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what sarah said

where do you start? I can't. I can. I don't know how, but I do... jesus.

my mom is dying.

like, right now. my world has been divided into Hospice and Not Hospice. I keep pulling my sleeves over my hands hoping that it's going to help me hide. I'm sad and confused and stunned. this came out of nowhere, as I'm finding out, like cancer often does. one day you're in treatment, the next day you're sitting across from some guy with a twenty thousand dollar watch telling you that you're running out of options.

the hardest part is how her mind isn't caught up to her body. she's still alert and alive and wanting to get up and get out and go home, home to the living room she got ripped away from unexpectedly, to treat what we thought were side effects from chemotherapy. but her body's shutting down, and her legs are giving out, and the split gets worse and worse by the day. she's been reduced to shifting around in the bed, sort of, and moaning because she can't talk. the tumors are producing fluid that's toxifying her insides. they drain it off and everything, but it gets to all the spaces inbetween... a day or two ago she stopped even drinking water and her speech got slurred and sloppy.

all she wants to do is get out of that god damn bed and go home. and it's the one thing we can't give to her, because she needs the care they're giving her and there's nowhere else to get it. so it's essentially them taking care of her going through the process. agitation, they call it. your mother is restless. so they sedate her, to make it more comfortable, and the disconnect gets worse.

have you ever watched anyone die? I haven't. there's something to say for heart attacks and car crashes, but then sometimes those leave you with regrets. wishing for those last moments and those last conversations. having been through both, my vote's with quick, pending a good life up until that fateful moment. if I could choose what it would do to the people around me, and on my terms, and all that.

except that's just not how it goes.

my last memories of my father are on christmas day night, after the food and the presents and the naps on the armchair. he followed me outside to clean off my car, all of the half inch of snow that had fallen. and it made me laugh. look at my dad, I said out loud. I love him. and I was off with smiles and beeps backing out the driveway. it's what I go back to, that and saying goodbye in the operating room and getting up to do the eulogy at the wake.

I haven't had my last memories of my mother yet, but it's... messier. sadder. more traumatic. watching that struggle, that upset - and being totally powerless to do anything about it besides show up. things like cleaning her dentures, wiping her mouth, helping her sit up and have water when she could, and now, this total tragic helplessness. I just want her not to hurt anymore, and for her to not to be scared.

I guess the only way to help her with that is to tell her. and I do.

so that's about all I've got. it's getting down to the wire now, probably another day if we're lucky.

I don't know how to end this, so I guess I'll just go, and it will have to do.



christmas eve eve