I woke up in the night after having a disturbing dream. Most of the dream, as it typically does, slipped away. I tried to remember, but it was like trying to catch smoke with your hands. The feeling and a few snapshots remained.
I was trapped in my mother’s body. My brain was in tact, but I couldn’t move or walk with ease. I tottered and was unsteady, exhausted. I felt frustrated and trapped. Every step was unstable and tenuous. It was an awful feeling.
I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t tell anyone, I could only try to maneuver. It was like trying to run in water.
Ironically, this is not my mother’s biggest challenge. I don’t believe the physical limitations challenge her happiness as much as her brain’s betrayal. It frightens her to suddenly wonder where everyone is, to suddenly feel alone. I can reassure her but seconds later it’s gone and she is fearful again.
“Do you love me?”
She asks this daily. She is looking for a smile, some comfort, some connection. She needs to be told over and over. She is part child, part old woman, part mother, part helpless puppy.