I couldn’t get there fast enough
My mom is my rock. Always has been. She was born brittle and not expected to survive long.
That’s what they said 95 years ago. For 95 years, she’s been proving them wrong.
Despite her delicate features, she’s always been as strong as a Marine drill sergeant. She just doesn’t sound like one or look like one.
She has been the quiet one, the strong one, the one everybody respected.
Now, she’s frightened. She’s angry and more than just a little temperamental. Worse, much of her anger is projected in my direction.
God gets blame for much of the rest of it, for taking her daughter instead of her. “Why wasn’t I taken instead of Leta,” she keeps saying. “I just don’t understand it.”
I’m the villain now, the one who placed her into a nursing home when no other options were open.
She’s less than 10 minutes from my home here in Ada; not even that far from my work. She has 24/7 care, the dubious award for longevity. I do the best I can, but it’s minute compared to all that my sister did for the last decade.
The dementia keeps setting mom back. She grieves when she can remember to grieve. Starts over again, every time she re-remembers.
I introduce myself to her almost every time I walk through the door. I listen patiently as she repeats her complaints, hug her and make funny faces at her when she scorns me.
The best thing I can do is make her laugh, which isn’t as easy these days, though maybe it’s starting to get better with time.
When I leave, I sometimes can’t help but shed a tear or two. She’s given me so much, and I can’t shake the feeling that I’m making her life miserable right now.