Friday, January 24, 2014

Too Late for Me...

One of the blogs that I read is called Clementine Daily, a lifestyle blog that seems directed at 20-somethings, celebrating "the beauty of today’s multi-faceted, modern woman" – a bit on the "lite" side – but nevertheless, I sometimes find it entertaining.

Earlier this week, they featured a post called: 10 Questions to Ask Your Mother. The questions are designed to help you cherish and nourish your relationship with your mother. Here is a sampling of the questions:
  1. How would your childhood friends describe you?
  2. What was the hardest thing about being a mother? The most rewarding?
  3. What question would you ask your mother?
This conversation assumes you have a mother (still living), who is willing (and able) to provide answers to these pressing questions.

I do have a mother (whom I love very much), but she is not able to have this conversation with me. You see, my mother has Alzheimer's Disease, and has suffered with it for more than a dozen years. Until this week, my dad cared for her at home. But then she forgot how to stand, how to walk, how to eat – and it became too much for him to care for her. So, as of Monday, she now lives at The Episcopal Church Home. Our time with her is not long. Yesterday, I met with Hosparus to talk about end-of-life care for my mom. It is all very sad.

My mom's 81st birthday is today. Here's a photo from last year's birthday celebration.

There are some questions I would love to ask my mom. But, even before her dementia set in, I'm not sure I would have gotten very satisfactory answers to my questions. I picture sitting down with a cup of coffee to talk with her, except I hate coffee, she would say. Maybe we would go out to lunch, but I don't do lunch, she would counter if ever I asked her. Perhaps a glass of wine? No. A beer? No. A nice dinner? No.

I imagine asking Mom about her past, to which she would reply: I don't live in the past and don't wish to discuss it. My mother was never the easiest person to get to know or even to get along with. She sees her world in black and white, no room for any gray. Hard for a daughter who thinks in 50 shades of gray. But even as obstinate as she could be, she was a wonderful mom to me. I never doubted her love and concern; her efforts to be my biggest cheerleader; her generous heart and her creative spirit.

Mom will die soon, leaving no brothers or sisters, but one very special husband of nearly 61 years and four loving daughters. It is too late for me to ask her any questions, other than, "would you like a sip of water?"

But maybe it is not too late.... Maybe I can sit on the side of her bed, holding her small hands, and ask away: 10 questions, 100 questions, all my questions. Perhaps she will hear me, maybe even formulate answers in her mind, and communicate them by telepathy.

Or maybe, just maybe, by holding her close and asking my questions, our relationship will be nourished. She will get what she needs from me, and I from her.

Perhaps it is not too late....

1 comment:

  1. The most special thing that Mom (and Dad) gave me was three sisters. Mom insisted that we treat each other like best friends, and that is what we still are today. Kathy (Debbie, Sherry and Julie's sister and best friend or as we call each other fristers.)