Sunday, May 27, 2012

Heart Strings

I sit here, just like she does, staring at the wall. We both see something different, but we are both the same..... lost. I talk to her and for just a second she jumps back into my world.  "Jimmy" she says as she coughs and gasps.  "Yes Mom, I am right here" I reply.  She glances towards me as I reach out to hold her hand, then back to the wall she looks, and she is gone again..... lost.  Her body lays in this hospital bed, too weak to move, but her mind has been drifting away for days.  Farther and farther she goes, sleeping most of the time. Probably 22 of the last 24 hours, she has been asleep.

Her eyes are dark and distant.  Like stars that have lost their twinkle. They were once the brightest brown, no the dullest black.  Her once thick brown hair has become thin, grey and white.  Here tan skin she was once so proud of, preferring to spend most of her time outside in the garden or planting a new flower, has lost it's color.  She is pale, almost ghostly. He skin is loose and thin, with bones looking as if they will poke through at any moment.

It won't be long.  I sit and wait for the inevitable.  A end to her suffering, and the beginning of mine. I have spent the last 4 months trying to take care of her, make her as comfortable as possible.  I handle the bills, the yard, the cleaning, the cooking, the vehicles, the clothes, the dogs, the banks, anything else I can do.  We have 3 houses to take care of now.  We have 5 vehicles.  Above all I still have a wife, 2 children and 2 dogs that have been neglected for some time.  My wife is under more stress than she ever has been before as well.  She has done a great job, and I do not know how I would make it without her.

I have been trying to stay as busy as possible....... so I would not have time to stop and think. When she is gone I will have too much time to think.   I wonder how I will react.  You see, my mom and I were never very close.  She always took better care of her animals than she did her family.  In her later years she always put her cigarettes, wine, rum, vodka or gin before anything else.  I tried to get her out of the house and involved in something, anything.  I tried to get her involved in my life and my children's lives.  I had friends that tried to get her to do things.  She pushed us all away, and always went back to that fucking box of wine.

I have felt like her dying would not effect me very much.  Since we were not that close, and in fact she only wanted me around when she needed something done.  I would walk in and she would be sitting there in her chair, drunk or getting there, and she would say "OK, the pool needs to be cleaned, the lawnmower needs gas and the garbage disposal is not working.  Then I want you to take me to the grocery store and the liqueur store."  I would say "Hi mom, I will look at those in a little while."  And I thought this would not effect me.

It is starting to.  I sit next to her and look into her eyes and I see she is lost.  I talk to her and she does not even hear me.  I ask her questions over and over again.  "Do you want a drink, or something to eat?"  Nothing. "Can you take your medicine?" Nothing.  Sometimes she wakes up and yells "Where am I?" or says "I'm about to piss on myself."  I sit in the chair next to the bed, with tears in my eyes.

I wonder, because I am lost, will I feel a sense of relief when this is all over?  She will not be suffering anymore. My family will not be suffering anymore.  It does not bother me to take care of anything she needs, what bothers me is all the things I am not taking care of, like my family. I wonder will it be better that there is this emotional wall between us, or will I forever be full of loss and regret that we did not have a better relationship?

I sit here watching, waiting and wondering, as I listen to her lungs gurgle.  Even if I did not know or hated her, it would still pull my heart strings, someday maybe break them.  When it is all said and done and all the blame and anger is shed and has been cast aside..... she is still my mom and I would not be here without her.  I love you mom and I miss you already......

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