Inconvenient Truths: Accepting Your Parents Immortality

There comes a time in every life when cold steely eyes, at the end of a tunnel you never thought you’d have to walk through, are winking at you, and you’re speechless- unless you’re like me, then you write a blog post, because you can, because you need to.

 

I mentioned, only briefly, and without fanfare, that I would be MIA for awhile.

I am back- at least temporarily.

 

 

My mother has experienced a medical emergency, one that was not unexpected, and yet, it always is- unexpected, and as I sat with her and looked deeply into her big brown eyes, I saw what she was seeing- those damn winking Reaper slits, taunting her to come hither, to give-up, to enter the darkness, and I begged her to turn around, to slap that bitch in the face, to muster her natural born stubborn soul and fight back, because we still desire her company, and her wisdom, and there are new babies still to come, and who will I complain to when the world pisses me off and I need her to tell me to ‘take a deep breath’ and ‘it will all work out’.

 

 

But, there she lays, frightened and confused, unable to control her environment, her body, unable to string more then a few words together in a whisper, unable to be young again.

Young again.

 

 

However, she has strong moments, I’m told.

 

 

I’m ‘told’ because I’m not there. I’m the daughter whose life has abandoned her mother to distance and marital obligations, living far far away and only able to participate through technology.

 

 

I fear that this will be my legacy to her; the daughter who wasn’t there, and I’ll have live with that because she won’t be there to tell me ‘it will all work out’, but I know in my heart, a heart that she seeded with love and watered with reason and cultivated when I was too stupid to see the weeds for myself, that she loves me still. That she loves me always.

 

 

Without the roadmap of her lifetime of challenges, through the thick and thin of disappointing marriages, the loss of her one true love, the true grit of working every damn day of her life- she remained a steady float in a rocky sea.

The term ‘Roll Model’ doesn’t even begin to define her.

 

 

And so it is that I find myself considering the journey of Life, the passing of time…

and the solitary ache of inconvenient truths.

 

You gave me the keys to the Kingdom my Queen.

Thank you- forever. 

 

 

My Mother. My Queen.PINIMAGE

My Mother. My Queen.




  • Chris Carter - Oh Cheryl… this is just so powerful, heartbreaking and raw. Bless your precious heart as you navigate your way through this very difficult time. Your words will resonate with many…

    Praying for peace for you, as you grapple with it all.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Grapple is an excellent word Chris. Because it is a grapple, a tussle, a wrestling match between her and her body, me and her body, her and her mind, me and her mind…… see where I’m going with this? Jesus. I’m nearly spent.ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - Having had been there with my mother, seeing her near the end, I remember not wanting her to suffer. However much time you have with her, tell her you love her, say the things you need to say.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I will William. I am. But it’s long-distance which SUCKS. Thank you for support my friend. XXOOOReplyCancel

  • Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry - Cheryl, so beautiful in your words, and yet I feel for you. The photo of your mom …she is just stunning. Sending you hugsReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you Lynda. Yes she was- IS. A REAL beauty, and such a class act. I pale by comparison.ReplyCancel

  • Kimba - My heart aches for you. You have a very special soul with you every day.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you Kimba. Special souls are welcome any day.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Chester - My heart is breaking for you because no matter how old we are we never want to let our parents go. It’s never enough, never the right time. I love that photo; it says it all. All I can offer you is a virtual hug and a lot of prayers. So poignant, Cheryl. You did your feelings for your mom justice.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you my dear friend. Aren’t we cute kids with a classy momma? I love that photo.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - Oh, Carol, it must be so hard for you. I am so sorry.

    Your mother gave you many gifts, though… that is obvious. What a lovely tribute you have given her here.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you Jackie. This is hard. If Iv’e learned anything it’s that I need to better plan for my own end-days- and never leave a word of love unspoken.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Lynn - I can relate. Things are changing with my mom right now. I can’t be there to give any kind of comfort.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh God. -head shaking- what do we do? Tell me.ReplyCancel

  • Cary Vaughn - Oh, hon. My heart breaks for you. You are in my thoughts! I wish there was more I could do or say.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - You just did Cary. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - {{{hugs}}} Cheryl.
    This is my dread too…to not be there when they need me. I’m so very optimistic that your mom will turn around and slap the bitch!!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - She’s never slapped anyone- that’s a problem. But my sister’s there and she’s a great slapper. hahahaaaaaReplyCancel

