Dealing with the heartbreak of my mother’s mind these past few months has really taken it out of me. How long does grieving last? I was somewhat on the outs with my father when he died and thus haven’t felt it nearly as keenly as my mother. My father changed so much over the past five years particularly, that I dared call him the “imposter” who had taken over my true father’s body, as in who stole my real dad? My grief, I remember, happened several years ago for the man I truly loved. My mom unfortunately had to continue living with him, to see and experience his slow degeneration and the deterioration of his ability to communicate. By the time he died he could hardly hear any conversation.
My mom left this morning. We had a rough initial few weeks here; more than I can relate. But in the last few weeks we seemed to have finally come together on a more even keel—she was more light hearted and accepting. She would sit outside on our patio in the pleasant weather, just drinking it in. We developed a ritual of playing Mexican Train about 3 p.m. almost daily over our glasses of wine. Before we knew it, it would be time to wrap it up and get dinner. She so loved that game she decided to buy a set for herself but I don’t know who she will be able to play it with. My fear is that she will see no one at her home in Bend save for my brother.
So today I went about my morning very sad at her leave-taking. Thank God, I had a volunteer experience to spend my day at, which totally took my mind off my husband, my mom, and her dog Rocky suddenly missing from this space. All I hear tonight is the ticking of my clock on the wall as I imagine where they are in their journey home. I didn’t realize when she was here that I might miss her, maybe forever; after all she is nearly 84. Her last words to me were “I hope I get to see you again soon.” I never thought I would admit it, but life is suddenly emptier without her here, looking out through the RV windows. I can't live with her; I can't live without her.