The week my mother died. I took the day off to take her to the doctor. My mother had some form of dementia. My mother was likeable and friendly. She could talk to anyone. She stopped talking and frequently fell. She appeared not there a lot. Sadly, my mother lived in a domestic violent relationship with who would be my biological father. She lost her ability to walk after a horrible car accident, when I was 13 years old. Life changed forever for me. I became very protective of her. We often had to use the subway, because dad owned the only car and he was not helping to get anywhere. He was often up in NH for days.
As a teen, I would flip around and tell people on the subway, “don’t push my mother.” She had this love for us her children like no other. My father left finally, when I was 18 years old, because I no longer could get him, “a check.” She refused to leave me because I was 18. She want me to go to college and she inspired me. She did things for my own good that a 20 something didn’t appreciate. If you have followed me for many years, I had talked about fertility treatment being a double edge sword for me. I never had the father I wanted. I worked hard with the love my mother gave me to go to college and grad school. It’s why my daughter Joy has the middle name of Mary. I never fully appreciated her until she died. My sister and brother refused to do anything about mom’s dementia.
My poor mother had her clear moments. I was so scared having breast cancer and a kindergartener to raise. I usually wear the just pretend everything was fine mask for her as well, when I lost another pregnancy or battled my infertility. I began to burst into tears regularly with her. I begged her to get help, because “I need you more than ever.” There wasn’t a clear cut case for me to file with the local elder counsel. The week of her death, I had enough information to file the report. She thought it was January and she didn’t know who the president was.
A lot was going on that week. It was the half way point for chemo with me. I was switching to Taxol. Part of the protocol is many antihistamines to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. I slept all during treatment. I made promises to go see my mother, but slept through my promise to se her. My mother said, “no worries.” One of our family cats were hers at one point. She couldn’t take him with her to the senior housing apartment, so I brought him with me, when I married. He never forgot mom. The second he heard her voice, he was in her lap. Sunday was the worst day and I was having symptoms of Neuropathy in the hands and feet. I didn’t want to go to church, but my daughter Hope, who was 5 years old insisted. My husband never worked weekends, but he needed to go. I went. We went shopping afterwards. Hope, who never acts up in public was misbehaving. Later, we learned one of the kids had dropped his pants during Sunday School. We had a meeting for one of her activities. It was in a different place, I didn’t get the email. We ended up darting to the other side of the city. All the mothers knew one another and I felt like the 5th wheel, because I was wearing my wig. Some of the mothers attempted to discourage Hope’s participation because they didn’t want their 5 years olds to see me in cancer treatment. I had to fight for Hope to be able to participate.
Finally that night, I was so tired. I told everyone good night. That’s when it happen. The family cat began to die at home. Someone needed to go and someone needed to stay with Hope. I went. My cell phone recorded I called my mother’s number 15 times. I thought the cat died when I arrived to the emergency Vet place. I told them that I need to go and check on my mother. I went to talk her into putting the cat to sleep. The cat had multiple medical issues prior to this. I knocked. She didn’t respond. I went in the house and found her pants thrown on the couch. No one was responding. I found her dead in the bathroom. I felt that I should have start CPR, but I realized she was dead for so long. I heard myself say, “you are so much emotional pain, why hurt yourself more.” I couldn’t remember the address and I called 911 using her phone. They confirmed she had been dead for hours. I began to cry, but she will never meet the baby that I was suppose to have with her name. They asked about siblings. My brother and sister are very verbally abusive, so I asked the police to notify them instead. My brother and sister no showed regularly. When I was diagnosis with cancer they made plans and canceled. All of us are in the car, they didn’t hug me or anything. They began to talk about burying her. Grant, we hadn’t seen each other in years. I needed a hug! Less than one year, the following happened to me: our baby daughter died before Thanksgiving, I lost my job, I was diagnosis with breast cancer and now I found my mother dead from natural causes. Instead, my brother and sister spent the week repeated ringing my phone and verbally abusing me. I went home that night. The cat may die tonight. I called and checked. He was dying, but they didn’t know he would make it to morning. The decision to let him go was in my hands now. I told them what happened and I couldn’t decide today, but make him comfortable and do not attempt to bring him back if he passes away. He died the next day after we went to have him put to sleep. He died the moment I held him before the shot. The vet insisted he get put to sleep anyways, because we paid for it.
All I wanted was to be swaddled like a small child. In the mist of all these losses, none of the adults could see. I needed a hug! I needed a hug! Please God, have someone hug me! The only one who saw it was my 5 years old daughter Hope. She was so confused by it all. First the cat was dying, but her grandmother died as well. We buried the cat at the foot of my mother’s stone. Strangely enough, I never had neuropathy again after the first round of Taxol.
I will always love my mom. I hold Joy, our baby close. Mom, can you feel my love for you? Do you see this beautiful baby who has your name as your middle name? Do you see how much of a beautiful young lady Hope is becoming? She died too young. Over the course of my pregnancy with Joy, I felt as if my mother was there many times. First day after the embryo transfer, a man followed me into the parking lot out in San Francisco. I thought he was going to get violent with me. I was a billion miles away from home and scared. Thankfully, he just swore at me and moved on. Eleven weeks into the pregnancy, I had my first OB GYN appointment after a threatened miscarriage. Of course, a snow storm came. Most would have stayed home, but I was going. I hit ice patch and the car spun around many times. I felt like she hugged me and held us both until the car stopped. I was not injured and thankfully there were no other cars.