I realize that I’ve been quiet for a long while. Last year was hard for me. Amid the hustle and bustle of teaching full-time, raising two elementary kids, being a partner to my husband, running a household, and sneaking in writing, I was stopped in my tracks—my mom took a turn for the worse.
My mom had suffered for a long time with PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy), think Parkinson’s disease on crack. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to watch an independent person be robbed of the things that they love most. My mother was an artist who made everything she touched more beautiful. This disease stole the use of her hands, then all motor function, followed by her ability to speak, and ultimately her life.
My multiple trips north to Oregon were to help my dad and see my mom as much as possible. In July, I flew up to help transition my mom to hospice care. They said she had a few months, but after I flew home, it was only a few days. My dad had tirelessly taken care of her. He meant it when he said “for better or worse, in sickness or in health.” This month would have been their 50th wedding anniversary.
It has been five months, and it has taken me this long to process enough to write about…well, much of anything. It is hard for me to be this open in public. By nature, I am very optimistic and upbeat, but I tend to keep my pain private. So, instead of not saying anything, I wanted to honor my mom and share a glimpse of her wisdom.
What I learned from my mom.