Dreaming of Mom

Mom had a second stroke this week – yesterday, in fact.  It’s weird how much can change from one moment to the next.  I was counting the money for the cash register yesterday morning when I got the call.  My sister said Mom couldn’t say anything but “Mom” and “Dad.”  They called 911 and I was on my way.

So, Mom’s back in the hospital.  She was admitted yesterday.  If she does well, she’ll be released tomorrow.  She’s super confused, talks like she’s had way too much to drink and lacks coordination.  We’ll see, right?

The ER neurologist showed me Mom’s CT scans.  She walked me through all the damage that her previous 7 (?) strokes have done, the damage the blocked carotid artery has done, the damage caused by diabetes, cholesterol, etc.  Almost the entire back of her brain on the right side is dark gray – a sign of damage.  There’s similar, but less widespread damage on the left side.  There are black pin-pricks in other parts of her brain.  The arteries are very narrow leading up to and through her brain.  The doctor said that there is so much damage caused by her previous strokes that it’s difficult to find the new damage caused by the stroke on Sunday and yesterday.

After Mom was admitted I went home to relax and sleep.  After my dad passed away, I dreamed about him.  I told him how much I loved him, he gave me words of warning and I woke up at peace.  I had a similar dream about my mom last night, but she hasn’t passed on yet.

My dream last night was peaceful, beautiful, touching and sad all at the same time.  I don’t remember all of it, but I do remember the most important part.  My mom, sister, brother and I were all standing in a field filled with yellow and white daisies.  It was sunny, but not hot and I wasn’t worried about us burning in the sun’s rays.  We were all so happy and calm, but there was a touch of sadness too.

Mom was standing tall without her walker.  She looked so vibrant and alert.  She was smiling.  Her hair was done like she used to do it before all these strokes.  Her face looked younger too.  She spoke to each of us kids and told us that everything was going to be alright.  She said that she loved us very much, but that she had to go away for awhile.  She would see us soon so we shouldn’t worry and we should always remember that she loves us.

Then I woke up.

I don’t really know if this dream is a precursor of things to come; if she’s telling us goodbye before she’s gone for good, or if she was simply talking about her stay in the hospital.  I do know that when I woke up I felt a little bit lighter and sadder all at the same time.

I don’t know what I’ll do when Mom passes on.  For a long time, she’s been mostly gone but bits and pieces of her have shown up and they remind me of what I miss.  As frustrating as they were at the time, I miss our “noon-thirty I love you calls” that came about as a mutual check-in from 2005-2008.  I would be so annoyed because she would panic a little if I couldn’t answer the phone.  After her stroke in 2008 the calls stopped because she was confused by the phone.  And now she’s confused by talking.

I know that death is another part of life, and that Mom has not passed on yet.  But knowing that it’s basically around the corner for someone I love so much is very difficult to handle.

So Mom, I know you can’t read this, but please know how much we love you.  Please understand how much we miss your guidance and nosiness.  And how much I’d love to hear your stories just one more time.

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Fridays

It’s funny how my Fridays almost always tend to be the same.

Every other Friday I take care of my mom in the mornings.  Basically I’m there to make sure she eats breakfast, takes her medications, gets to the bathroom and makes it back to bed when she’s ready for a break.  I tend to bring my dirty laundry with me and use the washer and dryer over there, mostly because it’s free (I have a community laundry at my apartment), but also because it keeps me busy.

On opposite Fridays I’m at home.  This is my chance to clean my apartment, relax a little, and enjoy the quiet.  People don’t always realize just how noisy libraries can be, then you add in the ambient noise that comes from driving home and the constant chatter in my brain…  by the time “my” Friday rolls around I’m ready for some quiet!

Today is a “Mom Friday.”  It’s taken her a little over an hour to get out of bed, but that’s almost normal for her.  I’m a lot like her: we both like to lay in bed long after we’re supposed to be up.  She’s eating her Cheerio’s, banana and coffee, while I’m typing away over here.  The laundry is going and it’s nice and quiet.  Well, except for her questions:

“What’s that over there on the floor?”
“Where’s Caramel/Flower/Niner?” (the cat/cat/dog)
“Can I have some pretzels?”
“How’s your husband?”
“Do you have any kids?  Are you sure?”
“What’s your last name?”
“How is school going?”
“Are you almost done planning the wedding?”
“Did I take all the pills in this bowl?”
“Can you help me back to bed?”
“Can I have a kiss?  I love you.”

Those questions used to bug the heck out of me.  Always the same questions, almost always in the same order, and always when I’m in the middle of something that needs concentration.  But strangely, they don’t bother me so much any more.  Maybe that’s because I can remember back to a time when she would answer our questions, but never ask any of her own.  Maybe it’s because I know that she’s trying to show that even though she can’t be there for everything she’s still interested in knowing what’s going on.  And maybe it’s because I’ve learned that showing that I love her means not being annoyed when our conversations are always the same.

Mom and me in 2007 when I got my BA

Well, it’s time to help her back to bed and continue doing laundry.  Gotta go!

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