Over on Justin & Olaina’s side, they’re waiting for Justin’s mom to die. It’s any day now.
Since Justin’s mom’s started down this recent path, I was forced to face the same road my mom will eventually take.
Mom is not going to come out of this one alive. My dad said this a long time ago and none of us wanted to listen.
My dad, the man who was in denial for the longest time that his baby daughter was in love and would eventually get married and live in America. Mr. Denial was the first one to embrace the possibility that there is to be no good news after mom had the stroke. My dad, the giver of bad news, had prepared me a long time ago and I didn’t want to listen.
I called up my mom’s best friend to hear the better news. She always gave a more hopeful view of things. Most of aunties are being positive about it. A few, like my dad, as I realized now, are realists.
A few weeks ago when I called home, I talked into the phone with mom only listening on the other end. I had no idea if she comprehended anything or not. Dad said she pretty much stops talking altogether. She still doesn’t swallow her saliva. She still has the feeding tube and doesn’t eat much on her own. I don’t know if she actually has eaten anything lately.
Dad said her brain’s functionality is what they’re worried about. She’s here with us half the time and elsewhere the other. She’d ask if someone was picking me up from the airport one day and if someone is walking me home from school the next.
Cancer definitely has returned to the liver. The expensive breakthrough drug that has kept her cancer-free for about a year apparently doesn’t work any more. At this rate, there is no western medicine that can save her. They can’t do chemo again. June 11 they’re going to the oncologist to get more details.
But for now, although many steps behind Justin’s mom Toni, my mom is going down that same road.
At some point, we are going to watch her die.
I haven’t wanted to accept it. Like you’ve read the past few days. We have been trying to shrug off the reality. Making jokes about impending death. Trying to have a good time. I personally have been keeping busy and trying not to think about it all too much.Â I wouldn’t talk about it if I don’t have to.
But like a train wreck I can’t look away, I keep up with Olaina’s account on the entire experience at “House of Death”, as she called it. In the future, I don’t know how near or far, I will have to be in that house, waiting for my mom’s final moment too.
I don’t want to know. I don’t want to read about it. I want to run away.
But deep down I know I should read it because I need to be prepared.
Just thinking about it already breaks my heart.
Well hell. Writing this out, though somewhat therapeutic in a way that I’m forcing myself to face my own emotions, hurts like hell.
I keep thinking that I’m ready for my mom’s final moment. That I have been prepared for it for a long time. That I have said my goodbyes. That I have made my peace. That I have let go a long time ago.
What do you do when you find out that this entire time you have only been lying to yourself?
I haven’t been able to call home to “talk” to my mom because of what I have been experiencing through Justin & Olaina. I am afraid that I would completely lose my mind on the phone. I already am losing my mind thinking about calling home right now.
I told my dad the other that the reason why I haven’t called mom was because I just couldn’t make myself do it. I told my dad about Toni.
“Don’t ever leave me hanging like that,” dad said, meaning he doesn’t want to be kept alive as a vegetable or if there is no way to save him.
We then discussed the living will and what his wishes were, and that he needs to get all of this down with a lawyer so my brother and I don’t have to fight about it later, etc.
I just now realized, both of us completely changed the subject.
It seems like I’m not the only one running away. Besides, I already have an edge on dad on the running away part. I’m already half way around the world.
But I don’t think it hurts any less.
ETA: I IM’ed with my brother Onk last night.Â He said to call home on Sunday–California Saturday night–to try to talk with mom.Â They have been gathering on Sundays for lunch so there will be more support there, Onk said.Â Onk is the joker.Â He has been able to make mom laughs or respond to him teasing her.Â Mom’s favorite past time since the stroke used to be trying to kick Onk.Â Hehe.Â Now, he said she only cracked a smile at him once in a while.Â It’s been hard for them too.Â But everyone is hanging in there.Â I am to send more pictures home in the meantime.Â And he will relay his message to mom that I “called”.