Apr 14, 2011 - 9:52 pm
I am realizing there is not a good way to prepare ourselves for the road in life we find ourselves on, Oh... I don't care how smart we are or how much we love them, our Mothers. Our blood does not run cold, we can not separate ourselves from them, our hearts beat as one.
An emergency call took me back home to the small town where I was raised on Tuesday, my mom's declining health has landed her in the nursing home and hospice is now involved... there is no turning back now. She has lung cancer, emphysema and her heart is giving out. She has refused any corrective medical treatment. Pain control is the only option now. She is so very thin, my hands felt her bones poking out of her thin skin as I tried to hug her. The look of horror written all over her face as I approached her as she didn't recognize my face... my heart broke. I am her oldest... her fist and only daughter. We know each other as only mothers and daughters can. I watch as her every breath is a struggle, she looks so tired and worn out. Her eyes open but where is the mother that loves me? The second day seemed better, she recognized my voice. She heard my husband's voice as it is deep and large... she perked up and brightened. She started to sniff... it's her way of smelling me, as she always does when I come to visit. I am not lost in her world today, I am feeling better. We as a family have known this day would come but none of us were emotionally ready I don't think, I know I am not.
Then we have the dynamics of 3 brothers and a sister coming together who can't agree on the principle of care and it doesn't help that I have a husband who will most likely be facing the same future as my mother. I know we all want the best for the one woman who bore us. It is a stressful time in the making for sure. I am the oldest, I know how much my mother's sons are loved. I have listened to her heart over the years and her worry will always be a constant reminder to me that her sons are her world. DNR papers in place, nursing home or home care... who will be there?
My mother was a CNA herself, I was raised with her stories of families who were torn in apart during the end of their days. My mother's words will never leave me as I now watch her trying to catch her every breath... "Debbie, the body knows when it is time, it starts to shut down one organ at a time, it is not a pleasant sight." She was not ignorant to what the end of life was like. My mother would absolutely hate the bickering that surrounds us siblings. If she could, she would tell us all to leave her and go home, I know her well enough to say that for sure.
I'm trying so hard to hold on to the woman I know so well, the mother I want to keep with me forever.
But it is the letting go that is killing me.
Peace to all.