Thursday, September 15, 2016

Losing Mom

September 11th was the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
September 11th was also the 23rd anniversary of my father's death.
September 11th was the day I lost my mother.

My mother has been in assisted living since July a year ago.  She developed a blood clot in her leg, resulting in three surgeries and rehab.  But as a result, she couldn't go back home because she wasn't able to live on her own.  So she went to assisted living.  My sister had to make that decision, and while I'm sure it was not easy for her, she did the right thing.  She found a comfortable place for my mother to live.  I've visited there, and it's very nice.  My sister checks on my mother regularly, takes her to doctor's appointments, does her laundry, and takes her shopping and out to eat.  The personnel also check on her regularly.

Last Labor Day, I went to visit her and noticed her memory starting to slip a bit.  I chalked it up partially to age (she's now 78) but also wondered if there was something else going on.

When her Christmas card came that year, she signed it with her first name, not, "Mom."

I saw her again this past July, and it was difficult for her to hold a conversation.  She resorted to the phrase, "That one," when she couldn't think of what to say.  About ten minutes after I got there, she said, are we going?   It wasn't until we'd gone out to the car and driven a few minutes that I realized that she wanted to go to Walmart.  I went along.

She, my sister, her husband, and my family went out to dinner on the Sunday that I was there.  My mother had a hard time explaining what she wanted to eat and fixated on the amount of water that Matthew was drinking.  We kept telling her, it's okay, he can go to the restroom.

This past Sunday--September 11th--I called her.  Our conversation lasted about five minutes, and I'm not sure if she realized I was calling because it was the anniversary of Daddy's death.

After I hung up, I realized that I'd lost my mother, and she's not even dead yet.

Tuesday she had a brain scan.  I don't know the results of it yet, and also, the doctor will need to see her as well.  But I will not be surprised if the doctor's conclusion is that she's dealing with some sort of disorder.  My grandmother--her mother--died of dementia as well.

Since telling people about my mother, I've heard so many say, this has happened to my parent as well. There are too many people who have lost loved ones to brain disorders.

T.S. Eliot was wrong.
April is not the cruelest month.
September is the cruelest month.
Especially September 11th.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.