How She Told Me
I just remembered something as I was channeling/writing about another topic: How she told me herself. Something that I have also pushed back in my mind (see a common theme here? I really do hate dealing with my problems)
I knew it was coming. I think my aunt or my dad warned me that she was going to tell me in person, so I should bare with her and hear her out. I remember waiting, until I heard a gentle knock on my door.
Paused the loud punk rock music, took a deep breath, and then opened my door, which was usually locked, and we stood in the doorway. She mustered up some courage and told me that she had been having memory problems. I told her that I knew/noticed that. She then nodded and said that she was getting help. I nodded in silence.
The silence hung in the air for a bit. The weight of the situation settling in. I can’t remember what her last statement was exactly, but it was along the lines of that she was going to get better and that she loved me. I hate myself for only muttering an ‘I love you too’ before seeing her go down the staircase, back to her bedroom.
She was so determined to get better. She was in denial. But who wouldn’t be? Someone whose success was largely based off of what she remembered of people’s lives (she was an insurance agent, and an amazing, outstanding one at that)...I couldn’t begin to imagine how earth-shattering it must have been to slowly lose your spark.
What haunts me to this day was how I handled the situation. I didn’t reach out and hold her when I had the opportunity. We had been fighting for years by then, and I was trying to understand how this was going to change my life. Sadly, the change happened so fast, and before the year was out she was needing some sort of assistance, and by the next year she had a live-in assistant (my freshman year of high school). I beat myself up over this so often.
Knowing that I could have sucked up my pride and hugged her back when she would have remembered and cherished it. I would give anything to give her a genuine hug, where she would react and whisper sweet nothings to me. I would give anything to have given her comforting words back then as I would have now. So I’ll write them out instead I guess. If I had a chance to go back in time and talk to her in that moment, I would have said:
I know you’re afraid, and it’s okay to be scared. I’m scared too. But I love you very much, and I know you love me too and this disease is and will test us. But no matter what, we can’t forget that love and bond we have. You will always be my mother, and I will always be your daughter. That won’t change.
I would have given her a long, tight hug. And we would have probably let out years of tears and crying and “I’m sorry” ‘s....
At least that’s what I would hope would happen...life isn’t a fairytale, so I guess the way things went down were meant to go down that way. Can’t press a rewind button on life sadly.
If you are reading this, please do not beat yourself up over things that you can no longer change. My therapist told me that I can only control what I can control, everything else is up to fate. It sucks, but the past is the past, we must move forward and pour that love into people of the present. Do not let the past hinder you from loving others fully. Believe me, I let it stop me for YEARS before I began opening up. I’m still terrified, and I won’t lie about that.
But at least I’m trying. And it’s the effort that counts, right?
Thanks for going on this roller coaster of a post, I need a glass of wine and a tissue.