“You know, right? You know she has a mass, right?”
Of course, I know. How could I not know? After all, she is my mother. My first friend. My best friend. My confidante. My spring board. My cheerleader. My moral compass.
But I didn’t know. I mean deep down I knew that she would one day succumb in some way, shape, or form to her addiction, her vice, that which she so often claimed was her saving grace, her anti-depressant, her stability. I don’t know what or whom I hated more at that instant. The cigarettes. The doctor. God. Or my mother. Even myself. Yes, me. How could I not see the ravages that her body and spirit had been enduring all of my life? And why, oh why, had none of us helped her, comforted her, been important enough to her to save her from herself?
And then, there facing her in the ER, she looked at me lovingly with her beautiful, soulful, caring, blue eyes, and I could see. She was not my anything. She belonged all this time to herself. For the first time in forever, I realized that this was about her- her alone-and she was saying, “This is my life on my terms.”