CS Lewis says we shall not cease from all exploration until at the end of our days we return to the place we first began and know it for the first time. Thomas Wolfe says we can't go home again. Well, I'm home and I think I know it and I am sure this is not quite the end of my days, but perhaps the end of my days as I know it. I left home a long time ago. I wasn't really driven away as much as I was driven by a desire to explore the world--or at least as much of the world as I was willing to venture out into. And now I am home because my mom is in the hospital. My partner insisted we come, or maybe I would have stayed in my home. Like the good Girl Scout I am, I help where I am needed. So, I didn't really need too much prompting.
My mother's surgery went well-quick, got the part of the colon with the mass out, no colostomy bag, no ventilator tube. But there is pain and lots of it-which she didn't want. She's uncomfortable breathing, sitting, moving. Her COPD creates more problems. By night time she is unfocused, disoriented and difficult to speak to. No doubt this is because of the medications and the lack of oxygen going to her brain. It is stressful to be here and painful to watch.
I always thought I would quit my job and come be with my mother in her last days--not that these are necessarily her last days, but they could be. She asked me to stay and I am staying as long as I can which is really only a week. And, of course, I will come again for another week here and a weekend there. I will help to clean up the house and find all the papers and do the taxes when the time comes. A band aid, really. My little sister Yvonne and my brother Ray will do the heavy lifting. They live here and will be here to make sure she gets into rehab and visit her and carry out her wishes. I think I am unwilling to quit my life, or maybe I am just inert. Hard to say.
Lots of mixed emotions. No real answers for me. Not quite my grandfather hiding behind a tree crying as his wife, my grandmother, lies dying. Not quite my mother who had a little baby to care for and couldn't make it to the hospital often enough to satisfy her mother's friends but who in the end had to step up and take on all the responsibility of her mother's death.
Am I really dumping this all on my little sister? I try the best I can to show up, but is it enough?
I don't know.