It has been a hard two months and I haven’t written anything. Not even a really short post that I would normally have, just to break the silence. Sometimes, life happens to you so fast that you don’t really have the time or the will or the energy to pull back, even if to document it. In the last two months, I have been consumed with mommyhood in a sense, but in a different way. I was dealing with the one mommy I couldn’t go lightly with. Mine. She was in fragile health, her heart was fast giving up, her body slumping by the day. There was too much going on in my head and my fingers could not keep pace. So thoughts and ideas learnt how to inhabit my head and get flushed out when I was done dealing with them.
It was time for us children to finally be parents to our mother.
Ironically, the last post I wrote was about how only our mothers know how to look after us when we are ill (which I was when I wrote it). And now it was my turn to be mommy to my mommy.
And so, there she was, on the hospital ICU bed. My mother, on the edge of life and death, punctured, torn open, stitched up, sedated, and in searing pain, despite her over-medicated state. But she had only one question to ask. “Have you eaten?”
Sometimes she asked me to make myself a cup of Horlicks kept by her bedside. Sometimes she just felt sorry that she kept me away from my child for such long hours. Sometimes she wondered if the sleeping arrangement at the hospital was comfortable for us. Were there mosquitoes? Was it too cold? Was the pillow too hard? Sometimes she lamented that her cough didn’t let us sleep. But at all times, what she felt disempowered by was the fact that we had to play mommy to her. That she had to put the mother in her on hold.
But then, that is the irony of being a mother. To always put another person before you, no matter what state of mind or body you are in. Which made me wonder. Is motherhood about giving and not receiving? Would she not have done the same for me? Then why was she feeling what she was feeling?
And it is when it hit me. My mother will always love me more than I can ever love her. Just as I will always love Re more than he can ever love me in the years to come. It’s a hard truth to deal with, but I am learning to live with it. Slowly.