Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pelicans and Thinking Out Loud



This could be a picture of my heart. I'm soaring so much of the time these days.

But.

This morning as my friend Ellen and I were walking we talked about the death of our parents. How her mother died suddenly, still fully herself. How my father did the same. And I told her how when I dream of him or think of him, I see him just as he was in this life. And that's the most terrible thing about my mom, I said. After she dies and I see her in my dreams, I'll see her like this--the way these past few years have, day by day, reduced her and how that's what is burned into my brain. This is not the version of her I want to remember.

7 comments:

Elsewhere said...

Does it help that my fear has been the same, but the reality turned out soooo different? That the memory of the real one, before all this ailing and fading, will surface and that will be the one that stays with you.

lily cedar said...

I think it will surprise you. I remember my mum how she used to be, not the last years of her life when she was so frail and sick.

Tanya Ward Goodman said...

More and more I remember my Dad as he was, not after he'd been filled up with Alzheimer's. It helped me enormously to "write him back" and it helps, too to tell my kids about him. Yesterday my daughter and I were at Costco and I started telling her about shopping with her granddad while dementia had a hold. He'd put everything in the basket, take stuff out of other people's baskets, open and eat icecream sandwiches... It was exasperating and hilarious. Good to share a laugh with my girl. Good to feel Dad with me in whatever form he may take.

Anonymous said...

I too took care of my ailing Mom for 2 1/2 nearly bedridden years. She passed at 95 after 9 months on hospice. You seem to be handling this stage of life much better than I did, the screaming in the middle of the night, etc. I now remember and miss the person my Mom was before she fell. She appears in my dreams, as her former self not as the frail dependent woman she became. I hope this helps. Gail

Elizabeth said...

I can't speak to the death of parents, but isn't the power of nostalgia such that it often blurs out the bad and unsavory memories in favor of the beautiful? Where there is love, I like to think, there is memory of love.

Karen Pokraka said...

After my Mom died, I got to really know my Dad. Before her death, she was the one who talked and my Dad, mostly would just smile and make gestures. She was really talkative. Then after her death, he became the talkative one with hilarious stories and strong insight comments; i.e., "When they're little your kids step on your toes, when they're grown, they step on your heart." I remember them both as they were when I was growing up. Strong, reliable, funny humans. And wonderful parents.

37paddington said...

Oh Denise, i know what you mean. I keep waiting to see my mom as she used to be, not as she was at the end. I have even begun to delete some of my photographs of her at her most frail, because they are painful to see, though when I had her in the flesh, I could still see past the external; the essence of her was still there. but two dimensionally, that's harder to hold on to. People tell me that as time passes, it is the vibrant mother I will remember, not the ghost of herself at the end. I believe them.