|Watching my mother cry memories|
|Written by OHmommy|
|Thursday, 20 August 2009 00:00|
Last night in Chicago, I sat across from my mother watching her eyes fill with tears. She self consciously shifted in her lounge chair, for the shock in my eyes experiencing her emotional must have been startling. Her head titled to the left nearly reaching her shoulder the same reaction my daughter has when feeling exposed.
"Widzisz? You see?"
I nodded my head in agreement, overwhelmed with my own emotions.
"I needed to hear what they were saying." She slowly spoke in her native tongue. "I stood behind the door evesdropping on them both and started to cry."
"What did they say?" I asked in English. Always a tennis match of languages between us both. She begins to speak in Polish, I answer in English and at the end our words mix together in a combined language.
She dove again in her narrative, carefully planting each description of the series of unfortunate events that took place just days ago at 10 Rocky Lane. Her 85 year-old stubborn mother with a broken arm. Her 84 year-old father a walking corpse infested with Alzheimers. The 5,000 miles she traveled across an ocean on a minutes notice to care for them both. Her mother unable to dress, feed, tend to herself and stubbornly refusing any help. Her father sent to a government run hospital for "his own safety" strapped down to a wheel chair in a soiled diaper in rural Poland.
"He couldn't walk. Or talk. Or look me in the eye." My mother paints the picture of her father alone in a room with a gated window. "Ja wiedzialam. I knew. He needed to be home." My grandfather after my grandmother's accident was sent away from his beloved wife of 65 years, his only comfort in a world lost to Alzheimers, to an institution that resembled a jail cell, for care while his wife was ill.
"So, against doctor's orders. I brought him home to where he belonged."
My Babcia (grandma) greeting my Dziadek (grandfather), as my Mamusia (mom) smiles. Taken last year.
"So. What did they say to each other when they were finally alone?" I impatiently asked my mother seeing that her narratives go on forever before stumbling across the point.
"I stood in the hallway." She started again. "And I cried..."
Babcia: "Stanley, look at me. Look. I am weak and without much energy. Look at my swollen arm."
Dziadek: Silently looks at arm.
Babcia: "I'm not independent. I am not available to help you. I am sick. And you... you too are sick."
Dziadek: Silently makes eye contact.
Babcia: "We are both sick. And old. But you came home and we are together."
Dziadek: Nods head.
Babcia: "Sick. Old. But look... we are together again, here. At home. My Stanley."
Dziadek: Looks out the window and raises his hands, "You see. Yes. Yes. We are together."
My mother continues her story weaving a tale of observations, I hang onto each word trying to visualize them to re-create for my own children. As I gasp for air in between each memory my mother paints for me, sitting across from her on the impromptu Chicago vacation she guilt tripped me in, I listen to her final words.
"I showed him how to slip on her dress. One arm sleeve at a time. I told him to do so gently, over her cast." My mother cried. "And. He smiled at the honor of dressing her. Slowly and lovingly drapping the dress over his zona. His wife."
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 23:14|