Sunday, April 03, 2005

My Final Answer

Mom confided in me tonight that she plans to run away.

I'm not sure she knows exactly where she would go or even how she would get out of the hospital without being noticed...though I have no doubt that if she did, she would eventually find her way back to my house. Sort of like those stories about people who leave their dogs behind when they move...only to discover it in their new backyard one month later. Those dogs travel through snowstorms and over parched asphalt to find their owners, their family, the ones they love. They know exactly where they need to be.

Even though mom has her own apartment with her furniture, pictures, artwork and down pillow...she considers our place to be her home. Truth be told, she never really settled in at the assisted care facility, despite all of our best efforts.

Several months ago, mom pleaded with me to stay here forever. To never step foot outside of this house again. To eventually die in the bed in my second bedroom.

I replied, "No."

I don't know if this is a normal or reasonable request of a parent to ask a daughter. I just know that I would never recover from the experience.

When Ann passed away in her sleep almost 3 months ago, Denise thought it would help her to see Ann one last time. She made it to the bedroom doorway and saw Ann's legs and feet...and then turned around and ran out of the condo. Denise never fully explained what she saw. All she could tell me was, "When a person dies, the blood settles." She's had nightmares ever since.

So my answer to my mom's request remains, "No."

Truly, I do have my limits.