Saturday, August 20, 2005

Death comes knocking

Aug 20/05

I haven't written in a few days. Mom has given up it seems, and she was moved to Palliative care. She won't take her medication, she wouldn't eat, she just closed her eyes and stopped interacting with everyone. Was she trying to prove she was right, that once she got to palliative she would die?

It was hard to go in and spend hours at a time, sitting by her bed, looking at the woman who gave birth to me, lie there. She didn't interact anymore. Questions, not answered by her because she no longer talked. Did she want to give up? Did she really not want to live any more? Was she content with the time she had spent with us here? Did she want to go see Dad now?

Her family surrounding her bed, friends there to lend support and love, but she slipped away from us. She is up there with Dad, I know he was there waiting for her, he always said he would "keep his foot in the door for her"... He took her hand, they kissed, and then Dad took her to go visit with everyone waiting on the other side. Its awful to have to let her go, but I know she was happy to see Ron, Dad and Nanna again...she had a lot to catch them up on. But I miss her.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Mothers and Daughters

My mother and I have always had a very strange relationship. In my younger days I was the "blacksheep" in the family so to speak. I was the one who hang out with the wrong crowd, drank, smoked....did some light drugs.
I wasn't into any hard drugs at all. It was the 70's, so my friends and I smoked some weed. Some really good weed, mind you, but by the age of 20 I had enough and thought it childish and given it all up. I had my reasons for acting this way, and some day I will be able to unburden my sole and tell. For now, well its not possible. I don't want to hurt my Mother with a secret I have been carrying since I was young.

I had continued to drink socially until this year when I was told I had to quit in order to take the meds for the Lupus. Yes I was upset. I won't lie. I enjoyed drinking socially, a couple of shots of Tequila on the weekend or if I'm PMSing then I would mix up a batch of Ceasers and sip on those. I especially miss the

Now my mother probably knew I was drinking, but I never ever drank in front of her..and it was never discussed. I knew that she didn't believe in drinking, socially or other wise...heck I was late 20's before she even saw me smoke in person. I just didn't want the lectures I guess, so I kept that part of my life, private from her. Mostly because drinking was my way of dealing with my childhood demons.

We never were ones to discuss things together, my mother and I. Oh, when I was younger we did I guess, but once the teen years hit, we had a major crisis in our family(my brother died). After that, our family structure was stressed and fractured. I grew pretty independent (moving out at 16, getting married the first time at 18 and then moving to the other side of Canada to live. Mom always seemed to lecture, to tell me what she thought, she didn't talk,and I just never bothered to tell her what I thought, I just grew silent.

And so started a lifetime of her talking, giving me her moral stance on subjects and me listening....adding nothing to the mix. I regret doing that now. I feel like I can't stand up to her. I feel that I can't say,"Mom your wrong." I never say to her, "I don't feel that way" in reality I feel like I am being railroaded now in every conversation I have with her. I feel like I have no voice.

The problem with that now, is that I see myself doing the same thing with my own daughters. I am just as opinionated as my mother is. I hear the same uncomfortable silence sometimes on the other end of the phone when I'm taking to my daughters when I tell them how I feel about a decision they have made in their life.... Its the same uncomfortable silence that my mother hears when I call her.

Sometimes they will speak up, and I bite my tongue. I'm really trying to listen to them more... I'm trying to break the cycle of silence. I want them to make their own mistakes, to fall on their own face and pick themselves up and brush themselves off and carry on.
I don't want them to stop talking to me, like I have stopped talking to my mother. I want to continue to share the same good moral balance that my mother taught me, but I want them to be able to stand up and voice their own opinions without feeling like they will be judged. Being judged by your mother has to be the worst feeling in the world..

I'm reflecting because my mother is in the hospital now. She has been deteriorating a lot this past year. Her health is not good. Mom seems to dwell so much on her health problems and not enough on life itself. 
Most people are afraid to ask "How are you", for fear of the answer they will get. Her demands on my brother and myself are tiring but its our duty to look after her. Her conversations now are depressing to those that listen. I would like nothing more than to be able to say, "Mom enjoy your life, look at what you have", but I can't.

The Dr. has suggested that Mom be admitted to the hospital and when I went in to see her today the new thing is that for some reason she has decided to stop taking her meds.
Now besides the obvious that she needs them... it also sends a message to the nursing staff and her Dr. that she is giving up. They want to move her from the ward, to palliative care.

She is really upset by this, but neither my brother D nor I can convince her that if she wants to get better and go back home(and avoid palliative care) she must take her meds, eat three times a day and try to move around. She can't just lie there and do nothing. This information seems to be lost on her. I leave the hospital and cry all the way home each day.

I'm hoping that tomorrow she will snap out of it , I'm hoping that she hasn't given up and that her decision does not lead to her own demise. We may not talk like I would like, but she is my Mother, and even if it sounds selfish on my part,,,I still want her to be here. I don't want her to give up. I'm not ready to let my Mother go, I'm not ready to live without her in my life....