I began this blog some many years ago, when my brother Bob secured blogspot.coms for each of us in the immediate family. I took off with mine. It was like a diary in the new millennium. And I had family readers. And then, I had friend readers. And then, I noticed some readers from within the USA, and some international readers.
The voice from which I wrote most frequently was that of a daughter, writing home to her parents. In reality, I knew my Mom and Dad read my blog posts regularly. Both Mom and Dad would reply or email me a note as to their take or reflection or opinion of any piece I wrote. We had such fun! Mom and Dad would write to me by email, or call me on the phone, and we would discuss what I had written. We might chuckle. We might sigh, or wipe a tear. But it seemed that my writing was aimed for my parents' pleasure or "discussion".
About four years ago, I began noticing Mom's short-term memory loss. Mainly on the phone. In person, she was great. But it progressed/regressed (which is it?!) to Mom changing from Mom, into "my mother". My Mom is no longer there. She left a couple of years ago. My mother is still here, living in my parents' home. She is happy, vibrant, and she is "my mother".
Two months ago, I went home to Pryor Creek to visit my Mom and Dad. I was brushing my mother's hair one morning (who, at age 88 still has the most gorgeous thick, silver hair that one rarely sees at that age. My Dad complains that she needs her hair cut. She doesn't. She's got it, let her flaunt it, I say.) My mother commented to me, "You are really good at this." I replied, "Well, I learned from the best!" And she and I bantered back and forth for a few moments, and then she asked me, "Do you work mainly in hospitals, or in home health care?"
And there it was.
Not six months before, I had told my brothers that this day would soon be here, when she did not recognize me. I live five hours away from my parents. I am lucky if I see them once a month. I was braced for this moment, and it did not upset me. My Mom left a couple of years ago. My mother was making terrific, cheerful conversation with someone. For that, we are blessed. My mother is cheerful and happy (most of the time.)
Today, I wanted to call my Mom and talk to her. I wanted words of experience, of wisdom, of humor, and of love. I did not call my parents. When I called yesterday, my mother could not even figure out how to hold her phone.
And so, this is not a good or sweet or comforting chapter. I hate the phrase "It is what it is.", but now, I get its meaning. Millions of daughters have gone through this, and millions of daughters will go through this.
It's my turn.