the nurses aide's favorite regional yodeler; listening, rather. Chris and mom had a moment together by the window. I thought I took a photo, but I guess I just watched them. Chris hugged her as she stared out and didn't hug back. I knew because the back of his neck was red and his head was far down toward her lap that he was crying but I was stoic, because I had already cried hard a few days ago and was still a little drunk. But I can tell you that thinking of it now, remembering the tears falling from my baby brother's gorgeous blue eyes on to my mother's borrowed blue sweatshirt that although he is just a few years from 40, we are ageless when we are together and I'm sorry I moved out at age 19 and that I was ever away from him when I could have been with him. I feel old pain and new heartbreak welling up and I must remember to be a grown up and complete this blog entry because it is just a process. We are just slightly wounded imperfectly perfect happy sad kids growing old together with a lady who used to be our mom staring blankly out at the pinkish sky.
As I reached the front door, I acknowledged the 1970's-era framed Jesus painting.
"Thanks! For nothin'!"
But I was saying it to break the sad and I really was thankful, actually, even in the moment, that we got to be there together; a rare sharing of the simultaneous pain and tiny satisfaction that is the ongoing drawn-out grief of being with Lynn.
And really, Jesus or whoever was responsible for the sunset: we celebrated it. All the sadness we were feeling was channeled into the relentless pursuit of the best sunset photograph possible on an iPhone.
|See? Chris is in the background photographing.|