I couldn’t seem to put my finger on how I’ve been feeling lately, but the quote above seem to fit it perfectly. That is what has been my constant companion the last few months: A blessed, warm fog.
Personal disenchantment coupled with the untimely passing of my mother (although sadly and reluctantly welcomed by all of us when the news of it arrived) was a reminder of the power of love, and how her five children responded to it.
My mother never really liked being one; we all knew that deep down and accepted her for who she was. She was an artist at heart, and was happiest when she was painting or creating something from greenware.
She did the best she could with what she had. People often asked if we felt cheated, if we resented her not being a “proper” grandmother to our children. Each of our responses may be different, but for me, I learned how selfless she had really been all her life. She taught us how to love even those who didn’t deserve it, and that’s all we needed to know.
Each of us has different memories of her in our history, and if we were to recite our experiences one by one, those listening would swear we were talking about a completely different person. She had the forethought to be what we needed her to be at the time for each of us.
We all had our battles with her as well. What one event might be shrugged off as being silly, another thought it as insurmountable. But there was always respect, and we knew who the Mother really was.
Ironically, the news came on Mother’s Day that she had taken a downward turn. We all took our turn caring for her at the end, my brother and sister-in-law bearing the brunt of the time since they lived an hour away. The rest of us, my three sisters and I, lived in different states all over the country. Travel arrangements coincided without two much time between arrivals and departures.
The youngest went to her first, and told us of battles with needles and ripping out of tubes, while the next one dealt with paranoia and pain, while the next dealt with resignation. I finally learned how to text message.
By the time I arrived, her mind was almost gone. Moments of lucidity were gifts I cherished, grabbing them by the armful and holding them close to my heart. The last few days with me she spent in a blessed, peaceful fog, remembering only to go to the bathroom, comb her hair and brush her teeth, but not much else.
My mother was sleeping the last time I saw her, and I didn’t wake her to say goodbye. I kissed her lightly on the head, her white and wiry thin hair brushing up against my cheek. I sat in the chair beside the bed for just a moment more and let the fog envelope me, for I knew it was the last I would see of her, and I was right. I cried a little, and knew she wouldn’t remember that I was even there to begin with.
The fog has slowly begun to lift around me, as life returns to the routine. Although not fully dissipated, I can see around the edges.
I am different now, and wonder if I will ever be the same. Or if I even want to be.