I’ve written before about the dance of the Supreme, ofen called Shiva’s Tandava. It’s the dance of life that enables everything to come from nothing (starting with the so-called Big Bang and even before that), it’s this same cosmic dance that sustains everything with life-protecting energy and motion, and finally this dance is responsible for recycling and the transcendence everything must undergo from the sub-atomic level right up through universal pralaya. And this dance is very likely to soon release my birth mother from her “mortal coil.”
She has a history of crying wolf and if she isn’t doing that then she’s lying through her teeth about whatever she may. Often she does both at the same time. Consequently, no one knows what to believe regardless of what she might say about anything. When you frame anything within that context, it’s understandably difficult to know the truth of any matter – particularly so with regard to her health. However, I began finding out the truth Thursday when she was admitted to one of the ICUs of a local hospital.
Her heart has severe myopathy. For the last 7+ years she’s been saved by her defibrillator – the lifespan of which is quickly expiring. She’s had a few other options on the table like heart transplant and L-VAD, however a recent battle with lung cancer (which she’s still not in the clear from yet) and her own long-term delinquency as a cardiology patient have pretty well screwed her out of those and any other options.
Thursday night, the whole of Friday, and much of this morning meant my staying at the hospital speaking to every specialist who came within reach. I was able to not only put much of the picture together but there were a number of instances where health care providers were very clear with all of us about the gravity of all this and how literally hopeless her case is. She’s in obvious denial, but not the unfortunate kind. With her it’s a pungently ignorant kind where she simultaneously continues seeking care and advice from her specialists while prattling on about how they “don’t know shit” about her. Thursday actually started with a series of visits from many non-clinical hospital personnel starting with Catholic communion given at her bedside, a visit from another minister, mention of the availability of a Catholic priest since we’re “on the Catholic list,” two practitioners involved with palliative care, and a social worker, among others.
As her firstborn and the most responsible of her children, my stay at the hospital meant being designated as her legal “voice” in the (inevitable) event that she is unable to speak for herself, as well as being the one with the most drive to make sure that her wishes are documented well so that when everything hits the fan, we can be very clear about her wishes in regard to the amount of resuscitation she would want/not want, the handling of her body after she leaves, what to do with her possessions, etc… Additionally, I’ve been the primary method of communication and peace keeping relay between my numerous siblings and any family who insist on being kept in the loop with any goings on. It’s been exhausting and will likely continue to be a drain not only of my PTO but also of my heart.
Probably the worst is ahead, as her heart continues to weaken and she continues to be the most ignorant and ego-centered person I’ve known. The physicians mentioned many times that although they give their best advice to their patients, they don’t have any crystal ball and can’t concretely predict the future. This has inspired what is the surest false hope I’ve seen in simple-minded people, the result of which has meant that my birth mother and her faux-fiancé are planning to pray all of this away. They’re literally visiting a minimum of three churches on Mother’s Day for the “laying on of hands” and petitioning of the Lord for a healing. An interesting change from her traditionally Catholic background – all of this is actually the faux-fiancé’s idea.
Tomorrow I’m going to wake up as close to dawn as my exhausted self will permit and meditate on the rising sun. Then I’m going to buy plants to plant and love throughout the summer around my property. Sometime tomorrow I’ll return to meditation, start violin practice, go for a run, and may eventually go purchase groceries.
My mother’s team of specialist claims to have no crystal ball. I do, though, and I keep it polished. The vision is bleak. In addition to the things I mention I’ll be doing tomorrow I’ll also be placing a cover over my own crystal ball and refuse to glance again until Nature mandates it.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha