The Mama Posts: Reflections on my Mother, January 9, 2013
My mother has been bedridden since the spring, in a hospital bed with bars so she can’t get out, as if the blindness were not itself a prison. The Parkinson’s, along with Prednisone for her temporal arteritis, affect her sleep cycle, so she sometimes doesn’t sleep for 3 or 4 nights straight. She eventually starts hallucinating. Sometimes she thinks she can see little children coming out of the ceiling, rather like angels coming down from heaven. The “angels” do not comfort her; they disturb her and she tries to jump out of bed and go after them, thus the necessity of the bars. No medicine stops this cycle somewhere between heaven and hell, and probably nearer the latter. How do we calculate a life, when is it time to stop the clock? By spending her days saying, “dear God, dear God, why do I have to live like this?” has she not decided she wishes the clock to stop? We cannot do it for her; we are forced to hold her hand and suffer alongside her.