  • Alyson Shitastrophy Herzig - Cheryl my heart breaks for you just reading this. I understand being too far from home and the obligations to be there. I’m sure your mother does too. Hugs friend, you will all be in my thoughts.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - My physical distance brings it’s own challenges- to everyone involved. Saying goodbye is just so damn hard.ReplyCancel

  • Laura Lee Carter - WOW! Can I ever relate and I’m crying now…ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - This post was a hard one to write- not because I had nothing to say but because the keyboard was wet- with tears. Dear God. How will I survive?ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl Kraft - Beautiful, sad, poignant…this says it all. So sorry you are dealing with this heartbreak.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I know it’s the Circle of Life, but it’s still a shock. Somehow we always assumed our mother was immortal. Saying goodbye is so hard.ReplyCancel

  • barb barton dlugosz - Dearest Cheryl,

    Please know your mom, you and Melissa are in my thoughts and prayers. I love your mom, as if she were my own. Know that if there is anything I can do, i will do it! You know your mom loves you with all of her heart. She is and always will be much loved.

    i love you
    xo
    barbyReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’m so happy to hear from you! This sucks doesn’t it? I heard from BIll. WE LOVE you all. I’ll be in private contact. Peace OutReplyCancel

  • Shannon Bradley-Colleary - Ah Cheryl this was so gorgeous. And I love seeing your mom. Funny how that photo looks like it could have been taken yesterday. That she might still be that young, sloe-eyed, beautiful mother. And the truth is, she still is.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Aaahhh Shannon. So nice to hear from you. Thank you. She was (is) a Vixen. The men STILL love her! What’s up with that? Does she have a scent? Love you girl. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Cheryl, everyone needs to read this post. Too many of us appreciate after it’s too late to do anything about it. Long distance or across the street. Bless you, my friend. Thinking of your mother as she was. As, according to my beliefs, she will be again . . .ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - That really means a lot Diane. I believe the same, in fact, I’m taking comfort in the fact that WHEN she passes, she’ll be waiting for me, which will make my transition all the more enjoyable. ANd I’ll need her diplomatic skills when I’m bargaining with God. Hahahaaa (feels so good to laugh). Thanks again. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - I can’t even tell you how much of this I relate to. Beautifully written from the heart.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’ve got a bag full of heartfelt posts coming up. Get out the hanky Carol.ReplyCancel

  • Elin Stebbins Waldal - This is so difficult. All the emotions… Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman and how wonderful to have a history rich with love, support and direction because of her.
    As best you can I hope you will be kind with yourself, it’s a lot to absorb. Wishing you love and great strength as you navigate the days, weeks, months and even years ahead.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you so much Elin for your words of support and wisdom. I really can not read much more without tearing-up, so just a [[[hug]]] between us. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Carpool Goddess - Thinking of you Cheryl. Beautiful photo and beautiful thoughts from your heart.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Isn’t it? I have a million of them, and if my broken heart continues to lead me to write and post about this- you may see them all. Thank you Linda. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Lois Alter Mark - I’m so sorry, Cheryl, and am sending you lots of love.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It just sucks and thank you Lois.ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Whaley-Meacham - Writing this to you thru tears of love & understanding … She knows , she knows how much she means to you & how much LOVE is there. I am sending you more love & prayers than you can imagine … I have loved you & your mama nearly my whole life. I am praying daily for her … we had many, many more years with my daddy after he had his stroke & I am praying that you also have that with your mama … Healing (((HUGGS))) for all of you!!!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Shell. I felt the same about your parents. Much love and hugs to both of us. xxxooo foreverReplyCancel

  • Ines Roe - I was so touched by your beautifully written blog about your mother. I have a very close relationship with her mother and I am preparing myself for the day she will not be here – (which may be soon – she is 93). Each Christmas I prepare myself that this might be the last Christmas together. Your blog made me reflect about the mortality of all of us.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh Dear. You’ve got me crying again. No worries- it’s tears of joy. THANK YOU Ines. And with Xmas coming up… I don’t know. Must muster my big-girl pants. Keep in touch and thank you for your supportive and lovely comment.ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Curran - This took my breath away…. I know it is hard to feel right now but you will remember the twinkle in her eyes and the light they shed on your life. And as that memory solidifies, the helpless unreachable stare will fade…. I promise. Be kind to yourself and know that your mom launched you so fly in her honor…. I hope that makes sense to you someday soon too. It did to me…in time. Until then, draw from the collective strength all around you. Wishing you a peaceful thought for both you and your mom.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - “Fly in her honor’!!!! Jesus, that’s a life saver Ruth.ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - I can’t imagine the sorrow you must have in your heart. Just remember that’s where she also resides as well as you in hers no matter how many miles are between you. I’m sorry.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’m sorry too. For all of us. Thank you Rena. You made me smile which is worth a million dollars today.ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - There is absolutely nothing to say, but if I were there I would hug you. She knows you love her and you are still her beautiful daughter. I too lived far from my mother. She, however, always knew things and called me one day in March and said, “If you want to see me alive, come now.” Yes, I did go. I’m so thankful I did. It has been over thirty years, but I would love to hear the phone ring and her saying, “Hallo.” Hugs again.ReplyCancel

