Appreciate Your Body

Tonight was rough. It’s becoming clear that Moms situation is only getting worse but I’m so forcefully in denial. We all are. She could still get better, we say, we think.

But tonight was harder on her. It’s been weeks since the procedure, I’d have thought she’d get some relief by now. But it hasn’t been that way.

She has become uncomfortable lying down, even half propped up, the act puts pressure on her lower back and tummy so she started sleeping  sitting fully upright in her hospital bed at home.

We’ve had to rearrange the entire house to accommodate the rather large bed hospice provided for us- but Moms much more comfortable in it than her normal, flat across bed. Thank God.
I kept watching her, as she sat up, in the complete darkness, sound asleep, mouth hanging open, her one frail, childishly thin arm pole-like behind her left hip, propping her up. There were shadows across her too-defined collar bones, her skin stretched so tightly across her face that her teeth always seem visible, like the forse was pulling her lips apart. Even her nose looks drastically different. Not bad, she somehow looks simply beautiful even starved and malnourished and constantly in a cold sweat, Her skin is pore less and features attractive- small, straight nose, big brown eyes, moon-shaped face and our unique skin tone- but she’s different than the face and body I’ve known from small. Still, the nurses always call her ‘the pretty lady’ and coo and admire her sweetness. She always makes the nurses fall in love with her.
The way I am.
But after a while of helplessly watching her struggle to stay sitting up, her elbow occasionally giving and making her jolt, weakly, painfully awake, the whites of her eyes rolling scaredly back to her murky brown irises, I started to cry. It was torture. She couldn’t even have a painless sleep anymore.
“I just want you.. To be.. Comfortable… When you’re.. Sleeping..” I told her, when she softly asked me what’s wrong. And there’s nothing I can do, I thought, sobbing harder.
And then the sweetest thing happened. She weakly patted the empty spot on the bed next to her, “oh baby. come here. come here.” Her words were slow- almost retarded, and a quiet whisper. “Don’t worry, my tummy will feel better tomorrow. The pill will help, right?” She leaned forward, kissed my shoulder, in a painful, robotic way, and tried to wrap her frail arms around me. I leaned into her lightly to return the hug, not wanting to hurt her. “Don’t worry, Ems. I know what’s wrong.” She spoke still in a whisper. It shocked me when I realized how much her brain has slowed down. “You’re. too. tired.” She stressed to me. “You need to get some rest.” She was my mom, still… There to comfort me. All in her soft, breathy sweet voice. It felt so good to have that from her. Just the once.. I felt really good in that moment, like pure love encompassed us, wrapped around us.
There is nothing like a mother’s love. it so amazed me how even in her condition she could sense how much I needed comfort in that moment and she put all her energy into giving it to me.
This whole thing has made me realize, although I’ve hardly slept in days and the depression and delirium had started to get to me that night, that the fact that my body is fully functioning and beautiful is such a huge blessing, and I should cherish, be happy, and take care of my body, instead of pick on it and push it to the limit on the daily. I am so so lucky to be healthy.
Yet I constantly scold my body, you need to get stronger, more fit, more muscle, I tell it. You need to be productive and moving 100% of the time until you are out of your mind with exhaustion.
My family always teased my mom, for her loud way of speaking, her dramatic flair and easy excitement. She’s one of the people who speaks loudly just in there ‘inside’ voice, especially when she got excited. Her twin brother is EXACTLY the same way except louder! I used to get so annoyed with it, especially when my friends at school told me I speak louder than normal too.
But now I love that about us, and I would give anything for mom to be that way again.
Lonely? Hopeless?
I feel both all the time. The loneliness is inexplicable, it’s not like when I lived alone in Toronto, missing my family and friends and surrounded by strangers… it’s like I’m going through life alone. Everyone’s moving on and I’m stuck back behind fighting on my own, all on my own. I have a lot of happy moments in between, though, when I can appreciate how healthy and wealthy I am and that I STILL have my mom after all these months.
But now I’m really scared. I feel like we’re inching… inching closer and closer to a massive turning point in the new year. and I don’t know if it’s going up or down. It’s too terrible to consider I just love my mom so so so much. More than anything or anyone I’ve always loved her.
She was my best friend when all the girls at school turned on me with their backstabbing and jealousy. She showed me how to be a true woman. She showed me the beauty in life, how to take pleasure in the small things, whether it be interior design, travel, beautiful places, homes, etc. She taught me a standard and a lifestyle.
And she always taught me to appreciate everything i have.
But most of all, she believed in me. She is the reason that I know I am brilliant. She is the reason that I will be a very successful novelist one day.
She is the reason I will have the life I always dreamed of. She told me every day that I would have it. It’s too mind-blowing what she’s done for me in my life.
Taught me. I’ve learned from ALL her mistakes.

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