I am taking some time to be with my mom, who is very ill. She and I have had a complicated, often difficult relationship over the past 63 years. But now there is only love. I got two and a half smiles from her today. Two days ago there were many more smiles, and she even blew me back a kiss! Every morning, when I first enter her room, I tell her that I just happened to be in the neighborhood. This no longer elicits a laugh from her — or even the groan that it truly deserves. For years when I called her and she was expecting my call, she’d pick up the phone and answer “Filene’s Basement.” So the dumb jokes have gone both ways. Sometimes I wondered if she loved me — or maybe I mean I wondered if she loved me for me. But she did. I know that now, and my heart is full. She has stopped eating, but she is still taking little sips of juice and Ensure. She mostly seems to be dozing — but every, say, 15 minutes or so, she peeks out. Sometimes she seems to see that I’m there, sometimes she just seems to be looking out in silent perplexity, or maybe wonder, from inside a vast and unknowable interior space; then she shuts her eyes again. I feel so blessed that she is well cared for, that she is comfortable and not in pain. I am so glad that just by being with each other we’re doing everything we need to be doing. I feel the power of the love that human beings are capable of having for one another, and I wish all that love, the experience of all that love, in all your days, for you.
From the tales of your mother and the storage unit, “call me pisher” and beyond, I feel that I have met her—or at least a version of her.
It ain’t easy. Sending love.
Josh, so glad you are able to have this time with her in a peaceful and loving way. My heart is with you.