I just spoke with the LFM's "Mimi" (the variation on the french Mamy or Memere that my mother liked best), who is in France visiting her family for what she says is the last visit to her home country, and she sounds absolutely horrible. The mixture of chemo built up exhaustion and a very long voyage are pretty combustible, and she actually sounded worse than she has in a very long time. The last time she sounded this bad was when she was getting 2 blood transfusions a week because the chemo was attacking her blood...that was a fun time. Now the chemo isn't attacking her blood, its attacking her kidneys, and she's pretty anemic to boot. All of this means that she sounded horrible and my heart hurts to hear her like that. She kept telling me in French that she didn't want to speak French because French was much more tiring to her, and yet she kept getting confused with which language she was speaking and kept alternating languages, not really aware of which she was speaking.
Lately I've only begun to realize that perhaps Mimi's cancer does have something to do with the fact that this pregnancy has been so emotionally difficult. I haven't wanted to factor that in, but in truth its a huge influence...how could it not be? And somehow being pregnant and transitioning into motherhood myself, I find myself really wanting my mother around...wanting my mother as she always was, not as she is right now. As she is right now, she isn't super capable of mothering, and mothering is what I need in this time of transition. I want her wisdom that she isn't really capable of accessing right now, and I want to share this experience with her, but she doesn't always have the energy to really be a part of it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for every little bit that get, and I realize that these are stolen moments that I am so incredibly lucky to have. Its just that now there is an added desperation to hold on to her instead of letting go...a desperation to have her around for the LFM's childhood and beyond. A desperation on behalf of both of us to keep her here.
And desperation or not, she's not able to stay for as long as I'd wish for.
And not able to usher me through these changes as I'd wish for.
But at least she'll be able to be a Mimi, for whatever time she can.