December 4, 2000

4 December

1:15 p.m.

Last night , admittedly nauseated , unrested, and zombie-like, I got on the highway to go an hour outside of Atlanta to go to my mother who now lives in a nursing home. As I have mentioned in Artery before, she has an Alzheimer’s like dementia and is in a wheelchair. Her face is smooth and childlike. She has amazing jade green eyes like no one else I have ever seen and she is beautiful at 83 years old. She had me late in life and so my brothers (one of whom died in an accident) were a decade older than me and were not really around much when I was growing up. My father was very busy and on assignment out of town a lot and my mother was truly my best friend and more like a sister to me than a mother.

So last night, my brother came by the nursing home and we began to talk about our lives and when he asked how I was really doing, I told him that I was frightened and unwell- full of anxiety and sadness from the loss of the man I loved so deeply . I told him that this man had stated that he wanted me to give him space for a separate life from mine.

My mother who had been looking at us silently while my brother and I talked, suddenly looked directly into my eyes and spoke up with lucid clarity , “Well ! You’ve been giving ME a lot of space. You don’t come see me enough!”

This ‘chastizing’ I consider a beautiful gift I will remember.