My mother died in September, a little over a year after her Stage IV cancer diagnosis. She never came to terms with the necessity of moving into a nursing home due to her extreme physical de-conditioning and medical care needs. Also, especially the last 6 months or so, she was exhibiting more and more cognitive impairment. This didn’t help the fact that she couldn’t understand the situation; she was very angry with me most of the time.
Since she passed, I’ve been having occasional nightmares about her. Not necessarily scary dreams, but they disturb me and interrupt my sleep – I’ll be cranky and tired the next day or two, as well.
These dreams almost always take the form of being in an institutional like setting. The most recent seemed like we were sitting in a school cafeteria, crafting, in a brightly lit area at the long tables. In every dream, she is in her wheelchair, looking like she did soon after her diagnosis, before she became really frail.
Usually, I have a vivid feeling that she is there, and she is glaring at me with her mad face (I saw a lot of that in real life), and she is very angry with me. She doesn’t say much to me, just pierces me with dagger eyes, until something snaps me out of it – my subconscious tells me, this isn’t real. She’s no longer here. But, I wake up feeling sad, and terrible, and just defeated.
So, I was telling my sister about it recently. She offered the idea that Mom was maybe in Purgatory, working through her anger and it was coming through to me. I said, but why do I have to be there with her? Do I at least get credit when it’s my turn?
And, my sister said, oh,after this past year, you get AP credit. You definitely get AP credit.
You may have noticed that not much has been going on over here in my little corner of the world. Everytime I think I can carve out a little time for this ole baby blog, it seems the universe has other ideas.
My Mom has had another medical crisis, involving both a sudden surge in blood sugar (500+) AND several strokes – “Showers” of strokes, as the neurologist said. This necessitated surgery to remove some blockages, and now some extra recovery time. So, I’ve had to set aside some free time (willingly), and assist her in managing the many new appointments we have to get to.
I invented a new word today.
My mother has been in the hospital for 13 days, after having some strokes, and assorted other issues, necessitating surgery and a blood transfusion. She is to be discharged tomorrow.
Knowing that she was being cared for today, and feeling as if I didn’t need to camp out in her hospital room all day in case the doctors come by with some tidbits of very important data, I decided to take a last minute outing with my daughter in search of something fun.
We were searching for glees – that’s a creation of my sister… a noun I’ve never really seen used in a plural form.
I turned to my daughter, and articulated that I hoped nothing urgent happened back home, because, you know, sometimes searching for the glees can result in gleepercussions.
She stared at me, as you probably are staring at your screen right now, trying to decide whether to laugh, or smack me.
Then we saw a bald eagle go soaring by and ate snow balls until we got sick.
I am particularly fond of 70’s disco bands that used real musicians, especially horn sections, instead of synthesized sounds. Think KC and the Sunshine Band; think Kool and the Gang. Yeah. Those guys.
Disco has a place in my home. When I clean house, I must have a dance playlist pumping put the tunes to keep me going, pushing through the various messes and ick that need to be taken care of. Sometimes it is 80s techno or 00s pop, but most recently, I’ve had a taste for my old faves.
Now. Let’s set the mood. Before reading the rest of this post, go listen to this. Crank it up. I’m Your Boogie Man.
Do you hear it? Ahhhh.
Okay. So, I’ve got some cleaning and disinfecting to do. I’ve also got a teen-aged daughter who needed some motivation to help… a soundtrack for sweat. I put KC and the Sunshine Band on 11; then the sneer came – the look of abject horror on my girl’s face as she watched me work it around the kitchen. If a look could bury one’s mother, in a cave, 5 miles deep, she had it.
“What?!” I hollered over the music,” don’t you like it? Come on! Dance with me!”
She responded by crossing her arms and rolling her eyes, and went off to finish dusting.
I was a little sad. How? How could my very own offspring not love my music?
Fast forward a few days. KC was on the kitchen speaker again; “I’m your Boogie Man” blasting full volume. I was out of sight in my room, when my daughter came into the house. I could tell she was there; she could not see me. I was planning on jumping out to startle her when she inevitably walked past my doorway.
It was beautiful. I couldn’t have asked for a better set-up. Right before I jumped out behind her, she raised her arms high above her head; she began to sway and jump. My baby! Dancing to disco. The same music she rolled her eyes at. It was glorious. I pounced. She screamed.
She knew I saw. I saw. She couldn’t hide her shame. Hahahaha.
I’m YOUR Boogie Man.