What you know to be true
So – mom is in the hospital again. She’s been since the beginning of the month. And as is standard fashion for my brother and I, we dropped everything and raced to her side every single day of her stay. But the woman laying in that hospital bed and the woman who raised us and cared for us only share in common a very strong physical resemblance. The woman who raised me I fear is long since gone. She probably left us somewhere between 2001 and 2007 but more definitively she was gone after March 12, 2007. The one that’s at Lenox Hill can’t seem to find any reason to live, although two reasons make themselves readily available at her bedside daily. She admitted to my husband that she doesn’t know whether or not to press on or give up. And I guess that’s fair enough. I’ve become increasingly pragmatic about these things. If you don’t want to live and you can’t seem to find any reason, despite us there cheering you on… lifting you up? Well then. Just let me know where to show up to say nice things about you when it’s all over. It seems cold. And probably – is. But you can never want ANYTHING for ANYONE more than they want it for themselves. NEVER. And I’ve always… all my life… wanted my mom’s life for her more than she cared to for herself. I wished for her exuberance. I prayed for her health. I hoped for her will to do better. These efforts are best spent on my own life it seems.
I often wonder why I miss my grandmother more than I miss my dad – outside of the obvious reasons (grandma nurtured and loved us openly… dad was all quizzical with his love, had to decipher it between the discipline and the apathy towards his family). The real reason is that when my grandmother laid in that bed… she would talk about what we’d do when she got out. Where we would go. What we would do. WHEN SHE GOT OUT. She had no intention of staying there. Dying there. Damnit. She WANTED this life with all it’s trials, tribulations and struggles and joys, ecstasies and pleasantries. She wanted to live. Up to the day she was in the coma. Even when she couldn’t speak anymore because they had that blasted breathing tube in her neck… In her eyes… I could see the FIGHT. Bless her. I miss her. I miss that kind of spirit in this family. Everyone else seems contented to just… get by. And if tragedy strikes, all the more reason to lay down and die. And as far as mom is concerned… Grandma and Dad were her overt reasons to live. All this time… I thought it might have been me and Domi. But someone told me “well, you’re grown now” – I mean…. Grandma and Dad were more grown than us… and she found those to be suitable reasons. It hurts that I can’t get her to see us as a good enough reason. I mean… I tell myself to live for her when the going gets rough. I always think what her reaction would be if I offed myself before the right time… before MY time. And it gives me cause to push on. For her. It’s even gotten to the point where the family has encouraged me to go have a baby to give her a reason to live.
Seems easy for everyone else to skip over me and Domi… and I can’t even say Domi as much. I’m sure if she had to find a reason to live, it’d be him before me because she’s truly decided that I’ve moved on from her completely because I married and moved.
If she only knew how much I really still need her. If she would just listen when I tell her.