Seven Days

Seven days ago, I got a call from my mother’s nursing home. The nurse said that my mom had chosen to stop taking the medicine that was keeping her out of a coma, and that she had less than two weeks.

Six days ago, I boarded a plane back east with my wife and daughter. We got in near midnight so we spent the night at a small hotel near Boston.

Five days ago, I saw my mother for the first time in almost a year. She was alert, coherent, almost her usual self. She took such joy in seeing my daughter again! But she was tired, and she was ready, and for the next two days we talked and listened and did our best.

Three days ago, I spoke with her in person for the last time. I told her I loved her, and that I’d take good care of my family.

Two days ago, we got on another plane, this time heading west. At the airport, we split up: my wife and daughter going home while I went to California on a pre-planned work trip.

Yesterday, I was in a conference room nearly all day with teammates and we made a lot of progress. I wasn’t really hiding from my feelings, but it felt helpful to stay busy.

Today, I finally have time to sit and think, to process and feel. I know it hasn’t really hit me yet, and that it probably won’t until I go back again for her funeral. My wife didn’t get to know my mom as well as I had hoped, and my daughter’s memories of her grammie will be faint and fuzzy, but I think most of all I regret not spending more time just being with her.

So what am I going to do about it? Well, after I finish this post, I am headed downstairs to play with my kid, to connect with her and see the world through her eyes for a while.