Friday, June 20, 2008
Picture collage put together by my uncle Forrest, for mom's funeral.
I've been thinking a bit about what to do with this blog...with mom's words, her stories, her hopes and fears. I'm the co-author of this blog, in that I helped her set it up way back when, and I've been able to maintain it during these last horrible months, during her decline.
I've decided to let it go. It makes no sense for me to post here, as this is the place for HER voice, HER stories, not mine. But I'll leave it up, as long as makes any sense whatsoever, because her stories are wonderful, her thoughts are wonderful, and if there's a chance someone new might come along and enjoy some of these posts, I know she would want that.
Because she truly LOVED this blog. Loved it with a passion. When my Uncle Forrest was trying to motivate her to get up and get better, he used this blog as a carrot. She saw that, and she agreed...this was the carrot that would work. Because her friends are here. Some of her dear friends from Juneau came here. Her friends from OO came here. And friends from blogging came here. So she loved it. You cannot know how much your love and support have meant to her, and to me and Richard, during this sad, difficult time. It has meant everything.
The more I process all of this, the more I think, that it wasn't so much a matter of depression and lack of motivation, but a matter of her truly not being able to get up and move, that got her. What I mean by that is that the combination of the furnace leak in her apartment several years ago, that did a REAL number on her lungs, was a huge contributer. Her lungs looked like those of someone who smoked, not those of someone who had quit in the mid 70s. The injuries she has sustained over the years, which made exercise so difficult, added to her heart and lung problems. Her weight, which contributed to her diabetes and apnea, added to her problems. Her depression, which sucked the motivation from her, added to her problems. All of these together, I think, were too much. She rolled snake eyes, and couldn't get past it.
I've been playing the 'if only' game a lot. If only we hadn't put her in the extended care facility, would she maybe have been less depressed, and so, able to rally and get better? If only I hadn't pushed her so hard, tried to get her up and moving, would she have at least felt more understood and loved before she died? And truthfully, these are 'what ifs' with no answer. How can I know, if things might have turned out better, had things been different? I can't. Perhaps if we hadn't put her in the extended care, she would just have deteriorated even faster, in Kate's house. If I hadn't tried to push her, would I now be kicking myself for not trying? My only wish at this point is to have her back, to have none of this have happened, to go back to life as it WAS. But I can't have that. And it hurts. I don't know how a person is supposed to live without their mother there to care for them. Even in her last hours, she was more worried about MY worry, than about herself. She wanted to get up and do physical therapy, to make me happy. She wanted to make me smile, giving me rides up and down on her hospital bed. But what she really, truly wanted, was to be healthy again, out of pain, and out of that facility. Well, she is now. But I'm heartbroken, and I hope that if my atheist leanings are wrong, that she's at peace somehow, and can give me some comfort at some point.
This is a crappy last post for a blog, written through the tears of a heartbroken daughter who has lost her mother. You, her bloggy and online friends, who have loved her and been her friends, deserve something more uplifting. I'm sorry that I don't have something better to give. But again, thank you, for all of your friendship and support, and please know, you have meant to the world to my mom, and you have been a great comfort to me.
Updated on Monday, 6/23, to add that I'm doing a bit better today, and that there's a post on that here. I won't clutter up Mom's blog with my own recovery efforts. That's what my own blog is for. But I just wanted you all to know that I'm not doing so much of the what-ifs any more, that I'm going to print up this blog and save it for Maya, and that even though I still miss my mom horribly, for right now, I'm doing a bit better.