The Soundtrack of My Life – 25 – Dream a Little Dream of Me

I am so far behind on these posts. I had finally caught up but then life got increasingly complicated.

We recently went on a road-trip to ultimately end up in Denver, Colorado, to see Chris Stapleton. This was my husband’s previous birthday gift. On the Thursday before the concert, and literally packing up our belongings to head to Denver from Rapid City, South Dakota, I got a call from my mother’s hospice nurse. In a calm tone she informed me that my mother was no longer able to swallow. The plan going forward was to stop her medications and give her only small amounts of liquids using a lollipop style sponge.

Not even five minutes later, the BF got a phone call from his grandmother that his grandfather (who had Parkinson’s) was refusing to eat. Since he made it clear he didn’t want a feeding tube, he was starting hospice care.

The whole drive to Denver I debated with myself, and for those around me, whether I should cut the trip short and go home or continue on. As it was, we either rushed home to see my mom before she passed and miss out on seeing Chris Stapleton (one of my husband “bucket-list items”), or continue on to the concert and miss a chance to say goodbye to her. I ultimately felt that the concert was more important. Life is for the living, and I had said goodbye to my mother many times before.

The universe decided my decision was the incorrect one.

The Friday before the concert the brother-husband asked me what time the event started the next day. I opened up the app and discovered that Chris’s concert had been postponed to the subsequent weekend. Four days after we were scheduled to be home in California. Shoot me. We had briefly, briefly debated staying the rest of the week, but the financial pressure that would have put on us would have been entirely too much. Sure it would have been fun, but ultimately would have left us scraping by. Also, it would have potentially made saying goodbye to mom impossible.

With that final hiccup, we packed our shit up and headed home.

The moment we got back into town I visited my mom and would every day after. I sat in a wheelchair, at her bedside, talking to her and rubbing her arm. For about 75% of the time we spent together she was out cold. She would wake up intermittently, look at me, and then go right back to sleep. At this point she was mostly non-verbal and could barely mumble out a coherent phrase. She did, however, manage a “I love you.”

Two weeks to the day she could no longer swallow, my mother passed. I got the call as I was heading out the door for my workday.

I don’t know if it’s because I saw this coming, a mile away, or I’m just a monster, but I have barely cried in the wake of her death. In comparison with my pop’s, this fact is deeply troubling to me. With him, I could not stop myself. Every thought or relatable song caused me to breakdown. However, now, all I want to do is hide away and sleep. But the responsibilities of my life keep that from happening. Which is a good and bad thing.

Since I got the news, I have been listening to two of my mom’s favorite singers: Anne Murray and Mama Cass.

I wish this song didn’t say the mama and the papas. The song is Mama Cass (aka Cass Elliot.) Anyway, I think my mother enjoyed her so much because, like my mom, was a bigger gal. It showed that the world wasn’t entirely body obsessed.

Saying that though, my mother’s was healthier than a horse. We had opined a few times that she would have survived the black plague, her immunity was so strong. The unfortunate thing is that her mind wasn’t included in that level of health. All of this unbelievably cruel, but that is life.

While I haven’t cried… I am deeply depressed. And perpetually angry. (But I have discovered that I tend to route my sadness into rage.) I just don’t want to do anything. Even writing this is agonizing, but I can’t let myself get so far behind that I can’t keep up.

This song is one of those that will forever make me think of my mom. Hearing it I am back in our station wagon, with the gray interior, on our hour long drive home. She’s singing along in her falsetto, bouncing to the beat.

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