The one about loss
“My mom had two bouts of cancer in five years. I’m grateful she got to meet my son, that’s the most important thing. It’s lovely seeing your parents as grandparents because they get to enjoy that connection without having to worry about all the stuff that parents stress about. I feel like my mom was meant to be a grandmother, and she got robbed of it. She only had ten months with him. There is so much I want to share with her. It makes everything about parenting so much harder. I asked my dad a question about teething one time and he said, ‘I don't know. I was at work. Your mom did that stuff.’
I wish I had asked her more questions. The last time I saw her and we had a real conversation was at the hospital. We talked about logistics: Who is going to manage the vacation home, how to do the taxes and how to access the bank accounts, how to manage our AirBnB, details on getting the couch reupholstered etc. We talked about everything except the most important thing to talk about. Maybe both of us thought we had more time. I'm not great at talking about my feelings.
When she came home for palliative care, I was focused on her medications and schedule. She was sleeping a lot and we didn’t want to disturb her. The last night that she was coherent, we made a playlist and sat with her and just casually talked. We suggested watching some home videos but she didn't want to do that. We suggested watching her favourite movie and she didn't want to do that. She didn't want to do anything that accepted the finality of it all. I think we were looking for closure at that point, but she wanted to avoid it, so we went with what she wanted. I was just focused on making her comfortable, that I wasn't thinking about anything else.
So now, the regrets are awful. I sometimes have to put it out of my head because I'll be laying in bed and I’ll wonder, why didn’t I say this or that. I could haunt myself for the rest of my life thinking about what I should have asked her, or should have said, or should have done. I love the stories she told but ultimately, I don’t want stories or answers, I want to be with my mom. There’s regret about not saying the right thing, but ultimately, there’s nothing I want answered other than: can you please come back and show me around.”