Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Never Forgotten

A FaceBook post by a friend really struck home tonight. She was reposting one of Jann Arden's posts that started like this
I had a break through of sorts a few days ago, right after I had a mini 'breakdown'.... I asked my mom if she thought she would ever forget me and she said, "Well, my brain might, but my heart won't". Those eight words took my breath away. 
"Well, my brain might, but my heart won't " ... those words really struck home for me.

When my Mom was so sick and struggling with dementia, I was very lucky in that there was only one occasion when she didn't know who she was when I came to visit in the hospital.

I bustled around the room, doing my thing and yakking away and suddenly realized something was off. So I sat down on the side of the bed and asked if she knew who I was. "Of course I do" she replied. "No you don't". "Yes, I do". "Okay then, who am I?". The moment of truth ... she looked at me with such peace and warmth in her eyes and simply said "someone who loves me very much". I still tear up just to write of it.

A few months later, after popping up to the hospital for a quick unexpected visit one evening, I told her that I had to leave to pick up my youngest daughter (insert name). It had been a particularly bad day for Mom (they had moved her to another room and her mind had just totally shut down) so when something didn't seem right, I asked "You remember Kit Kat, right?" "No, I don't think I do... ".

I took my daughter's framed school picture out of the closet where they had put it after the move and placed it in her hands. "Now you remember Kit Kat, right?". "No, I'm not sure". I left her with the picture, dropped the subject and started talking about something else. When I turned around and looked at her, she was repeatedly softly stroking my daughter's face on the photograph and once again she had the most peaceful look about her.

When I left that evening, she told me that she had been so afraid that I wouldn't find her because they moved her to another room. I replied, much like you would to soothe a child's fears, that no matter where they moved her, I would always find her. She stopped, seemed to consider that for a moment and then responded, "Yes, yes, I believe you will". Her face visibly relaxed when she said it.

I still miss my Mom desperately even though it's been over six years since that horrible day. But remembering (and writing about) moments such as these, while they pull my heart strings and bring tears to my eyes also bring a smile to my face (albeit a sad one) and a feeling of warmth.

On that note, I came across this poem shortly after Mom died. It, too, spoke to me, which was surprising because I am really not a poetry person.

Which, yeah, I believe I shared that with you before. But maybe I'm wrong, maybe, just maybe when it comes to times of loss, I am. At any rate, I will bid you a fond adieu and leave you with this poem.

And the sentiment that, no matter what, I am so glad that I have this blog that has captured, in perpetuity, such important moments in my life. Because even in reliving rereading such terrible moments of pain and hurt and loss, I can still find love, warmth, (occasionally humour) and a sense of connectedness.

Death is nothing at all, 
I have only slipped away into the next room. 
I am I, and you are you. 
Whatever we were to each other, we still are. 

Speak to me in the easy way you always used. 
Put not difference in your tone, 
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. 

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. 
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. 
Let it be spoken without effort, 
Without the trace of a shadow on it. 

Life means all that it ever meant. 
It is the same as it ever was, 
There is unbroken continuity. 
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? 

I am waiting for you, for an interval, 
Somewhere very near, 
Just round the corner. 
All is well.

Nothing is past.
Nothing is lost. 
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!"