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Browsing Tag: family

Mom’s Decline, and A Little Psychological Sewing

I thought maybe I should spare you an update this week, because I’m in a crappy, crappy mood (a friend asked Sunday how Mom was doing, and do you know what I said? “Oh, she’s totally dying.” The poor guy looked like I’d slapped him in the face). Mom has been declining again–no sooner did we pull her off hospice than she started acting like, well, maybe that wasn’t the best idea. She’s grown progressively weaker, and has become just sort of older-seeming. (This cancer of Mom’s likes to keep us on our toes, but I much prefer the happier surprises, you know?) On Saturday, David and I had made plans to take the kids to see Mom in the afternoon and have a movie day. The kids were excited–they’d settled on Jumanji, because “cake makes me explode!”–and Mom had been looking forward to it. We went tumbling into her house around 2:15, a big bowl of freshly-popped buttered popcorn in hand, but Mom was nowhere to be seen. The house was quiet…

Mom’s Decline: Where We Are

I was on the phone with my mom the other day, laughing about my parenting skills while David was away for work. “I’m really good, Mom,” I told her, “really patient and calm, right up until about six o’clock.” She laughed, because she remembers. “But after six?” I continued. “Nope, I’m done. That’s when the shutters get closed on my brain and the patience goes out the window.” My mom was listening to me. Sometimes she pays only half a bit of attention to me, especially when the TV is on in front of her (sixteen months into brain cancer, and she can still tell me everything going on in the news), or her caregiver is in the room, or when she’s simply tired or extra-weak that day. But that afternoon, she was listening, and talking, and it almost felt like old times. “Well,” Mom said. “It takes a lot of patience to have patience!” When I started to write this update last week, my post was a bit different than it is today. I was going…

This is Not a Story You’ll Tell at Parties: My Mom has Brain Cancer

I’ve realized recently that I don’t write about my mom very often, and when I do, it’s always sort of about her as a part of something else–my dad’s life, or my children’s. I’m not proud of this–mom is an integral part of my life, after all, and of our life as a family. Why don’t I discuss her? Why don’t I talk about her? I mean, we’ve gotten pretty tight, especially in these past ten years, and our relationship is–outside of a bumpy decade or so I’ll just call adolescence–for the most part, easy. So maybe that’s it: maybe the easy is why she hasn’t appeared on these pages so often. See, Mom is my constant. She’s as much a part of the framework of my life that to write about her sometimes feels like writing about what it’s like to breathe, or eat yogurt for breakfast, or put in a load of laundry for Clean Sheets Day. Mom is my constant: she…