Today mom text me at 9am asking me where I was. “Hey, its after nine, where are you?” I am at work, but apparently she thought it was 9pm despite me waking her up at 9pm last night to eat because she’d fallen asleep without eating a single thing all day (maybe she did eat some peanut butter that’s her favorite thing). Last night she said she didn’t remember the food was there or rather “she didn’t know I’d brought it.” I’m a lot more patient and gentle than I used to be. For a while I thought it was mostly an act, maybe it was denial…but honestly mom is known to be a bit dramatic. I didn’t realize until maybe two months ago just how bad it had gotten. She didn’t even remember my dad coming home before he passed away 1 year and 9 months later. I saw the tears running down her face and i realized even though she played as if it wasn’t scary, she was scared…she missed daddy and she was missing memories now too. We drove to my sisters house and she said she had no clue where she was…but before she used to be able to get around with no hesitation at all…she even forgets how old she is now. Months before her 67th birthday, she argued with me incessantly, stating that she was in fact turning 70, and was currently 69…despite her actually only being 66.
One part of me is angry, because there were things she could have and should have done…but she didn’t. She said she didn’t care to remember things anyway, and now here she is dwindling quickly…holding on desperately to any memories she can. I wish I would have known how to push her more but I was 18 years old when I first noticed the decline. Now that I know I make her medicine for the week, and cook her dinner and try and prepare meals. Honestly I am not that great at making them for during the day. Sometimes it slips my mind. Maybe it’s because I am lazy. Thats my first thought anyway. Or maybe because it’s hard to learn how to mother my mother who never mothered me. She never taught me about periods, I learned (somewhat) about them through a series called brain pop on youtube. She never taught me how to properly brush my hair since it was curly, or the correct way to brush my teeth in circles. I went into doctors offices alone at age 9. Spitting off my symptoms and the day they started. It slips my mind that she needs to be mothered now and I’m just not that great at it.
I am leaving for China soon, and I am feeling guilty for leaving her. I know her memory is getting bad, I probably see it more clearly than anyone because I live with her and notice how difficult mundane tasks are. As simple as remembering to eat. I resent her because she could have and should have made better choices for herself and her health, but she decided not too…which in reality is pretty sad. I don’t know all of her pain being parented by an emotionally unavailable parent is difficult…they don’t generally share what makes their heart ache…and because I don’t know this about my own mama I guess I can’t say what she should have done but rather what I wish she would have done. I wish she saw her 18 year old daughter and went to the memory clinic in July of 2014. I wish she cared enough to push past the pain so she could watch me grow and support me along the path.
And it is so fucking hard, dealing with this stuff and my mama. There is some much fucking difficulty and people don’t understand. They don’t get it they can’t get it and while I am glad they don’t understand it is even more lonely navigating a world far too adult for me and far too difficult for me. I just hope she knows how much I love her.