This is Bobbe, my mother. A picture taken maybe three years ago. She’s 85 here.
My mom was the most beautiful woman outside of Hollywood. I say that because I’m sure others feel similarly about their moms, and I also wanna leave a small margin for error just in case. I write that she was the most beautiful because that’s how I’ll always think of her. She looks different now. Smaller. Curled. Scarred. Blued. Frail. But as always, a light shines from Bobbe that never dims. It can’t be dimmed no matter how many tubes, needles, catheters, or whatever else is thrown at her this week. It’s tough several days for my family.
Until last Sunday all was well until it wasn’t. I was called back to New Jersey by my mom’s sister. Bobbe was in the ICU room at a hospital. To my mind, what happened, why it happened, why things like this do happen – none of this matters. My mom’s quality of life took an about face that day, and today, Thanksgiving, she remains on that path.
To watch from her side, there’s now a shadow. As if a force of nature found that switch hidden for 88 years and flicked it. No one lies so still for so long, and responds to so little. Bobbe does. And I watch. My hand first on her head. Then on her hand. And back again. My words to her are about love everlasting. My thoughts reassuring Bobbe that it’s okay if she’s ready, and trying, to go to Nanny Lilly and Uncle Lou and the others, and to all the cats and dogs we’ve known too. They’re all there now. And I think my mom is trying to lift her back leg up so it joins the one already through the open window to whatever is next.
I watch in slow motion and in real time. I would walk in traffic, do anything, to make this not a thing. But how silly is that. We all have a moment when the moment is no longer. For Bobbe, my beautiful mom, that moment is now.