I am going on a trip to Wyoming without my husband and son. I am going to visit my mom and spend time with her. She is in a nursing home. Last May I got a call on a Thursday from the nursing home that she was very sick and that I should get out there to see her. I got the call on a Thursday night and I was on a plane Saturday. I thought that she was going to die. In fact, I have thought she is going to die since she was diagnosed in 2000 with brain tumors. It’s a pretty heavy burden to carry.
My beautiful mother, Betty.
Unfortunately, my son and husband cannot make the trip with me. I am very nervous about leaving my son for a week. We are very attached to each other. Our family practices Attachment Parenting. It’s not even something you practice, it’s just something you do. And I think a lot of families are practicing Attachment Parenting without even knowing it, but that is a topic for another time.
My son is still nursing, and now I am worried about that. I plan on pumping while I am out there.
I decided to spend eight days out in Wyoming (two days are travel days) since my 20th high school reunion is happening, as well.
There is nothing more beautifully blue than a Wyoming sky!
My sister has warned me that my mom has declined even more. She was pretty much bed ridden and could not move from the waist down last May. Now, she can hardly move her hands and has to be spoon fed her meals.
For most people, I assume you think this would be the most difficult thing in the world to experience. I am a little callous about the whole death thing to be honest. I have been expecting her to die for so long, that I have failed at times to see she is still living. It is hard to accept this could be the last time I see her. OK, now I am feeling sad and am not so callused. I think that is why I feel so anxious. I just don’t want to see her so helpless. If you want to read an essay I wrote about her and the impact she made on me as a mother myself, read this: Magic Mama. Here are some past posts about my trip to Wyoming last May if you would like to read them. You can also read the archives by using the archive tab on the sidebar.
My mom, Redhead Betty
I don’t want to say goodbye — so I will say hello.
Anyway, I am going to be offline for a week. I am not going to log on to a computer. Anywhere. Anytime. Period. I do not have a smart phone, so I will only be able to text my friends and call people. I think it will be good for me. The fact that I will in Wyoming will magnify this sense of disconnecting with technology. I am burnt out from social media (I am trying to build a platform as a writer and I really have no idea what I am doing. I am just putting myself and my work out there). I have also started to focus more on the great relationships I have built. I have met so many wonderful cyber friends. I am evolving and learning more and more about myself as writer everyday.
I am not totalling going off the creative grid. I will be taking photographs and writing by hand in my notebook and journal.
I have also been working really hard on my Attachment Parenting motherhood memoir. It is in the editing stage and I am about 85% done until I feel it is as good as it can possibly be. Then I will begin the submission process with various agents. An agent in New York (I love saying that — it sounds so important and distinguished) is reading the manuscript now, as well as the book proposal. I have been working on putting the book together so it is a complete manuscript.
Writing a book is a long process. Right now I am excited about the future of my writing career as I have evolved in the past six months and I no longer look for outside validation to acknowledge I am a “real” writer.
I am also working on finishing up this memoir so I can get started on my next book project: The Evanston Community Kitchen. This book is about my mother’s side of the family. I’d tell you more about it, but it is all on the website. If you enjoy history and food, I pretty much can guarantee you’ll enjoy the story. And that story is still growing; in fact, I have merely only planted the seeds. It is very exciting. I am bringing my video camera and tape recorder so I can interview my mother. She is still mentally “with it.”
I will leave you with a slideshow of some photos of Wyoming. It truly is like no place on earth.
PS – I dyed my hair red. My mother is a red head. I was pretty nervous about it, but I have received feedback that it looks great.