So, this summer happened. It was. A beast.
I’ve been speaking a bunch about “beasts’ lately, but this is an experience more than an actual beast. I’ve been avoiding putting this one down and even sense myself avoiding it now, though I intended to write it when I sat down. How do you write the actual words to something so jarring and real as
“my mother died on July 10, 2012”
Everything that precedes or follows that statement seems cheap and inappropriate to such a degree that I feel like I should start a blog just to make that statement. That’s it. So I can keep that experience over there and present, but I can speak freely about the rest of thethingsthathavehappened without having to compare them to that: the one big thing that has happened.
I spent precisely three weeks in her apartment caring for her along with hospice nurses while she died of lung cancer. Not a good way to go, I’d like to add, though it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I mean her actual symptoms, that is. The process of watching the woman who birthed me dying–moment to moment– was excruciating. I am not exaggerating when I say that. Each day was a new reminded that SHE IS DYING. Sometimes something small like the first day I noticed she didn’t ask for any solid food, or something big like the day I realized she could no longer pick up a glass. That was the day she started getting moisture in her mouth via these cheerfully pink oral swabs. First held by her hands, then by her lips, then by instinct, by me, because she couldn’t communicate anymore. Her lips, twitched a little her mouth barely sucking out the drops of water, but really by this point I was pressing the little pink sponge against the inside of her mouth.
See what I mean? What am I supposed to write after that?