When I visited Mama at Memory Lane today she was tearful. She heard an awful rumor that my father had passed away and was inconsolable. I told her a story–reassured her that he was indeed fine, that he knew she was away getting the care she needs, and that he sent his love to her. She calmed down, and it was clear she was relieved. I happened to have my camera with me and offered to take her picture. We laughed as she posed and proudly showed off her new pocketbook and tote bag, both gifts from my sister. She asked me to send the pictures to Daddy. My father has been dead for 18 years and still he is the love of her life. She mourns his death over and over.
Following my mother’s moods is a bit like predicting the path of a storm. I never know what I will find when I visit. Some days are good and some are not. I give her all I have – love, hope, joy, reassurance, hugs and attention. And still it is never enough. It’s hard to leave if she is sorrowful. I wish I could escape, but instead I lean into the hurt, because I know there really is no way to outrun pain.