I’m sitting forward in my chair so I can rest my hand on top of Ma’s wondering if she is aware of this simple touch. There is a tube coming out of her hand; there are tubes coming out of everywhere. She is hooked to respiratory equipment with two large tubes going into her mouth helping her to breathe. It’s life support and she needs it now. She is asleep but not of her volition she is being sedated until her pneumonia clears. The room is lit only by the various monitoring screens charting her vital signs. I’m feeling sadness. She would be scared if she woke now and I can feel this fear when I look into her fragile face and hear it in all the beeps and chirps of the machines. As I sit looking and rubbing her hand and taking it all in my heart aches. She has been sick for a long time now and I’ve been a creep. This lament is overwhelming now and causes me to reflect.
I’ve known Ma since I was fifteen when I first starting dating Patty yet I don’t really know her. I didn’t try to. When Patty’s dad died Ma came to stay with us and has been ever since; for over twenty years. She got her own place when we came to Florida but has been more or less dependent on Patty for everything. This is where the creep came in. I started resenting her for all the time she took away from me and Patty and it showed. All my sons picked up on it. It wasn’t the time she was taking away that they were aware of, it was the fact that I resented it and they took it as permission to resent her too. I felt no empathy when she became sick and now as I look at this poor frightened woman I am ashamed of myself. Like the Grinch my heart is growing and I realize that I do love her…she is Ma. She has been more of a mother to me than my own mother and I turned my back on her.
When she recovers I will attempt to turn this around. I am not ready to lose her yet. I hope she forgives me.