|Mom - July 2007|
On Christmas 2007 my mother had a massive stroke. As soon as I could, I flew up to see her. The doctors said she would likely not survive.
I wish she hadn't, as awful and as cruel as that sounds.
My mother and I have had our ups and downs over the years; mostly downs really. For decades she had me tiptoeing around her in an attempt to avoid hurting her feelings over a wide variety of things. Unfortunately we really just didn't get along. It happens. I've had to get over it.
Yet, despite our rocky relationship, I never, ever would have wished her current existence upon her. The stroke robbed her of the ability to speak. She cannot move the right side of her body. All of her possessions were given away or sold off. Virtually everything she had is now gone. She will be in a nursing home for the rest of her life.
She'll be 60 in June. Far too young to be faced with that.
The only saving grace is that she doesn't seem to suffer anymore from the wide variety of ailments that plagued her over the past few decades. I'm not even certain how much she remembers or knows.
I haven't seen her since right after the stroke. When the doctors tried to explain to me why they had ignored her various Do Not Resuscitate orders. When they told me I should decide if I wanted them to remove her feeding tube and wait to see if she'd starve to death.
My aunts try to make me feel guilty that I've not been home to see her; I do. I'm sorry, but I just don't want to see her like that. I'm selfish, I know, but I just don't.
See, I know that my mom isn't in the body that's in that nursing home back in Pennsylvania, because if she were in there she'd be clawing, screaming, doing anything to escape... this would have been her worst nightmare.
The woman who was my mother is gone, and I thank God for that.