Saturday, April 16, 2011


She's having trouble staying on her train of thought. Or her train of communication. I can't tell which it is. She has very clear long term memory-ask her who's wedding she attended in 1983 and she'll tell you all the people who were there, everyone's name and relationship and what the drama surrounding the situation was. Ask her about her elementary school classmates, her college dorm room, my preschool teacher, 1972, 2008 etc and she knows it. Her short term memory is also excellent. She remembers what I'm doing from day to day, what Gary's doing day to day and where all of her friends are at any given time. But when she tries to talk about it, the sentences trail off and she can't follow it. I don't know if she's losing the words or the concept. But it's scary.

Maybe it's the result of extreme fatigue. Maybe it's medication. Maybe it's cancer around her brain. In her brain. Maybe it's starvation. I don't know. I hate not knowing.

A lovely woman who's been taking my aerobics classes for almost 6 years asked about the wedding this past Wednesday. She's very sweet and we have a friendly relationship: I ask about her granddaughters (sometimes she brings pictures) and her health and she asks about my love life and family. So when she heard I got married, she was asking all about the wedding. I have a canned answer when anyone peripheral asks about it and launched into that, complete with smiles and nods and what I hope is a dreamy newlywed blissful look. It works most of the time. But she was asking questions, which I sort of dodged until she asked "Did your mother cry?" I dropped the BS and told her the deal. She gave me the "I'm so sorry" spiel, and then nodded, patted me on the shoulder and said "Well, as long as she's comfortable." Excuse me? Now, I'm not angry with this very well meaning woman who has always been kind to me. But I'm angry as hell that this is what I should be hoping for.

Four months ago, it was inconceivable in my mind that my mother would not be present for the births of my sometime in the distant future arriving children. Like, actually present in my living room with the midwife, doula and acupuncturist(s). My child care plan has always been "convince my parents to move to NY." Throughout my adult life, I have been way more concerned about my dad's health. (The only green vegetable he eats is lettuce). I told Gary flat out when we first started dating that I might need to move to Seattle in 20 years to help clean out my parent's house when they finally downsized to a smaller condo or apartment and help care for the trauma that would cause my dad. In 20 years. And now the thing that's supposed to comfort me is that Mom is comfortable? NO. I want her vision back. I want her strength back. I want her to be able to go to yoga, to walk outside by herself and feel and see the sunshine. I want her to carry on a conversation about her opinions about things, whether it's her medical care, my life or politics. I want her to be able to think about going home and not be terrified that she'll get another fever, have another bizarre face numbing episode or fall.

I want I want I want.

And I know this is the root of unhappiness. I know that wanting so many things isn't healthy, that I need to allow the universe its course and accept what gifts it bestows.

So I keep trying. I keep encouraging the encouragable and minimizing the negatives. I get super excited about small things like eating half of a bowl of oatmeal and savor all of the moments that I get to have my hands on my mom. But at night, alone, I often silently rage against the things she doesn't have. I beg anyone who will listen to at least give her her vision back. Please, just this one thing. She wants it so badly.

But no one is listening and the world has bigger problems. My energy is better spent elsewhere.

So many people have sent me so much love and light this past week; I need to remember to take the time out and accept those gifts. And honestly, that's really the only thing that can transform anything for any of us anyway. Love and light, and, yes, comfort. Beautiful to give and beautiful to receive. So now I offer back up to the universe what I should have told that sweet woman on Wednesday: thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Kale queen, the chemio is very hard on the body, do not be surprise if Flynne has trouble with memories and other similar time lost. I see the same on Chad's mother and she is doing chemio for a while, she has ok memories for the past but she get mess up with other present things, often loosing concentration during conversation. Flynne had a strong aggressive treatment in Dec. radio + chemio, and now again. It's an extreme fatigue for the body to keep up with the medication (or if you want to call 'poison' because this is the main action against the cancer cell, kill them!). It's hard to watch your love one going tru this..but it's just temporarily. tomorrow will be better.
    Flynne is strong despite her fragile silhouette , she will go tru this thanks to the wonderful family she has around.
    thinking of you everyday and praying for heath and happiness for all of you.xoxoxo
    with love.