She is a really great lady. I’m sorry you’ll probably never have the chance to meet her. I think a lot of my good qualities come from her. She was so nice and so kind to everyone, even random strangers. In fact, I remember how embarrassed I’d get when she’d visit me in college, shaking everyone’s hand and introducing herself. “And this is my boy, my eldest, up here in the big city.” She was always so proud of me, even when I didn’t deserve it.
It wasn’t always like that, all rosy and bright. We fought a lot when I was younger. I ran away from her. A long way. I remember times we went 6 months maybe a year not talking. I remember her kicking me out of the house, multiple times. But she was always there for me, no matter how long it had been.
Everything changed when she got sick, a couple months before we met. The first time someone tells you your mother is going to die, it hits pretty hard. My priorities changed a lot. My perception changed a lot. Whatever wrongs she had done to me in the past, it didn’t matter anymore. I just wanted to have the best relationship I could have with her for whatever time we had left.
But she is a remarkably strong woman, and no matter what kind of awful therapy they threw at her, she took it and survived. She told me she wanted to live long enough to see me and my siblings graduate. And she did. And I am so grateful for this time we’ve had. I’ve never been closer with her. This is the way I wanted it to be.
But its been so hard watching her gradually wither and diminish for so long now. She’s maybe 25% of what she once was. She can barely walk or see or remember anything. She gets so lonely being alone all the time that its made her crazy. She’s paranoid of everything, and she says things that don’t really make sense. Sometimes, on a good day, I talk to her and she laughs and makes jokes and makes plans for the future. More often, especially recently, she calls me to say she thinks she’s going to die today.
My mom has had some really shit luck, but it didn’t have to be this hard for her. I left her. And when everyone else did too she was all alone. I was the oldest, I was supposed to take care of her. I should’ve done it before, but I can still do it now. That’s the most important thing for me right now. To give her as much comfort and happiness as I can with whatever time is left. My biggest regret is that she’ll probably never get to see her grandkids, but today I thought that I can take some videos of her talking to them, and then at least whenever I do have kids she can still talk to them and they’ll get to know their grandma a little bit.
She would’ve really loved you. I did tell her about you once, a long time ago. She always wanted me to marry a smart girl with class, not a “floozie”. Maybe I can finally do right by her.