Monday, May 6, 2019
The Good son?
I remember once when I was about nineteen, I had this horrible dream, (very common for me). My family was on vacation and we were exploring around an old volcano. This was a ludicrous scenario, my parents would have never traveled anywhere near a volcano, let alone even traveled more than a day or two from home. However there we were, walking over scorched rocks, I was walking ahead of them when I suddenly herd, "Steve! Steve help us"! I looked back only to see that the earth had given way beneath them, they were hanging on the edge by their fingers and it was eroding away fast, boiling hot lava below. When I approached, I realized that I could only save one of them.
This apparently was the torture my mind was trying to inflict on me, which one would I choose. There was no contest in my mind however, I could never live with myself if anything happened to my mom. We were always very close and my love for her was well beyond what I felt for my dad and sister. I was haunted by the looks on their faces as they fell to their deaths. Nice going subconscious, you psychotic "bleep" hole.
I once read a question on Dr Spo's blog that asked, "what could you tell your eight year-old self that would make him/her cry". I didn't dare answer that question because it's too hard to say, but I will answer it near the end of this post, it carries a lot of guilt with the answer.
There are many days when I'm leaving mom after a visit and I am still hit by the shock that this is actually happening. I'm often close to tears because the thing that I feared the most for her has happened. I did everything I could to keep her out of one of those cliche "homes". I relieved dad on weekends at first, I took care of her for eight years on my own after he died, I placed her in a lovely nursing home for almost three years until finally everything came into line to do the opposite of what I have been trying to do.
One of the things I find ironic is that most of my friends have lost their parents now. Some much younger than mom and all were active and sharp until the very end, yet here is mom, still slogging along in a world of illness. It's horrible but some days I'm envious of my friends who have said their goodbyes to their parents and now are moving on with life. I sometimes worried that I see her as "the burden formally known as mom". After the last move however; the only good that has come out of my emotional reaction to it, is that I know how much I still love and see her as mom and not a shell of mom.
That leaves me to answer the question above however. I hate seeing her like this, the illness, the confusion, she is humiliated daily by strange men helping her go to the washroom, take a bath, get dressed. The long goodbye as they say, the never ending crises, the not being able to complete simple tasks, not recognizing family and friends, the prison that she is in, mentally and physically. The thing that would make my eight year-old self cry, would be when I tell him that, "one day you will wish that your mother would die".