There are many reasons my heart has been broken, but one that is a loss that still stings like it was yesterday. That is the loss of my mom. All the reasons for discord can never add up to all the moments of joy I remember sharing with her. This came after she became sick with cancer. Before her disease, we had started our healing place, but it really came as she began to decline. This picture of she and I came up on my Facebook timeline, and I burst into tears. I think about her all the time, but I try to avoid looking at pictures of things that remind me of her.
Being a nurse and, more importantly, “her nurse” was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in life. She “chose” me to be her Medical POA, and it was a responsibility I didn’t take lightly. I had to make the tough choices that often caused feuds between my siblings and me. But all I wanted to do is respect whatever my mother’s wishes were, even if it meant I was an unfavorable child. When I saw this picture, I could remember that she was happy and content with being in her room with her heater blowing and boy did it get hot in there lol. I recalled a time later on when she wasn’t doing so well, and I came over to see her. We were sitting beside each other on the side of the bed. She laid her head on my shoulder and said: “Sharon, I’m tired, and I’m ready to go home and be with the Lord.” I remember thinking, I understand, ma, but I’m not ready to lose you, but I never said a word. I told her, “Ma, I haven’t been the perfect daughter, and I’ve messed up a lot, but I’m sorry for anything I ever did to hurt you or cause you pain. I love you.” She replied, “Sharon, thank you, baby, and I know. I’m sorry for anything I did to hurt you because I love you, and Lord knows I tried to do the best I could to raise you right.” As her head laid on my shoulder, I put my head on hers. We sat there together quietly. I wrapped my arm around her and fought back the tears. I wished with everything in me that I could stop her pain, but it wasn’t a physical ailment. Her pain was mental anguish due in part to her dementia.
Mentally, she was tired, she couldn’t remember things, and that made her cry a lot. Sometimes she couldn’t get out the words she wanted to say because she’d forget them midsentence. She was sad because she couldn’t drive anymore or do for herself completely the way she had once done. It was like she was in a bubble that wouldn’t break. And she didn’t have the freedom to live as she had been accustomed to. All the while, it was unbearable to watch without being emotional. I remember one day she stole the keys to her minivan and went driving. She demanded my nieces leave her alone because she said: “I’m not crazy and knew how to drive.” They called me and told me, “gran just drove off in the van and wouldn’t say where she was going.”
Meanwhile, I went to where she loved to be, by the water. She was at Flying Point Park parked in a handicapped spot talking to herself when I walked up. She didn’t see me until I was at the window and said, “Ma, why did you drive off like that and not tell anybody where you were going.” She exclaimed because I’m grown, and I knew how to get here.” We laughed and I explained that if something happened she may get confused in the excitement and forget how to reach us. I told her I was taking her license and keys because she can’t be driving by herself because if she got lost, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. She told me, “follow me when we leave here, I bet you I can find my way back home. I know how to get here and back to the house.” I said okay and for the most part she did. She got a little turned around but managed to get us back to the house. I still took her keys and license though, lol. Oh, the memories I have to last a lifetime, but that’s what we’re supposed to do. We are supposed to create memories that we can reminisce on and carry with us for the rest of our lives. I used to joke with her about finding her a man. We have tons of videos of her and me carrying on, and I watch them because it’s the one time I can crack up laughing.
I started off crying and sad writing this, but letting out some of the hurt with my words allowed me to release it and enjoy the good memories. There are no words that can really be said to comfort me when I’m like this, but having someone to share it with helps a lot. If you’ve lost someone, all I can say is find some comfort in your good memories and find someone to talk to who will “LISTEN,” which is a rare commodity. Thank you for stopping to read my story and share my experience. Have the rest of a great day.
Until Next Time,