They say that all things that happen in your lives, the really big things, are lessons to be learned. The universe has a subtle (and often not so subtle) way of teaching us. In the last several months, almost half a year, actually, the universe has decided to “teach” my mother (and consequently myself) a lesson.
We are both still processing all that has happened and therefore, perhaps, the lesson has not yet crystallized for either of us. I realize that as I am writing this post, I’m including my mother in this (or including myself in a post about my mother). Perhaps, the subtle lesson exists in that very statement. Perhaps not. Perhaps, I need to fully write out the events and arrive at some kernel of truth, of a lesson, of something to explain.
[voice over, "The Voice of God" or Orson Welles] It all began in November 2011…
My father passed away. My mom would say “He died.” She prefers it; she says we need to confront death, so ‘passing away’ is too soft. “Confront reality!” I hear her voice in my head. He died. After almost 11 year of battling Parkinsons, he went gently, softly in the night. There was a part of me, when I heard the news on November 21st, that thanked the heavens, that he went peacefully, at home, without tubes stuck in him, without drama.
Most would say he had a great life. And adventurous one which included airplane crashes, travels in the Saharan Desert, temporary blindness at age 30 (or thereabout), seeing Russian tanks entering his birth city, marrying a classical ballerina. I could go on with what an exceptional man he was, how he provided for us and made us feel like queen and princess, but I eulogized him at his funeral and you can read more here.
My father’s passing was not, I don’t think a lesson per se. It was a moment in time that shaped the months to come and gave me an opportunity to confront the reality of death and notice how much like him I am.
The person who was living with my mom and helping her take care of dad up an left suddenly, two weeks after dad’s passing. She left without reason or cause after she had been offered a roof over her head, pay and an opportunity to work elsewhere, while living with mom. It came as a great shock to both of us. To anyone who heard.
[voice over, Forrest Gump]
And that’s all I have to say about that
As a result of my father’s passing, my mother, who had been his primary care person, began to show signs that taking care of an 85 year old man is no easy task. Naturally, she went for a check up and was told by her PCP that her thyroid was showing signs of strain. That her TSH levels were off and she could be hyperthyroidial. All with the territory, everyone around me said. It is natural that after all the strain, and subsequent grief, she had pushed her body (and mind and spirit) to the edge. But nonetheless, just to
avoid a lawsuit cover her ass be thorough, the doctor suggested mom go see an endocrinologist to double check.
So off she went. She was tested in a nuclear medicine facility. She was radioactive for a week. At the end of the testing process, with his back turned, “You have Graves’ disease.”
End of Part I