I’m not a huge fan of rollercoasters. I don’t like the plunge down the other side after the long climb up the hill on a rollercoaster. When my stomach lurges up my throat and drops like a stone is not a good feeling especially after eating mini-donuts. So, I avoid rollercoasters as much as possible. Although, I do like the Thunder Mountain rollercoaster at Disneyland. I took our youngest son when he was in grade 9, “the make or break, which-way-are-they-going-to-go” year and we rode the coaster three times. The first time, I was hiding behind him, head down, sitting in the last seat of the log. The second time, still in the back, head up, a smile on my face. The third time, hands up in the air, big smile, and we were in front. I got over my fear. Now, some of you may say, “that’s not a rollercoaster, you need to go on one with loops, long climbs up and straight down valleys, that’s a rollercoaster.” No thanks. I really like my feet on the ground with the occasional flight of fancy or two.
Visiting Mom is like a rollercoaster ride now. I never know if I will be heading straight down a valley or climbing up towards a peak or just on the flats when it comes to mother’s countenance. Will she know me? Will she be silent or angry? Will she tell me to go home? And is she eating?
Today was so bittersweet, it broke my heart, again. Mom was sitting up in bed, napping, no music on, and she had eaten all of her breakfast. One good thing. Very quietly, I took all the dirty clothes out of the basket before sitting on her bed. I always take hold of her hand before I say hello. Mom held my hand, stroked my hand and my arm and then she patted me very gently. She never said a word, just patted my arm. I lost it. We sat like that for a long time, me weeping silently and Mom holding my hand. Someone once said something about that which does not kill you, makes you stronger. I may be getting stronger but my heart is breaking. It hurts. Serious pain, people. I ache for my mother and the indignity she must endure. Then I question how long this has to go on. No answer. No inner voice talking. No audible voice speaking. No inner sense of peace, only sorrow. This long, slow dance towards the light strips me raw some days. Today, my mother knew I was there. She patted my arm like she did when I was a child. She said, “I love you” with touch. I kissed her forehead and slipped out of the room when she fell asleep again.
Stay warm. Stay safe. Stay loved.