It's been an interesting week.
Last week, my mother had a mild heart attack. This week, today in fact, she went into the hospital for a catharization (Sp?) diagnostic and they found an area in her heart that had 80% blockage. They're putting a stent (and the Blogger software is again having issues with my spelling!) in and she should be feeling pert in no time, but wow...
It would seem the halcyon days of my parents' good health are shifting into what is inevitable with aging, but hard to accept, which I believe is also par for the course (and I really hate it when I can't think of a better phrase than a golf-related one, for crying out loud). I've always told my dad (who's older than my mom by 6 years, I think) that he is way too much of an asshole to ever die young. Sheer ornery stubbornness will keep him going into his late 90s, barring any freak accidents with fence posts, shot guns, or wild animals - just to list a few possibilities in his skill range right now. But my mother, that's another story.
I have this horrible fear that she has given up on living - I know, that sounds terrible doesn't it? Maybe not so much as give up on life, and not giving a damn about confronting her mortality and trying to boost her odds with maybe giving up or reducing her cigarette habit, and getting regular exercise. It scares me, the idea of having a heart attack. I imagine it to be a claustrophobic squeezing of your chest; your heart sputters, your lungs close up, and you drown in a sea of stagnant blood. Sorry to be graphic, but nightmares often are.
What is worse than imagining my own heart attack, is to contemplate my life without my mother in it. It's not like I talk to her every day, or have Sunday dinner there every week, but I do rely on her, not only for advice on sick kids, or what's missing from that recipe she gave me last week, but you know, to be there. The last little piece of my childhood is still intact, that from-birth sense of continuity that all is as it should be, as long as my mother is in the world. I know I can't have it that forever, all things yield to Time's erosion, but maybe just a little longer, please?