Last night was hard. My mother does many things extremely well; letting go is not one of them.
Mum was supposed to take some Valium to ensure that she slept through the night, but when I brought it to her, she wasn't ready to let go. Swallowing that pill was the last act over which she is likely to have complete control for some time.
Around 8:30, I brought her the pill and she cheerily said "oh, is that the Valium?" Then I made a mistake: when she turned away and took a big swig of her hot chocolate, I assumed that she'd taken the drugs.
Shea and I went to Jarling's, an old, comforting haunt. We've been going there as long as I can remember, and when the girl behind the counter told me that the chocolate chip snowstorms don't have "real chocolate chips" in them, I was almost offended that she should think I wouldn't know that. Then I had a realization: I've probably been eating those chocolate chips longer than she has been alive.
Shea and I had been chatting for ten or fifteen minutes when my phone rang. Mum was having technical difficulties with the blog. Why was she still awake and working?
When we got home, mum was "just taking care of a few things." Within a few minutes, she was vigorously "imposing order." I waited for the Valium to take effect. She issued some instructions with great fervor. We organized, evaluated, made notes, strode to and fro.
By 10:30, I was seriously concerned. Mum finally asked for her Valium. "I already brought it to you." Oh, well, she must have taken it then. Was I sure I'd brought it to her? She hadn't put it down, but she couldn't remember taking it. We searched for a little yellow pill: behind the monitor, on the floor, in the stacks of papers we'd dealt with. We couldn't find it anywhere, and she just couldn't remember.
By now, we're quite sure she never took the Valium. She struggled so hard, preparing to relinquish control, and in the end (because of the tumor?) she didn't get to make the choice. She just couldn't remember.
We're ready for this thing to come out.