Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It all started on Monday night when my father called to tell me my mom was in the hospital. According to him, she’d been admitted for pneumonia/bronchitis and was detoxing at the same time. It was too late for me to get there, as the ferries stop trips early in the evening. First thing Tuesday morning I called my office to see if I could get the day (or a few days) off to go and visit her. At less than 100lbs (45.45 kgs) my mother is on the verge of vanishing into nothing even without illness. Death was the first thought that came to my mind.

I couldn’t reach my boss, or her daughter. Almost coincidentally, they were both in the hospital as my boss had been suffering severe chest pains that morning. My shift was from 3pm until 11pm on Tuesday and I had no choice but to go in. By the time they got out of the hospital and were accessible, it was too late again for me to take a trip to the island. I did however get the Wednesday and Thursday off, swapping shifts with a colleague of mine. So I went home from work that night thinking I’d get a little sleep and then jump on the first ferry in the morning. But sleep wouldn’t come. Instead, I spent the night tossing and turning, jumping up for a smoke here and there, until 3am when I got in the shower and quickly packed whatever I thought I’d need. I was at my nieces house before 4am, ready to take her to visit her grandma too.

We made it to my mom in the hospital around 10.30am. She was shocked to see us. But for the first time in over a year, she welcomed my presence. She was thankful for the time we’d taken to go out there, she was thankful for the flowers, she was thankful to have someone to play cards with in the hospital. For the first time, she resembled that best friend of mine from so long ago. She hardly had a voice, but was in good spirits. She’d been answering the hospital phones, because the place was so busy there never seemed to be a nurse around. We spent the day with her in the hospital, listened to her talk, walked around with her until her doctor came and told her she could leave. He made me listen to the final lecture before we left though. And that was a lecture that for a moment, seemed to make my mother want to push me away.

It turned out she had gone into the hospital on her own, pissed drunk, asking for help for her alcoholism. The other illnesses had been discovered and treated the week before. She had been chemically detoxed and now, simply had to follow it up by not drinking and attending counselling for both her alcoholism and metal state. As the doctor talked, my mom’s eyes looked either directly at him, like an obedient child agreeing to do whatever he said, or at the ground. She could not look at me. She did not want me to know she had finally admitted to having a problem. I acted oblivious to what the doctor said, hoping to restore my mother’s good mood before leaving. And it seemed to work.

I asked that she attend the meeting he’d set for her the next day and she agreed. When she was discharged, she asked me if I had an extra pair of pants, because she had made a mess of hers. In my car I found I’d only packed the purple flannel kitten print pyjamas I’d stolen from her years ago. She giggled as I gave them back and she dressed herself in them. It was really nice to finally see my mother remotely happy and accepting of at least some of her issues.

We went for dinner with my father and brother. All the while both boys seemed to be pushing her buttons. My niece and I both gave the boys shit for it. Both men have been treated like shit for the last few years, and they have learned to cope by joking, or poking fun at her. Habits die hard. But she had just gotten out of the hospital and she was taking the first step to getting better. It wasn’t the time. And personally, I found it awfully disgusting.

My niece and I left the island and were back in Squamish just after 11pm. I had to run into my office because all hell had broken out during the shift that was supposed to be mine. A little clean up help was needed. When I finally got home, I slept like someone had hit me over the head with a hammer. I was fucking exhausted.

The next morning I woke up and tried to call mom. I got my brother. Mom had taken to the bottle again. And instead of making her appointment she was out running around with my dad. He wasn’t supposed to know about the treatment, by her request so even though it had been whispered to him, he didn’t say a word about it.

I've talked to my mom twice since. She has called me. But she says nothing about the treatment, nothing about the appointments she misses. She simply thanks me for taking the time to be with her while she was in the hospital and talks like all is normal.

There are a lot of other areas of my life that have been moving rapidly, but I haven’t had the chance to clean my house let alone organize my thoughts on it all. All I can say is despite the depressing reality that is my family, life still looks good. The only complaint I really have is how much I miss my son.

4 words of wisdom:

alexander... said...

Feels a little invasive, being a stranger commenting on this. But, for what it's worth, I'm truly glad life is looking good for you.

Here. Have a smiley. :)

Tainted Female said...

Thank you for stopping by and sending some happiness my way. Appreciate it much!

adevents said...

just glad to read one of ur post again pls do write always

Tainted Female said...

Heya AD... It's been a long time. And yeah, I admit I've been mean to my old blog here... Life really does get in the way over here in Canada.

I'll smack myself into writing more often, I promise!

Do hope you and yours are wonderful!


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No matter where I am, I'm lost and learning to like it. I'm a living contradiction, and the best lies I tell are the ones I tell myself.
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