I dreamed about my mother again last night. It is like my subconscious is on rewind – from her death, back through the grief of dementia and back to her younger years. By younger, I mean in her 50’s. As time passes, the guilt and anguish seem to be releasing their grip. We lost her over the course of several years, little by little. So much time for regret.
It has been so long since she drove up my drive in her white Taurus but I’m starting to remember those times again. And she LOVED driving and gallivanting. It was her favorite thing in this world, her only hobby. She was a “drop-in” visitor – she would come to see what was going on and then leave. It was rare for her to stay much longer than 15 or 20 minutes. But then she didn’t ever have much to say – she would share a little gossip and be off to her next stop.
Even though she died two months ago, we have felt the loss a lot longer. Her passing was just a formality and we can finally grieve properly. As I sit and remember her, there is a mix of sadness, regret and resentment. Not unusual, given our relationship when she was living. Eventually, I hope to feel less resentment and regret.
Grieving is a strange process. There are a lot of flashback memories. You begin to forgive the transgressions, real and perceived. I have begun to acquire a better understanding of my mother – of her personality and her character. I’m grateful for her sacrifice. While I will always regret never truly knowing her, I can finally accept that it just wasn’t meant to be. She wasn’t built that way. I will continue to strive to do things differently in my own life and remember that she was the best mom she could be.