Thursday, June 12, 2014

So many emotions

I am getting close to the end of being someone with a tumor.  That's fine.  I am looking forward to that.  But, as I have said before, I am scared.  Scared of the surgery and the pain.   Scared of being disappointment that my recovery will be slow.   Scared that I will be changed somehow.

I am tired of being tired.   I feel really lucky to have so many people in my life who really care and worry about me.  And I feel badly that I have put them through this.  Especially my family.  I know, it was not my idea to get a brain tumor.  I am afraid of how it will effect everyone if things don't go as planned.

In 1988 my mom went in for surgery to unblock her carotid artery.  I got a phone call from my step father saying that my mom had gone through surgery just fine and she was in the recovery room.    Within a few minutes, I got another call- something had gone wrong and my mother had suffered from a massive stroke.

I was so mad, scared, upset- I don't know what all.  I couldn't do anything for her.  I couldn't make her better.   I had small children, so I couldn't stay at her bedside 24/ 7 and care for her.  I'm not sure I would have known how to care for her.

My mom lived for another 16 years.   She was somewhat rehabilitated, and was able to be independent and drive for a while.  But she never totally recovered.    She lost the use of her right side of her body.  She had to use a cane.  She was disabled.   She was 62 .  My mom went from being a fiercely independent, feisty, young 62 year old, to being an invalid overnight.

She was cheated.  We were cheated.  Her grandchildren were cheated.

Christmas 1999.  Our last Christmas with Dale.

My mom was never one to keep her feelings and thoughts to herself.  She had little tact and fewer filters.  We all knew we were loved by her.  But we feared her and what she might say.  She was a little, crippled lady with a cane.  There was no way she could "hurt" anyone- unless you got close enough to get hit by her cane (that never happened by the way).  But she was scary and we tip toed around her.

My poor mom.  She had been badly abused by my dad, All three of her children (yes I was one) gave her a lot of grief and worry.   Worse than any of my kids ever did with me.   When you feel powerless and the only power you have is through your words, you can hurt others deeply through your own pain.    I know I did that to my own kids.  My mom did that to us.

But we loved her too.  Deeply.  I was often afraid to "talk back" as an adult and tell her what I feeling.   I was afraid of being attacked.     But at the same time, I knew how wonderful and generous my mom could be.  She gave unsolicited  gifts to friends and family when she knew they were in need. She really did care.

After my brother died, a big piece of my mother died too.  All of us really. A chunk was pulled out of our hearts. Forever.  Dale.  My big brother was 9 years younger than I am now.

After my mom was moved into assisted living, I started to really understand what I have often told others;  those who are hardest to love are the ones who need it the most.    That was my mom.

We (meaning my sister) got my mom on some medication that helped take the edge off of her anxiety.  She was so much nicer to be with.  And fun.  And she was happier in herself too.  It's so sad that it didn't happen before she became totally dependent on others for her daily care.

My mom with her first great grandchild 2002

What brought all of this on?   Life.  Brain tumors.  Worry.  Anxiety.  Love.   Missing my mom.

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