Back story: my dad died just over 2 years ago. An ugly, “go not quietly into the night” death, in a nursing home with my mom and I at his head, my husband and two brothers flanking his sides. I was angry, almost violently so, at my mother. She had made me leave dad in a nursing home when I wanted to bring him and her home with me. She had made me move him out of my home less than two weeks before his death. She had made me break my promise to dad that he wouldn’t die a public death. I was angry.
And I have remained angry. I speak with mom frequently but avoid visiting. I ask her to come live with us, but am secretly glad she doesn’t. I rely on my one sober brother to cart her around, take her to the doctor, visit her regularly. Love her. I have been unable to get past the anger, the resentment, the pain of watching my dad die that way, and it is very easy to blame her.
Then when I have resigned myself to the fact that she is a bitter old woman who thinks only of herself and doesn’t give a damn about family or responsibility or love, she goes and blows me out of the water. She offers to do something so selfless, so giving, so “dad” . She does so without hesitation or stipulations, no ‘buts’ or retreats. She returns to the woman that I vaguely remember from my youth. My mom. And I cry like a baby, a cathartic cry that has been held in for the past 2 years. And I feel the anger literally wash off my shoulders. And I can sense dad smiling.