Updated: Dec 9, 2020
I'm failing you, Mom. I'm failing you with all I've got. It's like I made a new year's resolution this year, "Work harder on failing your mother," and apparently, I'm nailing it.
And I know you know it too.
When you look at me with disinterested anger, I know you know I'm failing you. When you scream at me in frustration, I know you know I'm failing you. When you close your eyes to block me out, I know. You know. I'm failing you.
I couldn't make you happy this Mother's Day. I took the lessons from last year's fiasco and scaled it down to just a day trip knowing you love long drives, knowing you would get to see The Other Girl, believing smiles could be achieved, and "I love you"s exchanged through small expressions of mutual joys. You slept through the beautiful scenery, you smiled and padded around after your other daughter, but then turned into a bundle of "No" for the remainder of the day with me. I failed you because I couldn't forgive you. In my mind your fear became stubbornness, your unease ingratitude. My brain, supposedly cognitively capable, turned petty, chose to misinterpret, chose to be offended.
The next day I was going to take you up north for another mother's celebration, and instead I dumped you on Mother Minder. I didn't want to be with you. I didn't want to be me when I'm with you. I didn't have the guts to fight through my failings, the courage to overcome what is becoming routine... "Shove her off on someone else, I can't handle it today."
I see my patience with you wane as other's charitableness surges. I see my compassion, full and complete when you are not by my side, drained and discarded when you are. I am mutating from a dementia champion to a draft dodger, looking for any chance to send another foot-soldier in my stead.
I wish you could "wake up" for even 5 minutes. I wish I could ask you if you felt something like this when I was an uncomprehending child, enraged with the inability to express myself - did you ever feel you were failing me? Is this normal in dependent caregiving situations? I want to ask you how do I do better now? How do I ease your terror, soothe your ferocity? How, Mom, do I stop being me failing you.
But mostly what I want to ask is...
Forgive me? Please, Mom, can you ever forgive me?