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Unstuck

November 26, 2017

The end of days are hard.

My mom wants to die. Asks why she is not gone yet. Asks why things are taking so long.

She says she wants to be with dad.

She calls out to my sister “Laura, how do I do this?”

But then she loops back and perks up and chats and tells stories, just like always.

She’s unstuck from the everyday world, though. She doesn’t know what time of day it is. On a bright sunny afternoon, she will ask “Is it 8 pm? Is dinner going to be here soon?”

She begins sentences in the middle of a story and ends without ending.

“The hats are something we need to see about when we.”

Then she looks around, puzzled. She knows she has done something odd but doesn’t quite know what it is.

“What was I saying?”

It’s hard not to correct her. I have always been the fact-based tail to her kite of stories, stories that soar high above reality and into the realm of fanciful tales based only on her interpretations of things she heard halfway and bent to her liking. My mom is the original unreliable narrator.

I always made it my business to probe and fact-check, especially after I became a journalist, seeking truth.

But now I try to let her stories be hers. There is no reality for her to return to, so why torture her by imposing a cage of truth over her flying mind when it is the only escape she has?

 

9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2017 09:23

    So sad! Beautifully written x

    • November 27, 2017 22:01

      Thank you so much. I thought hard about publishing it, but I want to try to preserve the reality of what is happening as it happens.

      • November 28, 2017 02:04

        Well I really admire you for doing so! It’s such a cruel and heartbreaking situation!

  2. November 28, 2017 07:56

    It’s so so hard, that tug-of-war of wanting them to stay and wanting them to be at peace and witnessing all of it. Sending you some love and strength for the hard parts.

  3. November 28, 2017 08:41

    So sorry you’re having to go through this. As you say, letting her have her own reality – different thought it is from the norm – is probably the best way.

    • November 28, 2017 10:42

      Thanks, Val. It’s hard to know what to do sometimes. New territory.

  4. December 1, 2017 10:35

    This part is so hard. Sorry.

  5. December 2, 2017 09:17

    So difficult, but I’m glad you humored her with the cinnamon. I hope there was a backup of something else to eat.

    We once had peach pie, and a friend wanted it all mode. The only ice cream we had was chocolate, which he thought was a good idea. Until he tried it, when he realized how gross it really was.

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