That is what I feel my life is like now – on a holding pattern. It is obvious that mom is weak, but she has rallies and at least a couple of days this week she exhibited more strength than usual. But most of the time she sleeps and she really needs to be fed all of the time now as eating can become overwhelming for her, both from an energy perspective and an eyesight perspective (her macular degeneration has gotten worse, and she can’t really see what she is eating).
Yesterday I spent some time with her – I played some music for her and read to her. She never heard me reading to her although a couple of times she had her eyes open as I read. When I fed her her lunch, I asked her if she remembered me reading to her, and she said no.
Today, I went to see a movie. I called her this morning and she did answer the phone, but she sounded very tired, and she shows no interest in talking on the phone anymore.
I tried calling later and she did not answer. I called the nurses station and they said that she slept most of the day – that she had complained of pain earlier in the day, and they had given her some morphine.
After I went to the movies today (I went to see the movie Santa Clause 3), I walked around the mall for a while. All of the Christmas decorations are starting to pop up and things are starting to look festive.
For those of you that do not know, Christmas is my most favorite time of year – I just love the sights and sounds of Christmas, the tree, the ornaments, the Department 56 Houses, Santa, and all that. And now I am struggling with the thought of Christmas – all the memories of mom and dad at Christmas, the Christmases in Florida, the times my parents came to visit me and Nick. My parents and I decided a long time ago that we would spend Christmas together. Either they would come to see me, or I them. We kept that tradition for 24 years – and now, I wonder what will happen this year.
I thought a lot about dying and the holidays – it is sort of like a baby being born – you cannot predict exactly when or what time (unless you are having a Cesearian). And I’ve thought about whether this is going to change it all for me – and I’ve come to a conclusion.
If mom dies during the holidays, of course it will be hard. But from then on, every holiday, I could celebrate her life and celebrate all of the good memories and times. Mom had a hard time at Christmas ever since dad died, but I am going to promise both her and dad that I will keep the holidays joyous. They both knew how much Christmas meant to me, and I know they would want it to remain that way and that they will just celebrate it with me in a different way.
It may sound like I am borrowing trouble, and I’m not really. But I see my mom’s progression, and I have a hard time believing she will be with us for the new year. But, believe me, if she is – there will be no one happier than me – if that is what is best for her.
So what do I want for Christmas this year – I want my mom to be relieved of her suffering and I want her to be at peace – and whatever that means or how it all plays out will be absolutely fine with me. All I want for Christmas is what is best for my mom – that will be the best gift I could ever receive.