Yakima Mom

All Things Mom

Eighteen

Our daughter is turning 18 this weekend. Eighteen.

I helped her vote last night. Her graduation tassel came today. This time next year, I will be trying to ignore the K-shaped hole in our home that will be left when she goes off to school.

I feel like I should be doing better; I’ve done this before. Her older brother is now a junior at university. I hardly ever see him. I still miss him terribly, but I survived, and no longer spend my days wondering what he’s doing.

I guess I was thinking this time wouldn’t be so hard.

K and I had a tough couple of years… too many arguments, too many days in which my attempts at conversation were met with monosyllables, sometimes even just grunts. For more than a year, she was locked behind a wall I just couldn’t penetrate, leaving her alone and depressed and me bewildered and resentful.

We got help, and about six months ago, I began getting back my girl. Now she makes me laugh daily. Her humor can be cutting and dry, and she can be wickedly sarcastic, blunt, and opinionated, but, well, she’s 18, and I love her to death.

Of course I’ve loved her all along—she is, after all, my baby girl—but as the days tick by bringing the inevitable leaving of the nest, I want to cling to the little girl she was, and this new young woman that she’s become. I just got her back from behind that wall, and I’m not ready for her to go. I want to be silly and laugh with her about the weird thinkengs she finds hysterically funny. I want to dance with her and hang out with her, just a little while longer.

But.

I’m still not sure how it happened, but in the blink of an eye, my baby became 18.

Mother’s Day-Revisited

Ever since I became a mother, 20 years ago, I’ve considered this “holiday” second only to Christmas and Easter. We mothers do a lot, day in and day out, and a rarely thanked for any of it. Anf015aadfb3950e3f1bde4ea8eed9717ed that’s okay, at least for me, because I happily signed up for it. But it is nice to have a day set aside just for us.

When I was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader, I was driven to have my charges make unique keepsakes that their mamas (many of whom were my friends as well) would cherish. We sponge painted flower pots, made alphabet bead creations, and baked. We sprouted seeds, made planters, and created cards. Mother’s Day is, after all, one of the most special days of the year!

My own family has taken me to one of may favorite nurseries each Mother’s Day for the past decade or so, where we spent ridiculous amounts of money on flowers and plants and statuary. We’d then return home, where I’d putter about the yard and my pots, transplanting and watering and in general having a thoroughly enjoyable day. And then we’d eat together… most often take and bake pizza,,, and I’d go to bed a happy mama.

But the loss of my own mother this past year has me far off balance. Everywhere I go, I am reminded of her absence; the card displays and bouquets in the grocery store, signs shouting: Remember Mom!, the commercials… they almost seem to taunt. My mama is gone.

We usually took her to the nursery with us, and my husband always bought her a very nice basket or planter that she’d insist was too much, but he would just insist, “It’s Mother’s Day.” And she would help me in the yard, until that got too difficult, and then she would watch me from the deck and maybe help with the pots…

I’m not doing the nursery this year. I don’t want to do anything this year.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. I love you. <3

 

 

Mama 3

Sunday

The nurses didn’t think we’d still be here. I was pretty certain myself, but then I was pretty certain that it would be Saturday afternoon, then Saturday night. I’m done making predictions.

I feel a little sorry for myself when I’m here alone, but then want my husband to leave when he comes. There is no sense to my feelings… anger, agitation, the urge to tell people to be quiet, that the nurses shouldn’t chew gum. But none of it really matters because none of it will change anything.

Here are some more new things I’ve learned: As the body shuts down, there is often a fever. My mom had a fever in the hospital, but it was from a bladder infection from the catheter. It’s a different fever now, and though her face feels cool-ish, her temperature is 102.4.

After the body stops producing urine, it usually takes about 24 hours to pass. She had her stroke seven days ago, got one little bottle of saline in the hospital, and yet she is still making urine.

Mom had another comeback this afternoon. Her breathing speeded back up a bit, and her feet, which had been a little cool, got toasty. Now it’s almost 7:00 PM, and her feet are cool and her breathing is getting noisy and irregular again.rose

I can not leave her alone to die. I don’t think she knows I’m here anymore, but I can’t leave her. She lay on the floor of her apartment for two nights before being found. Alone. She won’t have to leave her alone, too.

 

 

 

 

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