Friday, January 8, 2016


I'm walking the aisles in Walmart waiting for a prescription to be filled. It's almost as cool inside the store as it is outside, and the smell and the sounds and my to-get list is pretty much the same as it's ever been on January 8th of every year.

Three years on and there are still moments where I miss my Mom. You do know, don't you, that there were moments where she was just my mom, not the grinding fear she was so much of the time. There were moments when we laughed together at ourselves, moments when when we made a favorite dish we both loved, moments she did step up to the plate and just be my mom. 

I miss those moments. I was always hoping for more of those moments. 

As the years went by and my care of her grew in time and responsibility, those moments disappeared and now I miss the moments where I protected her from herself and her weakness. I miss walking the aisles at Walmart scanning every shelf for something she needed and grasping triumphant when I found something she just might like.

 The moments are fading now like they should, all of them. Except today, in the cool, familiar quiet of this store, where I look back on three years ago today when I sat in the predawn stillness with her broken body waiting for the hospice nurse to officially declare her dead, and when I had her room cleared out by nightfall, all my duties and responsibilities to her nearly done. 

Who was that woman who did all those things? How did I ever make it thru? Why didn't I do something else, try some other way, break free and demand something more?

How can I explain to anyone that I miss all of it, if only for a moment? 

Edit: The comments below are mine. Worth reading if you're interested, but I left them as comments to keep the time stamps.


Sweetbriar said...

I'm afraid of going to sleep tonight. I'm afraid she's going to be in my dreams in a big way, and I don't want to see and have to experience the dreams. She came back a couple nights ago in a dream. She'd wrecked her silver sedan and she was out in the street frightened and didn't know what to do. I found her and tried to calm her and get her to follow me home, but she really wouldn't pay me much attention. She just wasn't all there.

Maybe it won't be all bad, maybe there will be no dreams at all, but I wish I didn't have to sleep and I wish I didn't have to sleep alone. And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Sweetbriar said...

There were dreams alright, but it wasn't the betrayed anger/grief/failure parade I was expecting.

Dream 1) Some sort of confused mess that ended up with me and Mother in one of her houses and she wanted to say more, but there were about 8-10 other people all sitting around in the living room, too. I don't know who they were, they all had their own armchairs and they were talking to each other quietly. Mother didn't want to talk in front of them, so she just excused herself to the bathroom or something.

Dream 2) I was refurbishing my new house, the one I had always wanted, and Dad was surprised I wanted such a large desk, not a raggedy, hand me down, good enough, teen desk. Executive sized, really beautiful French polished wood in an odd, but attractive, mid-century style. The interesting bit was that it sat two people side by side between the drawers.

The dream ended with Dad and I out in the county tracking the various fire trucks, trying to figure out where the fire was by which company truck passed next. He was irritated at my slowness and would correct my failures by showing me some internet meme video thing. Essentially, he was dropping platitudes on me by third party. I got angry and asked him how was it he had those things queued up to go with just one click?

(There's a lot there, but I haven't gotten into it here yet. I've been meditating a post called "Entourage," what was in this deal with Mother's behaviour and my role in the family for everyone else?)

Dream 3) I was in my current house and was thinking I should make better use of the deck on the side. I've never really used it, so I went out there and there were a few stray cats on it, then, as dreams do, there were more and more stray and wild animals on it. Cats, raccoons, some guys who ran the indie music bar in town who told me it was too late for the Leonard Nemoy dramatic reading, and then a large, semi-aggressive mountain lion with it's cub, and an undersized American buffalo wearing an embroidered tee shirt and a flat affect in his expression. I did my best to skedaddle back into the house and lock the door.

The song verse that I heard in my head as I was waking up was from Richard Marx, Hold On to the Nights, but this way:
"Well, I think that I've been true to everybody else but me
And the way I feel about you makes my heart long to be free
Every time I look into your eyes, I'm helplessly aware
That the someone I've been searching for is OUT there."

I don't think I need a Freudian dream book to translate any of that, but sometimes it's wild to see how a dream (a visual experience) translates and unfolds as it's put into words.

It's Saturday morning. Time to get dressed and make the day productive.

Sweetbriar said...

Spock! I'm so sorry, I misspelled Leonard Nimoy!

Sweetbriar said...

Y'all know I dream this detailed and interpretive All. The. Time., right? Does anyone else? Not everything has Important Meaning, but there's always subtext and sensory word play. Lots of times the interpretation is just "get up and go to the bathroom, your bladder is full." I appreciate little notes like that. :D

Sweetbriar said...

Regarding Dream 1 above, I realized later those "8-10 other people all sitting around in the living room, too. I don't know who they were, they all had their own armchairs and they were talking to each other quietly." were pray-ers and/or angels there to protect me from her, probably a mixture of both. They didn't have to DO anything, their presence alone was enough to intimidate and shame the mother figure in the dream, keeping her from tormenting me. (You know it's not really my mother, right? It's the after-image of her that's burned into my brain.) A lot of times it doesn't take a lot of praying to help someone, you just have to send the Word(s) up. Just the very presence of them is enough to still the troubles, kind of like sending in an armed patrol. Won't be no trouble if trouble don't start any.