Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's coming up on 6 years now... the day my mother died. I stood at her bed, along with my brother and sister, and watched the ICU monitor as her heart continue to beat, her body still fighting to get air in her lungs with each agonal breath, the nurse giving her medication to keep her calm and out of pain, or at least we hoped she was calm and out of pain, her lungs full of fluid from the cancer. Hoping it wouldn't take long. All life support had been stopped, and we waited. 15 minutes she fought, "She has a strong heart," the nurse whispered. A Strong Heart. Those words have stayed with me. Then, my mother stopped breathing and her heart stopped beating.
And I was alone.

A lot of time, and late nights, have passed, I see our relationship much more clearly now, at least my part in it. I was so angry at her, so disappointed that she gave up. So mad at her for letting alcohol ruin her world. She was the one who kept us together, moving us forward even when all Hell was breaking loose around us, she was the One that Got Things Done. I've watched other people's lives come unraveled, and I came to realize that my mother just couldn't live without my Dad. She didn't care any more.

Even living with us must have been tough. She had nothing, no where to go. My disdain for her must have broken her heart. I couldn't see past my fury..Watching her pinball around my house, drunk...burning holes in the her nightgown... in front of my kids... I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

She managed to get clean. Checked herself into rehab. Only to find out she had lung cancer. Life can be cruel...

I never thought she'd die. She was too stubborn, hardheaded. I can't listen to Fire and Rain with being reminded of my mother.

I'm not mad at her anymore. Now I just miss her, and I want to say I'm Sorry.

So, Here's to my Mother- A Woman with a Strong Heart.


kerrcarto said...

Dude! That was the exact thing I told my dad as I watched the ICU monitor my mom as she laid there pretty much dead just the heart beating. I looked over at my dad and said "She has a strong heart" he replied "Those where the truest words spoken today". I miss her so much and just hope she could hear what I was saying to her as she laid dying. Damnit something is in my eye now.

Mrs. Who said...

I don't really know what to say...Some things in life simply aren't fair. Dammit.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Ah, you know somewhere in Heaven your mom is smiling at your late but sweet admission. Moms understand.