Amazingly enough, my mother is home and doing well. She never even had to go to rehab, though her balance is still off a bit because her left eye is still blurry. She has a physical therapist coming in twice a week to help her walk more steadily, and she has now lived to see her 82nd birthday, which was Wednesday.
I am so appreciative of the prayers, energy, thoughts everybody sent her way-her recovery is a response to such kindness that poured out of all my readers, and I am so beyond grateful I have no words beyond: Thank You All. Your support truly got me through in a way I could not have otherwise.
I am still processing the aftermath of the experience, however, and have been meditating in my own way about family dynamics. What has come to mind is the myth of Demeter and Persephone. (For a brief synopsis of the myth go here: http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/persephone.html) In one view, psychologically, Demeter and Persephone are almost too entwined, and Demeter's response to Persephone's abduction is so strong that she withdraws from the world completely. I have been wondering how Persephone would have responded if Demeter had been abducted. And how intertwined I am with my own mother. And why.
"I did think briefly about letting go, but I couldn't go yet," she told me, "you are not ready for that yet. Me, either." She told me when she was finally compos mentis (sp?) again.
My own response to the inevitability of my mother's death brings up such a rush of sorrow and desolation that it is scary. I told her later that when it is her time to let go, I will be all right-and I know I will be able to work through the pain-but it made me wonder a bit about what kind of bond we have. Two years ago, when she was so sick that Luke called me to come quick because the doctordid not believe she would live, she turned the corner as soon as she realized I was there. Everyone was amazed, but she told me the same thing, in different words, as soon as we were alone.
Careful, subtle questioning has lead me to believe she has not said anything similar to my siblings or father. I don't quite get it yet, and maybe I never will, but I have been pondering it a lot lately. Demeter was(is) immortal, so Persephone really never had to face her mother's death. But I believe she would have been able to move on if her mother had been mortal. Death of our parents is something we all have to mourn, move through and keep living with wholeness.
I think I am afraid that my mother doesn't want to let go because she fears for me, and I don't want her to do that. But I cannot change her, I can only continue to work on my own changes. And, of course, I do want her to keep living as long as she has quality of life. We still have to go to Taos next May.
Perhaps I am not making much sense, but it doesn't matter. I will continue to meditate on it, and am very grateful she is still with us.
Meanwhile, my "real life" is taking off at what is (for me) warp speed. (Part of me wants to laugh at this, for it is snail slow compared to my last life.) I finish my orientation at the hospital this week, so will be able to start doing real Gentle Touch/Guided Imagery the following week. I will be working on the Ortho Floor-the same one on which I had such a terrible, enraging experience four years ago. I still hold some anger, but am pleased that I can help change to culture of the floor even a little bit.
One afternoon a week I am also elder-sitting a friend of a friend's mother who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. And I am spending an hour a week with Glenn, my trainer. And going to at least one or two DR's appointments a week. And, six months after anesthesia and surgery, I can finally concentrate enough to read books again, and am having a small orgy of catching up. And I have discovered clothes shopping. Almost all my life I've shopped in Large Women's Stores, or online. Suddenly I fit into clothes from regular stores! I must be careful not to turn this new hobby into an expensive ongoing orgy, though I really need everything from undies to jeans and tops.
I am still trying to figure out how to do all this, and still get enough rest, but like everything else, I'll work it through, and get stronger in the process.