Friday, May 28, 2010
Musings about Mother
I'm not sure the proper word is "musings".
Although by definition, it is contemplation; reflection. So I guess it fits.
I visited my mother about 2 months ago. She lives in a nursing home and will be 89 years old in a month. She has dementia, at the very least. This past visit was the first time she really wasn't sure who I was.
She introduced me as her brother's daughter. Another time she introduced me as her granddaughter. Despite my encouragements as to who I really was, I'm not sure it ever sunk in. Not by the look on her face. She never called me Sheryl.
It was a distinct disassociation for me. It was almost like not really visiting with my mother, though visiting with her hasn't really occurred for many years. We simply go over the same topic many times. "How are the kids?" and "Have you got much rain?" And then again, in about 5 minutes. Same questions. Same answers.
That sort of thing really never bothered me. Mother and I really never had much of a good relationship anyway - so we never had "heart to heart" conversations. We generally stick to surface talk for the most part, even on the days when she knew who I was. But now - it just seemed that it didn't even reach the surface. It was like not having a conversation at all. She asked me how my dad was. I wasn't sure how to answer. After all, my dad was her husband. How do you explain that without getting her confused. More confused.
Its funny to me that I want her back - that I long for times that we could talk together - when really, we never had much of those times to begin with. It's hard to wish for things that never really were. But I still do.
It's almost like I am wishing for a mother that never existed. That seems wrong. It seems unloving.
So - now I think about my mom in a totally different plane almost. I think about her sitting in the nursing home - and I imagine that she doesn't even miss me. She doesn't remember me - how can she miss me.
But I miss her - I miss the mom that I imagine I could have had.