I had so much to do around the house this morning that I didn't get to my parent's house until almost supper time. I had called ahead to see how mum was doing and she was muttering about being tired and not hungry and pretty much hung up on me. I should have clued in that something might not be right, but then she has been really tired and really run down. They had taken her to see her ailing cousin who said to her "I am never going to see you again" repeatedly. And then to her elderly Aunts who are all above the age of 85 and when she told her Aunt Annie that she had cancer her aunt said "Oh, that's great, that's good, hope you have fun with that", but not in a mean way, she seemed to be so confused that she actually thought mum had said something good. Another Aunt proudly announced several times that in 3 years she would be 100. Aunt Eva said she had taken it very hard that her other family members were just not that interested or concerned. Intellectually she knows that they are unwell, but emotionally she is just so down that this seemed to just add to it.
I got to the house and was barely out of the car when my dad yelled for me to leave my stuff and get mum dressed they were taking her to the hospital. She was mumbling and confused and couldn't seem to wake up. In the car over, my Aunt grabbed my hand and said very softly "I know it's hard". I was trying so hard not to cry, she doesn't like to see us cry. But it's so hard to hold back. They took her in right away and left us in the waiting room. After an hour dad told my Aunt, brother James and I to go get supper they were going to be a while and we weren't allowed in.
At the restaurant, my brother and I talked about how hard it was not to drop out of college right here and now and wait until this is all over to start again. The desire to be there for her is great. But my mother is the type who would be pissed if we dropped out. Especially, my brother. James is in law school. And she is so proud of him. James doesn't want to have her feel like he doesn't care. And he doesn't want to feel like he is tied down too much with school that he can't run to her side when she needs him. However, he also knows her like I do. She wants for us to succeed, to keep striving for our goals and she would do everything in her power to make sure we kept moving on. And James is so close he can taste it. She would never forgive herself if he dropped out for her.
I am just muddling through until I get my head out of my ass enough to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. This semester, I am taking all my classes online and I am only taking 3. For me, to drop out wouldn't be so bad. But again, she would be mad to think we gave up on our dreams for her. And a part of me thinks that if I am in a class I will be able to decompress through homework. I'm baking, a lot. Suddenly, I'm Betty Crockers evil twin sister. When my hands are busy I am at least not thinking. I am getting a lot of reading done, anything to distract me and keep me from crying at work. I can be ok with the bouts of absolute hysterical crying at home in the privacy of my Jeep or in my room, but at work? People look at you like you are this insane creature. Which is irony, I work in a mental hospital where people are supposed to be trained to deal with this.
James and I also talked about how I am planning on being here on my days off and as many times as I can during my work week. My brother said that he and my other brother William would help me financially as much as they could. I am not doing this for money. I think I have to do this. She raised me, she tolerated my horrible teenage years and she loved me unconditionally no matter how bad I was...and I was rotten for many years. I have so much to atone for. The times when I refused to call them and waited to see how long it would be until they called me. The times I lied to get out of being at family gatherings. There are more things, but who can remember what you did, just the feeling of remorse is there.
I found out that my boss had sent out an email telling all the officers to keep their requests for time off down to essentials so that he could make sure I had the time I needed and two of the officers offered to switch shifts or take shifts off my hands any time I needed to make sure I was able to spend time with her. I have worked under 2 Lieutenants now, under the first one my mother was going through Cancer the first time and he never made exceptions for time I needed to be with her. He was forever making changes to my schedule without checking with me and I remember he got mad at me when I informed him I had a life outside my job and he had no right to just arbitrarily change my schedule. I ended up appologizing to him. Under the 2nd, he probably would have bent over backwards for me. Afterall, he promoted me to Sergeant as soon as he had the chance. I had been surprised by this guy, though. I had never expected him to care.
In fact, there are so many people showing themselves to be amazing friends. People who I only considered workmates are turning out to be angels in disguise. Friends from high school who I havent seen since graduation are popping back into my life with great words of advice and encouragement. There are people on Facebook who don't know her, but who have heard all the insane things my mother has been up to over the last few years. They are rooting for her to live just to hear what else she has in her to do. My mother raced in her first whitewater kayak race with me at 61, the hikes she has gone on with me up mountains that would scare 20 year olds at the age of 61 and 62, and her desire to go rock climbing with me for the first time at 62. Mum just found her passion and now she is losing her will to live...and all I can think is, I wanted to hike Katahdin with you this summer. C'mon mum, you need to live to climb one more amazing mountain with me. I can't lose my hiking buddy.