In recent days I have fed my mother. I have changed my mother. I have cared for her in the ways that she cared for me as a child. Life has come full circle it would seem. In a way, I feel honored. My mother is, and always has been, a sweet and genuine person. She deserves nothing less than to receive tender care from the people who she cared for most deeply.
No matter how poetic, this has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It hurts to think of my father having to care for my mother on his own for so long. I wish they lived closer. I wish they would’ve moved when they could. I wish they would have let me move. Early on in my mother’s diagnosis I mentioned to her that we had discussed moving closer. I wanted to be there for her. She pulled me to the side and made it very clear that that wouldn’t be something she wanted.
“There’s so much more opportunity in Atlanta. You wouldn’t be happy here. Stay in Atlanta and plant your roots Kesha. Life must go on.”
Life must go on.
Yesterday we all made the tough decision to place my mother in the Hospice facility. I cried. My father cried. My mother agreed that it would be the best thing, but the decision was still so difficult. It almost felt like giving up – relenting to the inevitable – But my mother’s condition has depleted considerably. In the few moments that she is able to stay awake, her face holds a permanent grimace of pain and discomfort. Hospice is best.
The facility is absolutely gorgeous. Fresh cut flowers are placed on every surface daily. Handmade quilts and stuffed animals sit neatly in every chair. Everyone is so friendly and sweet, and every area is bright and inviting… but there was still an air of gloom and sadness in the air. No matter how hard they try to mask it, this place that tries to create so much life and happiness is ultimately a place of loss and death.
This is so hard…