Oops..I Did It Again

When I was a little girl, my mother often accused me of being overly dramatic and sensitive. Of course, I didn’t agree with her then, but I’m wondering now if she may not have had a point. In my last post I attempted to explain why I hadn’t been around in awhile and in doing so I think I may have set off a few unintentional alarm bells. Yes, I’ve had some health issues to deal with but I figure that anything that doesn’t end in my eminent demise is a good thing.

Having said that,  words can’t begin to convey my emotions at all of the encouraging messages I’ve received from friends and family over the last few days. I guess that sometimes we live in our own little slices of heaven and never stop to think that others might be even the slightest bit interested in how we’re doing. And, like most people, I’ve never gotten the hang of imparting bad/mediocre news without it sounding weird.  How does one mention that they are ill; but not critically so, without sounding melodramatic. If anyone has some good ideas, I’d love to hear them.

Now on to the latest news about my mother. She has what’s called Hemalytic Anemia which means that every 6 weeks or so she has to go in for a few pints of nice fresh blood. So today we went over to Northwest Community Hospital where they were kind enough to spend about 6 hours topping off her tank. She went in weak, tired and white and came out looking and feeling much better. In fact she was feeling so good she was hoping to stay up long enough to watch NCIS and NCIS, LA. She really has a thing for Mark Harmon.

I was there for about half of the procedure (she made me go home for lunch and a nap) and was able to spend some quality time with her. As I’m going through this process of watching her life wind down I keep remembering a conversation I had with my old friend Michelle. Michelle is one of those people who everyone should have in their life. Grounded, smart, thoughtful, kind, and above all compassionate. She really lives the ideals of a Christian life. But I digress. When her mother was dying a few years ago from cancer she spent time with her in hospice and was able to come to terms with many of the conflicts that we invariably have with our parents.

I remember thinking at the time what a gift it was for her to be able to do this. And even more than that was her ability to find closure in the conversations. In talking to her mother and coming to terms with the answers her mother gave her and not the ones she wanted to hear. I mean let’s be honest here. What are the odds that we are going to hear what we want to hear? So as I watched my mother sleeping and dreaming I realized that once upon a time she was a helpless infant and child. I wondered how anyone could look at this little person as her mother had and not want to do everything in their power to protect and nurture them. And yet, that hadn’t happened with my mother.

When she woke up I asked her about it and her answer was simple. She said. “My mother, fed, clothed and educated me and that’s all most parents did back then. That’s what they did”. I had never heard my mother utter words of acceptance or forgiveness for her own mother and yet there it was. She had finally given me a response that was totally unexpected and proved that you can learn even as your life is ending.

And although I’ve been slowly coming to terms with my own relationship with my mother over these last few months I’ve never had more admiration and respect for her than I did today. We talked about how long she wanted to continue with the treatments and how she wanted to end her life. For all the pain her going will cause, I am eternally grateful that she is willing to talk so candidly and openly about her passing. It is truly inspirational.

And so although I’m going through a rough patch now I know that it won’t always be this way. As with most things in life, this too shall pass.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah B.
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 13:14:43

    Truly inspirational Nancy and makes me miss my mom even more! You made me cry with this one because it touched my heart! You and your mom are in my prayers!

    Reply

  2. Kathryn
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 18:55:28

    What a beautiful post. It’s just a shame that it sometimes takes such extreme situations for family to finally come together and bond in a real way. I know the same thing has happened to my family since my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

    Reply

  3. Joyce
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 18:26:56

    So true Kathryn. I’m very happy you have had a chance to speak to your mother about such things N. My mom died suddenly and we didn’t have the chance. Love to you and your mom xx

    Reply

  4. Michelle Van Loon
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 21:41:56

    Simply beautiful, Nancy. Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply

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