On Edge

Due to having many other obligations today, it is now 9:43 pm and I am only just now starting to blog, a fact which is almost as disturbing to me as my inability to get very far on today’s xword puzzle. The problem with the puzzles is I pretty much cast them aside once the day is over – if i am going to work on upcoming puzzles, there is simply no time to keep the old ones, even Sunday’s, into the picture.

All last night and most of today, I was restless and nervous. I slept poorly, perseverating about Mom and what the next few weeks and months might bring. how can life be so good and so bad at the same time? I am straddling two different worlds: one replete with hope and beginnings, and one darkened by loss and despair Once again, Mom sounded horrible on the phone today. Very groggy, could not hear me, seemed to be dozing off. I don’t think she had any idea who was on the phone. She is almost like a baby now, sleeping, awakening only to eat a little, then sleeping some more. She is either sleeping, about to sleep, or waking up, and at none of those times is she able to engage in any sort of communication, much less a meaningful conversation. On the phone she sort of mumbles something unintelligible and seems to drift away. I will say, “Mom?” and in a very hoarse, slurred voice, she will say, “What?” and then i will ask how she is and get no answer. Then i will call her name again, to which she responds the same way. Yesterday when i asked if she would give the phone to Ashley, she just did not respond so i had to hang up and call back. Same happened today with Gail. Curtis and Jenna each called her today also, and had the same experience. Gail said all she does is sleep, and eats very little, not always even swallowing her medication. So my mind is consumed with thoughts of Mom. Until now, i could at least check in with her, and have some sort of connection, but not anymore it seems. Living so far away makes this very difficult. I do not like it. I may not have a whole lot of time left to see her. i have to figure out when i can get away so i can at least hold her hand, maybe for the last time. I want to do this, but when? Maybe this coming weekend, and i could be back before Mollie’s birthday next Wednesday. Maybe Saturday and come back home Monday? Maybe Sunday an come back Tuesday? When she dies, i will have to go out and stay there for maybe a week, maybe more, to get her things and Dad’s all squared away. It is hard to imagine that so recently, just prior to last week and that wretched hospitalization, i still thought of Mom’s demise in the abstract to the point that I worried about her finances and when her money would run out so she would have to move into Clearwater. Curtis and I would fret that she would be very upset about having to move from her apartment to the nursing home, when her money for paying round the clock aide ran out, because there would be no way even combining resources, and even with our very comfortable incomes, that we would be able to support her 24/7 aide habit. Dad would be upset with us, if he saw we made her move into the nursing home. But as always, the things you worry about most are not the things that bite you in the ass. Although I always knew Mom could take a turn for the worse any time, I was not expecting her to slide so fast. No time is good to die, but here is what i hope for: that she hold out long enough for me to get out there to see her again; that Woody gets to go to Joshua Tree before she goes – that will be two days from now; and that Curtis, Jenna and Harry get to go to Cancun next week for their four days; and that Mollie gets to celebrate her 17th birthday undisturbed. If Mom eats and drinks a little more, and is gotten up out of bed every day, she might just make it through the next two weeks, maybe even hang on for weeks to months.

Max is visiting beginning tomorrow night and he will leave on Thursday. As great as it will be to see him, this is another busy workweek so time will be limited. He wanted to go climbing with me, which would have been possible Thursday afternoon, but that may be when his train leaves. He says he cannot take bus anymore due to the bus ride causing back pain – he can walk around more on a train and it is better for him. Too bad he won’t be here on a weekend, but given that I may be going back to NY soon myself. that is probably a moot point.

Another thing about when Mom dies: Since Tarrytown was never my home – it is doubtful that we will return there any time soon, once Mom is gone. We will not visit Kendal, speak to Pam, the owner of Angels on Call, make reservations for “formal” dining room, see the Angels, Gail, Patrice or Mom’s housekeeper Isabel again, see Hasan from Mint restaurant again, see the Hudson or Palisades at sunset from just that quite perfect vantage point, walk on the Rockefeller path and see Dad’s favorite oak tree. No more Springhill Suites or courtyard, no more Eldorado Diner meals, no more brick oven pizza from that one place. No more Pay Half. Vacations have for really all my life revolved around seeing my folks, but that will no longer be the case. I keep remembering that time a few years ago, even before my Dad died, when Mom said to me, “You’ve lost your mama.” Even then, it was such an insightful and poignant thing to say, because even then it had started to be true, long before this profound, more recent transition. At least then she was recognizable. Now there is barely a flicker of the Julia I know. I miss her so much, but i know when i can’t see her again, i will miss her much more.

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 16th, 2014 at 10:42 pm and is filed under compassion, fond memories, friends & family, Illness, love. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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