It was a complete accident that I happened to be the last person that saw my mother awake and alive, and that I was the last person that she saw. (Although I said in a previous post that I wouldn’t have changed how I handled anything, if I could have managed to avoid being the last person that she saw, or being the last person to see her alive, I might have changed this, because I didn’t intend it, and it forced me to make one more decision with regard to her. As mentioned in previous posts, I didn’t want to have to be in this situation in the first place. None of it. But I was… so I had to make decisions based on the circumstances.)
The morning of my mother’s death — although, at this point, I’m referring to her as my mother rather than getting belligerent or trying to be dramatic and calling her “the one who gave birth to me” or something, because that would be belligerent and dramatic, and that has never been what I’ve been going for with this at all — I happened to see her awake as I was chasing her dog down, making sure that she had been let back in the house and that she wasn’t up to anything that she wasn’t supposed to be up to. After being released from the hospital one city over, she had been put on Hospice, and they had loaned us a bed… and the only place that we could put it was in the living room, so this involved me coming into the living room to find her dog, make sure that she was in the house, and get her settled down (again) for the evening. Or, shall I say, very early morning at this time. We had been told by the Hospice nurse that had come out to our house that my mother was beginning to enter the active stage of dying and that she did not have much longer left to live. Bub was actively avoiding going anywhere near her hospital bed, although it was peculiar to notice that before she had been transported back to the house by ambulance and loaded into the bed, he was just fine playing in the bed and was certainly curious about it… when she herself was not in it. But I digress…
At any rate, she saw me, and I saw her actually look over to me.
She said nothing.
I said nothing.
And then I saw Bub’s bewildered, hurt face in my mind as she screamed at him that he was a broken, retarded piece of shit. Her actually sitting up in bed after I had fed her, verbalizing “no” as she refused to apologize to him for what she had done to him. Remembering her asking me when I would “give up and institutionalize the sub-human piece of shit”. Realizing that my child, to that day, was not even worth an apology to her at any point. Realizing that everyone else in that house, more or less, was “fine” to her…
Except maybe me. I had told her that she was no longer my mother for what she had said and done.
Imagine telling the person that had raised you for thirty-three years that she was no longer your mother.
Then imagine literally turning your back on that person without a word and walking back to your bedroom, getting back in bed for the night, and going to sleep knowing that you will not see that person awake or alive again. There was no relationship left to repair. There never would be. I woke up once more to check on her dog because I’d heard her making some more noise, and in the process had to walk around my mother’s Hospice bed. By that point, she had begun to go into what I would later learn were agonal respirations. Once I’d settled her dog down (again), I would do the same thing — get back into bed, go back to sleep until dawn.
My mother died that morning, and for all intents and purposes, she died without a child.
I could have stood vigil beside her until she died, but her relentless disgust of my child made that impossible.
I turned my back on her because I walked toward my child, whom I would always, unquestionably choose.
To this day, I wish that it never had to actually be that way, but it did, and I wish that it did not have to be.