I can’t believe that a year ago I was driving home from Arkansas, bringing my Mom to Kansas City. My brother told me today that he knew he was saying goodbye to Mom when he met us at the Cracker Barrel in Bentonville and transferred her to our car for the trip to K.C. He cried for miles on the way back to Little Rock. I had no clue. I thought I was finally getting some time with my mother. Oh sure, I knew her memory was getting fuzzy. I knew her health wasn’t good. We could handle it. We would have time to handle it.
As Bob Seger says, “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”
It was only six months, and most of the time it was bad. Nightmare bad. Crying every day bad. Almost lost my mind bad. But I miss it. It was the last little bit of time I had with my Mom, at least a little bitty part of her.
I miss her. We weren’t always the best mother-daughter act. She had a picture in her head of the perfect daughter and she was not happy when I strayed from the picture. I sometimes strayed further than necessary just to be ornery. But she was so good to talk to! She was smart, and funny, and she loved me.
I don’t have a particular theological view of heaven. Intellectually, I know it is all about being in God’s presence, and that this life won’t matter any more when we stand before God. In my heart, right now, though, I need to know my Mom is somehow available to me. I talk to her. I don’t think God minds. I talk to my sister, and even my Dad sometimes. If they are a part of God now, I figure it must just be a sort of prayer.
How much things can change in a year still stuns me. I think I’ve got the bends from changing depth so many times and so fast. I want to know what I need to learn from all of it, but right now, I’m still spending time in the hyperbaric chamber.