Monday, November 28, 2011

I Have A Bad Feeling About This

"I knew that was going to happen, I had a dream," my mother used to tell me before she went crazy and became a drug addict.  "You know I get premonitions."

Sometimes she would call me and tell me not to drive that night because she had a vision of something bad happening.  "Oh, ok Ma, I get it one of your visions, I promise I won't drive tonight.  No worries, " I told her one time she called.   I promptly hung up the phone, grabbed my keys and hit the road.  Wouldn't you know it, my car died that night?  I was left stranded.  Broke.  And cursing my mother, again.

But it turns out, I might have the crazy lady gift.  You see I too had a vision.  A vision of darkness and dread.  I thought it was my usual holiday anxiety---knowing there would be tears with my turkey.  

Against my gut feeling, vision, premonition, fear, anxiety or whatever you want to call it, I went.  I went for Thanksgiving with my mother this year.  

My big sister hosted.  She cooked, prepped and worried.  
My mother was there.  Or the woman that used to be our mother.  She was cranky when we got there, insecure, out of her element.  That usually means she will be on the attack and this time her target was my sister.  Even though my sister is the one that still invites her into her home (I created the "mother you aren't allowed in my house or alone with my children" rule six years ago), she was the one my mother wouldn't leave alone.  Most of the time we are immune to the cruel jabs she hurls because we know she is sick and broken. But sometimes they still hurt.  

As my sister prepped for the meal that was to be served at 4:30, our kids ran around playing happily together.  The husbands watched football.  It was almost normal.  Minus the sad, broken woman ridiculing the host and stumbling around the house slurring her words.  

The kids were playing hair salon and tattoo shop.  I was annoyed because my kids' hair was slicked back and they had drawn marker tattoos all over their arms.  "There goes my cutesy family photo," was the thought running through my head.

My sister pulled the turkey out of the oven and my mother almost tripped over the burning hot oven door.  "Mom!," we screamed and saved her from falling.

She straightened up and rubbed her head.   We all breathed a sigh of relief knowing we dodged a huge bullet.  Whew, it was going to be okay.  My vision was wrong....nothing bad was going to happen, just normal holiday anxiety. It was going to be ok.  We just saved her from falling.

We went about our business of setting up more of the dishes getting ready to call the kids up from their new business ventures.  "Where's mom?" I asked my sister.

At that very god damn moment my sister and I turned to look at the back staircase leading into the kitchen.  At that very god damn moment we screamed and couldn't save her from falling.

It all happened as if in slow motion.  Her body was flat as a board and she was falling backwards down four steep stairs.  "Mom, NOOOOO!," my sister screamed.  "Oh my god!," I screamed.

We watched her fall.  We watched everything change in that moment.  In that moment her life flashed before our eyes.  Every bad decision.  Every bit of bad luck.  We screamed out for the mother we knew before the drugs and mental illness.  The mother with the never-ending energy.  The mother who made the best brownies.  The mother who danced in our kitchen. The mother who had an amazing love story with our father.  The mother who loved us.  The mother we loved.

Then in a matter of seconds that felt like eternity she was on the floor.  Alert, but moaning.  No blood, but my premonition was back.  This was bad.  This was going to get worse.

After a quick ambulance ride to the hospital, a million tests, screams for more and more and more pain meds, and hours of waiting we found out she broke her neck. 

She is not paralyzed.  She will not need surgery.  But to say she is a complicated case is an understatement.

What's next?  A complicated, messy road to...not recovery, more like a road to stable drug addiction in hopefully an assisted living facility.  And of course keeping a neck brace on for six months so the bone doesn't shift and paralyze her or cause a stroke.

"This time I really did it," my mother told my my sister while she waited for the ambulance.  "This is different, it's bad."

I am not doubting her premonition this time.  It's bad.

So my sister and I are jumping into this with our fingers crossed.  Hoping that we can get her the help she needs without losing ourselves or our marriages in the process. Here we go...

I used to listen to this song, "All at Once," years ago when I would fight with my mother and wonder what was going to happen to her.  Best line..."why the angels turn their backs on someone, is a mystery to me."  Bonnie Rait is a goddess.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother falling. I will be praying for her and for all of you.
    Beth L.