Monday, April 28, 2014

Ups and Downs

Much of the weekend was lovely. But both days my mom sounded really off, and Sunday afternoon, it just hit me.

My energy levels plummeted and even dragging myself through an Insanity workout didn't help. My friends from downstairs came up for a BYO dinner, and she watched the kids while I struggled to barely tidy the kitchen.

This morning, against my will, I forced myself to bike to work, knowing the blood pumping through my legs and the fresh air coursing through my lungs would cheer me up.

And sometime about lunch time, I was better.

My brother's been reading a Buddhist book on death, and his advice to accept my mother's imminent death suddenly clicked.

Let me be clear. This is not what I want. I want her to live for twenty more years. I want her to see Calliope graduate from high school. I want her to meet her future grandchildren. I want her to retire gracefully from the law firm she founded, and to go on fabulous trips around the world. I want her to take the Sisterhood by storm, and make small but significant changes in the world.

This is not what's going to happen.

And that sucks.

But fighting that truth won't change it. Hoping for each miracle, and protesting its failure won't change the final outcome. It will just bring me misery.

So I'm quietly changing my expectations.

I'm not going to advise her on how to cope. Thank god, I have never had to be in her shoes.

I will be here for her in whatever way I can. I'm going to visit her (alone) this weekend. I'm hoping to take her on a trip in a few weeks. I will spend the summer with her.

But I will stop fighting. And gracefully, I hope, accept the blessing of what time we have left.

Calliope was so tender with Baby Eliza and didn't want to put her down... I think we are
both thinking that one of these might be just the thing for our family!


  1. First time visitor to your blog via Chasing Rainbows. I look forward to reading all about your journey with SMC but for now I had to say how sorry I am to hear about your mom. I dread the day I have to face what you are facing now but am so glad it appears as though you have your family rallying behind one another for support. You are in my thoughts.

  2. I love the photo! . So sorry about your mother.

  3. You are right that sometimes we have to accept the reality even though it breaks us apart. I hope you find some peace and then are able to enjoy some time with your mom. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. I'm not sure there is a good way to get through it. I didn't "fight" my mom's illness, but I sure didn't accept it. I guess I just didn't process it much at all while it was happening, so it was a huge shock when she did die. Fucking sucks. I hope you get to make a lot of good memories this summer.

  5. So sorry you're having to go through this right now. This American Life had a great hour about dying this week, and just listening to it made me think about the next time I'm going to have to face a loved one's death, and how painful it is.

  6. Sorry you have to deal with this. I cannot imagine the prospect. I hope you are able to gain/keep the perspective that will best help you to get through it.

  7. This is a good perspective to have & you will be glad you made the most of every moment with your mom. I am just so sorry you & your family have to go through this at all.

  8. I'm not sure I will be as strong as you when faced with this situation. I admire your courage and grace.

  9. I'm just catching up, and I'm so sorry to hear your mom's bad news. Sending you virtual hugs and good wishes for the strength to face the days ahead.

    LOVE the picture!

  10. I've been checking daily to see how you have been, for an update :/ praying and thinking of you and your family <3

  11. Hi Abby, I'll be sure to keep you in my thoughts. My name is Heather and I was hoping you could answer my quick question I have about your blog . My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)