Becky Says...

April 2002

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April 21

It was supposed to rain today, so I figured staying in and getting caught up on a few things was wisest. Turns out it didn't rain, and I didn't get a whole lot done. A friend was complaining earlier about not knowing where her weekend went. And I know how she feels.

Oh I could account for the hours themselves; I pretty much know what I've been up to for the last two days at any given minute. I just don't know what happened to the urge I had to get some stuff done.

I did make the mistake of watching some movie about a mother dying. I really did not need to see that, but I sort of had to stick with it once I got started. This was one where up until the last possible moment the mother was talking and was pretty much fine except she was dying.

It didn't happen like that at all with my mother. The last moments in her life when everything was pretty much fine happened twenty-two months before she died. The second stroke happened at that point, sometime between 2:00 and 2:15 on a Monday afternoon in June 1994. At 2:00 she was fine and making sense when she spoke; at 2:15 she still appeared fine, but the speech was confused.

And that's how it was the rest of her life, in terms of the speech. It was easier sometimes than other times to make sense out of what she was saying. Visuals helped some, and motions. A pattern developed wherein there were some words that pretty much always meant the same thing when she said them, whether or not they would mean that meaning to anyone else.

I knew her new vocabulary fairly well, after a while, but even at that it took me asking lots of questions to try to draw from her what it was she wanted to let me know. There weren't any scriptwriters feeding me the next lines, though that would have been handy.

This was no doubt more frustrating to her than to anyone else. After all, she had spent all her life being articulate and most of her working life teaching languages. She was not used to having to have someone interpret her thoughts and desires. And I was certainly never sure I had it exactly right, either.

In case you were wondering, yes, there were days I resented the holy hell out of the situation. I'll elaborate on that another time.

Text copyright 2000-2002 Becky