Drove back from Oregon yesterday and heading to work at the college soon.
As I have shared, my mom is really sick and I needed to get home to see her. Her doctors and hospice team had recommended that people come soon to assure that she would be coherent enough to communicate and connect with us. My two aunts (her sisters) were there, too, so there was a lot of group family time spent talking, eating, watching tv. My mom has a set-up on the living room couch where she stays and dozes off/rests as needed. I didn't have the courage - or the space with family always around - to broach a meaningful conversation with her until yesterday before I left. I knew I needed to take the opportunity.
So, I bought a card and wrote a couple things I really wanted to tell her... basically, that I was sorry I wasn't more open as a pre-teen/teen when she tried to communicate with me (there are times I remember her trying and becoming upset when I refused to talk), and that I really appreciated her support at emotional times or times of crisis when she stayed calm and helped me figure things out or just plain helped get something done. This includes when I was upset at my Dad and she stayed calm and helped mediate or talked to him behind the scenes to help him manage his anger. Also, practical support like when I was a teenager and cut the hem of my skirt all wrong the night before a big trip, and she calmed me down and fixed it for me. I also brought her a couple of magazines and ice cream.
After she read the card, she thanked me and we hugged and held hands and cried a little bit. I told her it wasn't fair and I was so sorry this was happening. She said quietly, "these things happen," or something, which fits her practical Nebraskan character. I was able to make her a simple breakfast before I left and we shared a long hug good-bye.
I am very sad, and also grateful to have shared that connection with her before I left.