Friday, August 05, 2022

A Visit With Mom - July 2022

 During my last visit - finally, on Friday - I got out to see my mother.

It is always a matter of timing when I am there, mostly for the schedule where she is living.  They prefer a visit after 11 AM to allow them to finish eating, but given the time of year - especially Summer and Winter - the temperature is a factor as well.  Add to that 11 AM local time tends to fall around prime working time (and the fact that I was on a hike that weekend), and one tends to compress to Friday if nothing else.

My mother remains as she has always been:  she is still able to get around (with someone there just in case), still happy to see us, still polite enough to pretend that she knows us.  The conversation with her and my sister covered its usual set of topics:  how the grandchildren are doing, the hike the Outdoorsman and I went on, the vacation we recently took, the weather.

There was a point in the conversation where my mother seemed very convinced that she remembered something about myself and my sister, something that had happened in the past.  It was a little vague - well, it was a lot vague - but the face that she felt like she remembered who we were, no matter who she thought we were, was an unexpected joy.  And a welcome one, given the state of where we are.

At no time during the conversation did my father come up.

This was not terribly surprising to me and I had prepared myself in the event that it happened, but for better or worse, it did not.  His absence with us at the conversation was not noted or commented on.  The fact that he had been "gone" for almost two weeks never entered the conversation.   

In a way, of course, this is the best of all possible worlds:  the other option, that my mother could not find my father and did not remember he was not longer there, would have been worse.  At least this way, there is no sadness, no concern, just a sort of eternal sense of having always been here.

On the one hand, it does make the upcoming visits easier, as there will be no emotional baggage to have to pack and unpack every visit.  On the other hand, it does leave a lingering note, at least for me, of sadness, the sadness of a tone slowly decaying away until it simply disappears.



11 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:50 AM

    I'm glad to hear your visit with your Mom was a good one. Be ready to deal with a question - questions from her in case she does bring up your Dad and his whereabouts.

    Some years back, we held a party for my son's birthday. Mom had just passed two months prior to this, and two Aunts attending the party casually drew out a photograph of Mom for me to see. I wasn't prepared for that - seeing her face suddenly gave me the feeling of loss.

    I recovered, but I did feel lingering thoughts afterwards during the party. That is part of the experience - an object or a picture bringing loss into focus.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is something that I have prepared for in the event it comes up, although to be completely fair and given my current visiting schedule, it seems rather remote at this point.

      Visiting my parents' house as I do regularly, I do very odd items that trigger memories.

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  2. A really tough situation to be in. But as you surmise, perhaps it is for the best this way.

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    1. Ed, this is almost literally the best of all possible situations. My larger fear was that my mother would constantly be looking for my father and not able to find him. For present she is in here own world, happy as can be expected.

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  3. That is a blessing and a heart ache all rolled into one, TB.

    I didn't understand the term bittersweet as completely as I do now. Life has a way of adding emotion to a definition of a word. I guess over time, we see people or times in a word. The 'home place' fires off pictures and memories like few other words do to me.

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    1. It is, STxAR. Life gives almost nothing without out cost, and even our happiest memories can become our most poignant ones and bring great sadness, given the right circumstances.

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  4. Hugs, TB.
    You all be safe and God bless.

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  5. STxAR put it pretty perfectly in his first sentence. I understand what you say about it being the best of all possible situations, but I'm saying a pray, nonetheless, for what you'll shoulder, TB.

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