It's Sunday evening, just before midnight. I find myself chilling at my mom's. Dishes are done. Food is stored. Everyone else is gone home or down for the night. I go to the front room where mom sleeps, just to check in on her. The television is a little loud and is lighting up the room. I sit for a minute in the rocking chair. The movie is not bad and I stay for a moment (don't get many of those, do you ladies??). My mother starts in her sleep. It is such a big twitch, that it almost gets me on my feet. She is still asleep, but her jerks are quite frequent now that I am watching for them. It is like watching my dog chase rabbits in his sleep. I have no idea what she is dreaming about, but it has her moving pretty good. After a few minutes of watching her sleep, I finally notice that her feet are bare. I move to the bed and cover them, tucking them in with a little air but tight.
WHOA!!! WAIT A MINUTE!! I JUST TUCKED MY MOM IN FOR BED!!
That was sureal.
I can remember driving back and forth from the metro home to sit with my dad while he was withering away, but this is my mom. There is some family history there that I will get into later; but if I can do that for my dad, then I can sure as hell do it for my mom. My dad and I hashed out a lot of differences between us while he was bedridden, and I must admit that he was an asshole. However, he loved my mother and all of us kids. He did the best he could (as well as we all can on the run under pressure all the time with kids in tow through the snow uphill both ways). He did better than good, he did damn good. He was still an asshole, though!! But my mother......my mother was a saint. She put up with his machismo military way of life. She endured his stupid attempts to gain approval in his father's eyes at the expense of his own bride, the choice of his own as a partner and mate. She bore him sons; many sons and one beautiful, gifted daughter. she helped deliver unto to him ten gorgeous grandchildren. She ignored the crude insensitive behavior which he ignorantly manifested into the young men and woman in his charge. She rose up and overcame the many hours of absence that he had in his work providing for the care and nourishment of the nine children (and then some). She is not just a saint, but a trooper. She would be Saint Michael himself, if she were an angel. But she is my mother. And as surprisingly delightful as I found it to tuck in my children when they were young, I melted this evening when I tucked in my mother. How is it we come not only full circle child parenting child; but child taking care of parent as parent took care of child?? I never saw this coming, but then again I never saw my father's passing coming either (and I watched him wither right in front of me). Was it naive wishful denial? Was it just plain stupidity? Was it being caught up in all the bullshit details of the daily life we all lead??
Wishful naive denial. I really think that's what it was with me. They were my lifeline, my comfort zone, home base, safety. I'm not sure, but when she is gone, I imagine there will be a huge void in my life that I just won't ever be able to fill up. Don't get me wrong. They will always be there, but just beyond touch or communication. I already have sooo many questions for the father that is no longer here, losing my mother (as is inevitible) will require me to find a whole new inner strength on which to base my resolve to help my family on my own terms and in my own manner. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and I can already feel the weight.
But for tonight, I am just gonna watch my mom sleep and hope she is dreaming of something wonderful. I love you mom.