I ACHE AND WONDER WHERE YOU WENT

Lee & Shirley w. drapes

My mother and father the way I want to remember them.

Message from my cousin, Dorothy:

On Feb 18, 2011, Dorothy wrote:

Judy,

There are many of us waiting on pins and needles to hear anything about your mom. You are the one who lets us know about her. We care a lot about your mother and anything you can write about her means so much to many of us.

Love, Dorothy

I realize you are right, Dorothy – it is time for an update.

It has been so, so painful to write anything about my mom lately. My father has been sick with a terrible cold. I was there visiting last night. My dad could barely speak, and he was coughing continuously. At the same time, he was feeding my mom! I sure hope she doesn’t catch it.

On top of that, he was irritable and my mom wasn’t eating much so it was very sad for me. She started an antidepressant about three weeks ago. I think it has helped her anxiety.

However, she is quite confused, withdrawn, and has been continuing to lose weight. She does not feed herself anymore.

She has had a urinary tract infection, and that hasn’t helped. However, she is finishing up a strong antibiotic and hopefully she is better.

Because I was sick, I haven’t gone to visit her as much, though we speak on the phone several times a day. I tell her to call you whenever possible, because I know it is really good for her.

I am sorry Dorothy to have kept you waiting such a long time for an update. It was so sad for me yesterday, that I wanted to cry.

In perhaps a week, my mom is supposed to be able to start getting some physical therapy, once she has an xray. I will follow up with that.

Thanks so much for your message.

Love, Judy

My dad is holding a hot dog and smiling. He never smiles anymore.

I had a premonition.

The image was so clear. I wasn’t under hypnosis, but it was absolutely vivid. I had just gotten out of my car; the sky was a cerulean blue with puffs of delicate clouds.

I was soaring in that cerulean sky on a balloon; it was propelled by my joy. The balloon was red and shaped like a heart. I wondered if perhaps it was my heart. My music also surrounded me.

As I walked onto the tennis court, I banished the thought. But it came again. It was a worried thought. I try not to allow for worried thoughts, since they are not helpful at all.

Then the thought spoke loudly to me. It said, “Remember the higher you go, the harder you fall.”

I allowed my music to get louder so it would drown out the worried thought. It felt great to be outside and to breathe in deeply. My cold was completely gone.

A few moments later, my cell phone rang. I realized that I had forgotten to turn it off. Since receiving phone calls disturbs everyone, I usually only check for messages while playing tennis. I was grateful we hadn’t started playing yet, so I answered my phone.

The voice on the other line was my mom’s caregiver, Miriam. I said to her in a chipper voice, “Miriam, I’m on the tennis court – I’ll call you back and chat with my mom in about two hours!”

Miriam’s voice was serious. She said, “Judy, there’s a problem.”

I listened as she told me the situation. My mother was refusing to take a shower and was having a total meltdown.

“Judy, her hair is dirty and normally she loves having a shower. Could you talk with her?”

It was then that I felt the first arrow. It pierced my red balloon. The sharpness of it going into my heart was palpable, and I was no longer soaring.

My mother was now on the phone. Her confusion was evident. I told her how she’d feel better with a shower; no one was trying to drown her!

She was very angry as she told me she had already had a shower in the middle of the night. I tried to reason with her, but it was hopeless. Soon she was crying and sobbing.

I could hear my voice becoming strained. The other ladies on the tennis court were listening with sympathy. I heard one of them say, “You can’t reason with dementia.”

My mother’s last words before she abruptly hung up on me were, “I know you’re my daughter, but you just can’t wreck everyone’s lives. That’s what you do, you know!”

The second arrow went even deeper.

I was on a tennis court, but suddenly everything became surreal. I looked for some way to recover. I hit the tennis balls harder and harder, but the pain was becoming quite apparent.

I realized the balloon began to bleed tears inside of me. The tears were falling and filling up my insides. The heaviness caused my stomach to ache.

Then the tears began to fill up my surroundings. It was like I was under water. I noticed the bushes swaying; it reminded me of coral in the sea. I thought I could even see bubbles. It was all so very silent!

I couldn’t hear what anyone was saying because all the voices were muted under the water. That’s when I noticed the music had stopped.

Faintly, I heard a voice say, “Are you okay?” I was startled, but nodded, yes.

My balloon was definitely on the ground now; it had come a long way down.

I told myself that it was not my mother who had said those words to me. I knew that!

My sadness was about not having my mother to cry to. I have missed her so very much!

© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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