Monday, November 25, 2013
Two Boy Inside Their Mother 1985
My mother will be 85 in December and has some memory loss. Not enough to keep her from living alone with her dog, Abby, but enough that she has to write down just about everything in order to stay on top of things. Recently I found a note (in her handwriting) near the computer reminding her to push the button and hold it down to turn it on, and not to ask my brother again. It broke my heart to find the note, and then something in me shifted. Before reading it, though I could act kindly, I was often put out with my mother for not being the person she had been when I was younger--smart, organized, terrifically capable. After reading the note, I felt a kind of compassion and empathy for her that I hadn't felt before. I think that reading that note allowed me to finish the long process of separating from my mother, which in turn has allowed me to see and love her for the person she really is. I am kinder now when we talk, not as pushy and impatient about trying to "help" her out. Our conversations often end in laughter, and always with an "I love you" from both ends of the phone.