Saturday started out with a trip to the Farmer's Market with my Sister in Law. It was a little weird, this tiny little hamlet that I grew up in, that I couldn't wait to get away from my entire childhood has grown into this interesting little place with lots to make it not only palatable - but actually enjoyable.
She bought me a raspberry tea that was fresh and amazing. I bought some cake balls that were equally amazing. I got mom a carrot cake one that she never felt well enough to eat while I was there.
It's weird how when someone you love is deathly ill, you can still go out and do things like the world isn't ending. Mom was really looking forward to some Cinnamon twist things, she grinned and licked her lips like a little kids when she was promised them. We acquired those, and eggs, and treats for the kids before we left.
Back home Mom was still Mom. Not well at all. But my Aunts came and visited and we all sat and told stories and laughed for a long while. Mom talked about her funeral with them, just casually, like she was talking about a gathering she was planning. Well, I guess that is exactly what it is. She made sure they also knew that she wants Spirit in the Sky played loudly, and everyone has to sing. Matt and I laughed about how that song has been ruined for us forever. Mom got worn out very easily by so much talking, and we decided to go out for a couple of hours to let her sleep.
The Beer and Bluegrass festival was going on in downtown Franklin so Matt & I took the girls and met up with the Aunties.
The town I grew up in was uptight. We didn't walk around downtown and drink beer. In fact, you didn't drink in bars downtown. You joined private clubs and drank there so you didn't have to drink with the Riff Raff. Listening to music while trying new to me beers from various beer trucks on the courthouse square was both surreal and a sort of amazingly therapeutic. I was home, in a home that never was, and I was with lots of people I love. There was music and beer and for a while nobody was sick, it was just a small town full of people who's last names I know and quietly judge them for.
Sorry I can't help that - that habit was bred into my bones.
My mom wasn't great when we got back. Too tired, drifting when we talked, hands bouncing - a sign of ammonia building up due to her stupid liver not doing it's job.
You had one job, liver. You asshole.
I laid down in bed and surfed the net and thought about the fact that despite the reality that I wanted to go home, I also never wanted to leave. I wanted to go into Mom's room and talk nonstop. I was sorry I moved away. I missed so many years. I should've been there, with my parents as they aged.
Except that isn't who they raised me to be.
When I was 7 my mom nearly died giving birth to my sister, who did die during delivery. My mom says that while she was bleeding out, and they were hanging more and more blood trying to save her, she looked over in the corner of the delivery room - knowing her baby was dead, thinking she was about to die, and she saw my grandfather standing there in the corner.
She said she wasn't scared, she wasn't even worried. She said she knew I was strong and smart, and that I would be just fine. She said she wasn't sad that the baby was dead because she believed Grandpa would take the baby and that if she died she'd go with them and it would all be ok.
She didn't die, but she truly looked like she was nearly dead when next I saw her two weeks later.
It seems wrong to consider that it's only been 39 years since that happened. Almost exactly 36 years, as it was August 16th - they day she almost died. I can't get my mind around the idea that my mom is going to die soon, and she only lived another 39 years from the day she almost bled to death. Is 39 years a long time in those terms or not? I don't know. It seems too small to me.
I didn't take any pictures of my mom or my dad when I was home, which seems weird if you know me. But I don't want to remember them declining and dying. I want to remember them full of life - my parents who weren't being betrayed by biology.
But I have probably one of the last great pictures my mom took before her illness took such a grave toll on her, and even then she wasn't well at all.
It was last year in September that we rushed home, because my mom's condition had become so serious.
I feel like I wasn't prepared for what serious is.
Now we're in it. I'm still not prepared.