There will be many of you who will be pleased with my ability to let things go.
It is amazing how wholeheartedly, genuinely and strongly I will feel an emotion and then soon after it’s gone. Even I amaze myself at this.
This is why Tony and I don’t fight so much because I’ll get angry and then (unlike the generalisation that all women will hold onto something and remind you of it for years down the track), I finish being angry and it’s over. I let it go, so much so that I forget what we fought about if you ask me about it later.
So, back to point, I finished being angry at my mum about a week ago. You can ask Tony to verify but I can definitely say I stopped moaning, complaining and bitching with crazy-ass-emphatic emotions some time last week.
Sure the anger lasted a while for my mum (about a month and a half) whereas when it’s anger at Tony it will only last 10 minutes, a couple of hours if it’s bad and maybe a day max if he’s not around for us to fix it but it was a lifetime of anger for my mum (which I’d repressed for a while) that I was dealing with. So a month and a half to deal with it all is pretty good.
Coincidentally (unless you’re like me who don’t believe in coinky dinks. Nothing is a coincidence!), my mother has recently started taking treatment which makes her sane and coherent and present again.
It turns out she’s been out of it quite a bit due to all the drugs they’re giving her, mostly she’s been sleeping all the time and wouldn’t have been able to speak to me coherently had I called anyway.
So I got the call today. Her first sane day in a while. My brother, sister and mother all on the phone. The call was to discuss burial plot, cremation, asset distribution and the 50 day countdown to her passing but no certainty on when exactly the day will be when she passes.
There were several things I got from this call:
1. She is actually dying and she’s still in palliative care. Although my siblings told me last week that she was fine, it turns out the calcium levels in her blood increased suddenly, she’s had to stay in hospital and she’s on treatment for her kidneys rather than the cancer. There are no more treatments for cancer and she’ll be on pain killers until she passes.
2. I thought palliative care were supposed to ease the pain and suffering of their “patients” (whether dying or not) but now I think they’re just there to help the patients die faster.
It turns out these guys bring around a “Jolly Trolley” once a day and give everyone an alcoholic beverage of their choice.
My mother is on medication to stop her kidneys from failing because she has huge amounts of calcium in her system because the cancer is causing the bone to release all the calcium into her bloodstream. So on the one hand, they’re giving her medicine to stop her kidneys from failing and then at the same time, they give her alcohol every day!! WTF? How does this help her kidneys? I really don’t understand. Unless you classify getting patients drunk as “easing the suffering”, I don’t think the alcohol’s going to do anything other than cause her more pain. I guess these guys come from a space of… well they’re dying anyway, might as well let them enjoy their last days…. drunk.
2. When it comes to death, my family tends to get a little more practical. I started talking about angiogenesis and then suggesting things for her diet, to help. My sister was on about how she told palliative care not to give my mum animal protein anymore and how they still keep giving her cheese sandwiches and cheesecake to eat.
My brother organised the call and wanted to know about my visa and will be sending me info on the letter I need to get sorted for her burial plot. None of us actually talked about her death or our feelings, it was just…
3. Business as usual. You remember how I said my mother never calls unless she’s telling me she’s dying again or to ask me to do something? Well now that I’ve calmed down and let go of the anger, it made me realise, that’s who she is, that’s what she does.
This call was to tell me she didn’t know how long she had left anymore and to ask me to send a letter regarding her burial plot.
She’s not very emotionally aware or conscious. Everything operates from the head rather than the heart. She can’t actually say “I love you” or “I’m sorry” or “I miss you” or anything you would classify as sappy or affectionate. She doesn’t hug.
But she did say “I’ve decided to take the treatment if it means I can hold on for a little while longer until August”. Which is when I told her my visa would be sorted and that we were planning to be in Australia for a wedding.
Even though that’s all she said, I knew that was her way to say I’d like to see you again before I go.
When I suggested juices to help ease her joint pain, she said she wanted to have juices because “it might actually help to prolong my life” which I know she meant even if it’s only for a few more days until you get here.
Perhaps her emotional intelligence or lack thereof is why her children are so emotionally astute. A skill we all learned because we’ve had to interpret everything through inference. Sometimes we get it wrong (which is why we’re so direct and honest with each other, to prevent any more miscommunication than necessary) but at this stage, my mother can go whenever she likes and the fact that she’s doing things to hold on can only mean that she’s waiting for me to get there even if she hasn’t said it (and also because I think my sister wants her to stick around for a bit longer).
To me, actions ALWAYS speak louder than words and so even though she hasn’t said anything, the fact that she’s agreed to certain treatments just to stick around until I get back to Australia says it all.
Something I got from my brother last week which helped me to let go of my anger, was acceptance. I thought it was apathy but it isn’t. He just accepts them (our parents) as they are. He has his opinions about the things they do and don’t say, the things they’ve done or haven’t done, he doesn’t always agree with or like any of it but he accepts them and seeing him be that way has helped me a lot.
My agony has come from wanting them to be different, expecting them to change or be a certain way but that’s not who they are and if I keep forcing them into this mould, all I’ll do is get disappointed when they don’t fit it or don’t hit the bar that I set for them. They did the best with what they had at the time and they’re doing the best with what they have now.
Accepting that, I realise that, her trying to hold on is her saying she loves me and the only way I can honour that is to get my silly punkass back to Australia to be with her in her last days.
As Dr John Demartini said, “No matter what you’ve done or not done, you’re worthy of love, and there’s nothing but love, all else is illusion. “
And so with that, I now have to see if the visa can be sped up in any way so I can get back to Oz in time and at the same time be in acceptance if I don’t make it there before she passes, knowing that she loves me and I love her.