Friday, December 5, 2014

Keeping the "Closeness"

When Lauren was home from college last week, she and I went to see the Nutcracker Ballet for the sixth year in a row.

This time a year ago, Lauren was a senior in high school and she and I talked at that time, about how we weren't sure if we would be able to carry on our "tradition" of going together, since she hadn't picked a college yet. We are finding that her living just 90 miles away has been awesome. It's just far enough away, but close at the same time, if that makes any sense! Given that she is a college "gal" and I am a stay-at-home mom who is rarely home, we still manage to communicate just about every day. When I moved here to the Midwest 13 years ago, one of the hardest things for me to do was to leave my family and close friends. I had never lived anywhere but Maryland!  I know that it was really, really hard on my mom because we are close. Our relationship changed a little, given the 600 mile distance, but we have still managed to stay in touch and "keep" the closeness. When I went out of town a few weeks ago for five days, it was to fly back, by myself to visit my parents, particularly my mother. She found out at the beginning of August of this year, that she and I have identical heart "issues." Unfortunately, hers is much more severe than mine.  She has not gone a week without being in urgent care, the hospital, or at a doctor's appointment since her diagnosis.  My brother has shouldered a lot of the responsibility, given that he lives in Maryland and I owe him a debt of gratitude. He is amazing. We are in just about daily contact now, helping my dad to make some tough decisions.  It is so incredibly difficult to be so far from my mom at this time, that it's really hard to put those feelings into words. It's kind of like a part of my heart is breaking. I am so glad that I was able to fly back recently and spend those five days with my mom. I hung out in her bedroom (she is pretty much bedridden) and we exchanged all kinds of stories!! Boy, did my mom have some good ones :)  The other night on the phone, I was able to have a pretty good conversation with her. She even asked me how I was doing, which warmed my heart. Just in the past couple of weeks since I have been back home, though, her health situation has significantly declined and today she is being transferred from the hospital to a nursing facility with hospice care. I have been thinking lately of those special moments in my life when my mom has been there for me, like my wedding.

And when I turned two. She chronicled every moment of my second birthday in this note I found in my baby book today:

I am so blessed that she has gotten to know my stepson, Lauren and Dominic. She and my hubby are very fond of each other too :)  Believe me, I am holding on tight to the "closeness" I have with my mother as best I can these days. I love you mom.

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