Thursday, November 29, 2007

30 days

There are few moments in my life where I have sat back and soaked in what was going on. Probably out of self preservation, or just plain old fashioned being too busy. Idle hands and all of that...

There are a few moments I can recall where i have had to stop and soak. I have been reminded of them over the last couple of weeks.

This was during DH's absence, and I had gone back to my hometown to care for my Mother.

I was in the Suburban, and I cannot recall where I was going to or coming from. I was pregnant, very pregnant, and it was snowing. I am going to guess I was headed to the grocery store, or to see the midwife, as those were "the outings" in those days. But I can recall the moment, the intersection, the snow falling down in large wet flakes, and the traffic being heavy as it was Christmas and people were out running about shopping and preparing for the day.

A couple of weeks prior to this day, we had taken my Mother to yet another Dr. in another town to see what are options were. The options were running thin. She had just had her 4th or 5th MRI, the tumors that had disappeared miraculously, were now back. There were now 7 brain tumors to deal with. Radiation could no longer be done...and options. Well they just seemed far fetched and out of reach. Maybe we could go to MD Anderson and try the newest ablation therapy, but the cost involved was far beyond what all of us could manage, Plus I would have to pack up and live in a hotel with my ailing Mother who was requiring at least 2 of us to move her in and out of bed, or to the commode. There was no way I could cook for us in a hotel room, or afford living in a hotel. People kept sending us stories of miraculous treatments from all over the World. And frankly it was devastating, the logistics and financial part of curing my Mother...

The last Dr. told her in front of us all while staring at her X-rays that "you really need to make your final arrangements".....and we left his office. My Brother pushing my Mother in her wheel chair, my Mother swollen beyond recognition from all of the steroids to keep the inflammation of her brain down, allow fluids to flow from one ventricle to another. Her hair thinned, her color sallow and ashy. My Mother who had just turned beautiful Mom. And she looked at the Dr. and said.."well thank you". She looked at us and suggested a dinner out.

And as my Brother pushed her wheel chair, my Father and I lagged behind asking the Dr. exactly how much time we had. "30 days, maybe".

And I recall my Mother talking to my Brother and my Sister, my Father and I lagging behind eyes full of tears, unable to make anything out but shadows....but I could hear her voice. And I think I saw my Father's heart break, I saw his spirit sink, and I think we both could have cried for weeks.

And that moment in the car at the intersection, was one of the most painful I can recall. I had to realize that this Christmas would be the last with my Mother. There was no fixing 7 brain tumors. I had to sit at the intersection, and listen "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas"...and I literally had to hand all over to God. I had no choice. I felt like I was going to grow out of my skin from pain.

And so when I wonder where my melancholy comes from this time of year. I do not need to wonder for very long...Christmas is a bitter sweet time for many of us. A time to celebrate, and a time to reflect.

And we had longer than 30 days at the end.

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