I took this picture on the road back to Lafayette from Rolling Prairie. Using back roads allowed me to do some thinking and composing in my mind.
My mother was buried yesterday. It was a sad day. And at the risk of being considered a bad son, it was a day about which I have conflicting feelings. Of course, I am sad that my mother is dead. But when I consider the quality of her life for the past months, I am happy that she is no longer mentally and physically distressed.
Quite a while back I wrote about the hallucinations she was experiencing; and I found amusement in them. As time passed the hallucinations became a larger part of her life; and I found them less amusing. That was when I stopped writing about her. At the end the hallucinations were her only reality; and they were a mystery to us. The only things we were sure about was that she saw and spoke to her brothers and sisters who were already dead, and that she was very upset about what she was seeing and hearing.
She was exhausted from lack of sleep. The last time that I saw her she would close her eyes and appear to sleep, only to take a few shallow breaths, open her eyes, and say, “Oh, My God!” It was as if she was in a perpetual nightmare. She could only sleep with the aid of a prescribed soporific.
She lived with my sister, who took care of her, for the past thirteen years. My sister is a better person than I am, because I don’t believe I could have done that. It was not always easy to get along with my mother. I know where I inherited my pig-headedness and feeling that I am always right. I did not inherit it from my father. In that respect, at least, I am my mother’s son.
Maybe that is one reason why my mother showed a preference for me over my sister. I never understood why that was, I just accepted it. And yet, it was my sister who cared for my mother daily for all of those years. I hope that my sister can now devote her time to enjoying her life with her husband and daughter. She deserves at least that much.
I’ll miss my mother’s weekly, occasionally daily, phone calls. Of course, my sister told me yesterday that she will take over that duty. I can hardly wait.