I can’t stop thinking about my mother this week.
For months now it has seemed that she is at the end of her life, but she has kept waking up to each new day, seemingly strong and determined despite her frail body that weighs no more than seventy pounds or so. She is stubborn and tough, both of which are apparently family traits. She has talked often about how she might live to her 90’s (she is 88 now) or even longer.
All the while she has been growing more feeble.
About a week ago she told my sister, “I am ready to meet my Lord.” While we have thought she was near the end this was the first acknowledgement from her that I am aware of that it is impending. She has been talking about funeral arrangements also. When I went to visit on Sunday she noted several times that she could go any day now.
Lately she has been seeing people in her room that no one else can see. She could go any day now.
Because of these things this week I have been thinking about her a lot (or perhaps I should say a lot more). I have been nervously and periodically checking my phone for that phone call that tells me I either need to race eighty miles to see her before she goes or that I am already too late. That call will come. I just don’t know when. With her tenacity it could still be weeks or even months away. But I don’t think so. When a stubborn person says it is time, when they finally give in to the inevitable, you know that they no longer have much fight in them.
So when the phone rings I am scared to look at who is calling. I feel that I am as prepared as can be for the inevitable, but still . . . still, I am not and likely never will be ready.
On Sunday we laughed. Mom’s laughter has always delighted me and it did again on Sunday. Despite her claims that she is ready to go she is still creating memories for us. I wouldn’t mind her laughter as my last memory. There is such joy in that and it reminds me of so much joy from the days when she was younger, stronger, with all her faculties, and had most of a lifetime ahead of her yet. Maybe that phone call will wait a little bit longer but I’m afraid it won’t. Maybe there is more laughter yet to come, but tears seem more likely. I check my phone, and wait.