It’s a hot night in Wisconsin and my MacBook Pro is warm under my wrists as I type. Somewhere in the distance is a respectable fireworks display, judging by the sound of it. Cicadas and crickets are a constant white noise. I am not at Mom’s but Aaron is, having given me some much needed rest from her schedule of medication. I haven’t had more than three and a half or four hours straight sleep in weeks. I am tired, but grateful for this time. I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, that’s not true; I wish she wasn’t ill at all, but that’s a big ask.
I haven’t written much about this whole thing as Mom is a private person. As much as I share too much, she shares too little. As alike as we are, we are very different on that point. However, I need to talk about this, at least a little. It’s how I cope and I promise I won’t put in the specific details; they don’t serve any point other than technicalities that will bore the casual reader here anyway.
Mom has cancer. Not a little cancer, but rather an overachiever’s amount of the stuff. Lungs and brain, specifically. She’s on hospice, and you only qualify for that if you have six months or less to live. She has less than that.
Mom and I are as close as you can be. We’ve been best friends for years and years – since I went away to art school I think, and when I was a little girl as well. As a young teen through high school, we had our rough patches, but most of that was due to clashes in our bi-polar conditions as well as my attention deficit disorder. Those bumpy years were the years immediately following the death of my father. We mended our relationship when I went away to school and built our mother and daughter friendship to be the strongest I know. She means everything to me, and that’s why I’m here and not leaving until after she’s gone.
There is so much to share about this recent experience, but I have lots to do in the short time I have ‘off’ caregiver duty today. It’s my first break in hours shy of a month, and there is much to do before I sleep tonight.