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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wrapped in Sadness

Fourteen years ago, my mom was diagnosed with MS. Since that time, not a moment of her life has passed without her condition being that pesky fly buzzing around her head and not going away no matter how many times she swats at it. As the years have gone by, I've watched her struggle to remain the vibrant and mobile mom, grandma, wife she was used to being for all of us. For the last eight years, the MS seemed to have leveled off, seeming satisfied that my mom was confined to a wheelchair but able to still do some things that gave her great pleasure, like visiting friends once a week for breakfast. About three weeks ago, though, the MS raised its ugly head and showed us all it's still very much in control, and then last week, the call came that Mom was in the hospital, the outlook grim.

When I arrived to Mom's hospital bed, I realized I wasn't as prepared for the more difficult days to come as I had thought I was. Since her diagnosis, I've read as much about MS as I could. I've talked with Mom about how she's feeling and the meds she takes. I've helped take care of her. At times I considered how I might feel the moment Mom was no longer able to even sit in a wheelchair and would have to spend her time bedridden, most likely in a nursing home, away from the love of her life. But none of this prepared me for the sadness I'm feeling. To see someone I love trapped, unable to make sense of what's happening to her, breaks my heart. During the past eight years, when the MS would do something crazy like take away her sense of smell, I could hug her, make a joke that she was better off because of the stink coming from the boys' socks. She'd see the humor and some of her dismay would ease at least a little. This time, a hug and a joke won't ease her dismay.

And I'm not sure what will ease my sadness.

1 comment:

J said...

I'm not really sure what eases the sadness. It's great to have good friends and loving family around you, and they provide some comfort, but they don't completely take the sadness away.

What happened to me is, after some time, I realized one day that the ache was not so strong. Then later on I realized the ache was only present sometimes. Then one day I realized it had been a long time since I had ached, and that love colors my memories.