Life as an Extreme Sport

slipping sand

I’m in Oregon.

Things got a lot worse in the time it took me to travel – I’m trying not to hold that against people, or most of all myself – I made the decision to stay until I did out of my insane sense of responsibility, after all. And in talking with my sister, I learned that really, Mom hasn’t been “here” since we saw her in August. Thinking back, I can see signs of decline even then – we all can.

That doesn’t make it easier.

Her kidneys appear to be shutting down, and there’s edema. She’s barely cognizant, period – if I’m lucky she’ll have one more period of lucidity before she dies. Hospice, this morning, said it won’t be long.

We’re going to give her permission to go tonight, when the entire family is here. It probably won’t be long after that.

I’m upstairs in my room crying right now. I had finally made it downstairs – Mom likes to have her morning getting together in private, with Tracy, plus she didn’t really sleep last night. (I’ve taken over baby monitor detail for this floor, so Dad can get some much needed sleep. I don’t sleep, so it works out well.) I just…

Yesterday she was drinking out of a straw. Today, she can’t manage that, and Tracy was giving her apple juice with a spoon. And I just lost it. And the first rule of fight club Mom dying is we don’t cry hard in front of her. A few tears seem to be okay, but we want her to be comfortable, content – we don’t want her to be sad as she dies.

Tracy was telling me this morning she was asking for my grandmother, Dad’s mom, last night. To say Grandma and Mom didn’t get along is, well, the most amazing understatement of the year, so… it was interesting, to say the least.

But right now I’m in my sister’s bedroom, which is mine for the time being, crying and, of all things, working and typing, because I need something to do with my hands. I also took half a sedative – I’m going to need to live on those for the next few days.

I am rambling. But I made the decision I was going to write about this, and everything that goes with it, because no one does. No one talks about it. People just tiptoe around and say platitudes and… my mother, my beautiful, amazing mother, deserves better than that.