  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus - Wishing you peace. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Your mom is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Julie - I am a total stranger who stumbled upon this blog a while back, so having never met you +/or knowing much about you, I have this to offer ~ The aging process SUCKS!!!! I have my folks “near” for 6 months and “far” when they winter in Florida. Mom has been diagnosed with dementia and it is the most painful thing I have ever had to experience.
    Mothers have a great gift tho ~ they never lose the ability to love. No stroke, no cancer cells, no memory loss can take that away.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Julie, it’s an honor to have you here. Let’s commiserate… yes it SUCKS! I’ve seen dementia and it ain’t pretty. SO sad-confusion, not recognizing things/people, paranoia. My heart breaks for you and your family. My mom is 70% ‘there’ but trapped inside a body that won’t move. BOY is THAT a mind blow to see. The frustration. The sadness coming from her eyes. Keep in touch. PS: We are now friends.ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen O'Donnell - Oh, Cheryl. My heart goes out to you my blogger friend. I lived this experience almost a year ago to the day. Knowing you will lose your mother is a life defining thing. I was convinced, until my mother took her last breath, that she would never die. But, damned if she did. On her own terms, just like she lived. My relationship with her was complicated. And even though I was there, physically, I don’t know if I was ever really “there” for her. It is something I am still trying to come to terms with. I’m with you, Cheryl, in my thoughts and heart. You’re what your mom would’ve wanted you to be, talented, loving, funny and kind. If anyone knows that, it’s your mom, more than you realize. Hugs to you.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Kathleen. I’m starting to wrap my head around it but it’s a process.ReplyCancel

  • bodynsoil - I’m so sorry to hear about your mother, such a difficult time. Your words are very expressive, thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - You’re so welcome and thank you. I guess the metal of a person is how they react to adversity. I’m getting there.ReplyCancel

  • Gwendolyn Gilkey - Great picture! She is beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Froman - Cheryl, this was so beautifully expressed. I am sorry you are going through this….and while I live near, I am absolutely terrified of the time when I will have to face this situation. It has been on my mind a lot lately.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I now know, with certainty, that you can never be fully prepared. Yes, I have her finances in order, her insurances in play, her cat being babysat, and my sister is there with her as often as her work schedule allows, but it’s the finality of end-days that just rocks you to your core. The thought that her time is coming soon and I’ll never hear her voice again, HOWEVER, I have saved the last voice message she sent me. Is that crazy?ReplyCancel

  • Pia Savage - I’m so sorry.
    it’s so beautifully written
    I think once we reach a certain age or time in life we can all relate to parts of itReplyCancel

  • amina - Cheryl,
    That was a beautiful post. I lost my father a few years back to cancer. At the time, I had 2 small children and was also doing a masters. It was very painful to watch, and more difficult to experience. However, I did my best to make it every time I could and also to be more than just a present participant in his illness. I fed him, I groomed him, I also just sat with him. I feel like I did all that I could given the circumstances. When he eventually passed away, I felt ok with all that I did, given that I was a mother to my own to children and studying. In the end, I say this is THE CIRCLE OF LIFE> stay strong.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you. It IS the Circle Of Life. I accept that. And I am slowly forgiving myself for not being there on a daily basis. I will see her over Thanksgiving though and am trying to arrange visiting very 4-5 weeks. That’s my best. It sucks but there you have it. Thanks again for your words of encouragement. I hope you stop by again.ReplyCancel

  • Connie McLeod - I’m an only child and my mom is in a nursing home a few miles from me. It’s so hard to watch her grow frailer and to dim with age. It does throw our own mortality in our face. But I’ll hug her extra close this holiday season and be grateful that I’ve had another year with her. Hugs to you and your mom too.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks you Connie. Yes- it’s a special time of year fro being grateful.ReplyCancel

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