In a previous post, I discussed a new development in my life, my mom died and came back without any memory. Before her injury our relationship was strained into nonexistence. I found out from my brother that she was missing, and after a little detective work on my side, I found out about her situation.
Because I reached out, she got my phone number, and called me from my grandparents’ house. She is staying with them while she waits to get into an assisted living facility and is more optimistic about life than I’ve ever seen her! In my previous post, I was torn about starting over at the risk of worsening my already debilitating trauma, and decided that it’s better to be hurt trying than to avoid any chance of healing. I still ignore her phone calls sometimes and have to step back and cry after I hang up. The most surreal moments are when she asks me “what is ___?” about something she should know. Today she asked me what a zoo was, and didn’t know about half the animals I named. It hurts. It’s not easy. It’s better than it was though!
Some pros of the situation are that she apologized to me for the tough childhood I had, she didn’t remember but was truly sorry for what she’d heard about it. Before, she was always the victim and I had to fix situations so far out of my realm that I’m still pissed about it. She is so happy about every new thing she learns! I went to see her last weekend, and she was thrilled to get crayons and flash cards. I also bought her some makeup and lotion, since she lost all of her belongings living with a drug addict. She was childlike in her excitement. I’m introducing my children to her all over again, and myself as well. It’s exciting to have a mom that actually makes me feel cared about!
Something clicked in my head today, and inspired me to write this post, because this was not as much a tragedy as a blessing! Sure, she’s got struggles and situations that a woman her age shouldn’t have to deal with. She doesn’t remember being able to do these things though, so she isn’t sad about having to learn them over again. She went to a support group yesterday for survivors of brain injury, and never wants to go back! She met people who do remember life before their accidents. People who were not only injured internally, but externally as well. She said everybody was so depressed and wanted to kill themselves. She said that she told them all to thank God for their life and the things they DO have, instead of being upset about what they don’t have. She died and was literally reborn. With the innocence and resilience of a child, she’s facing something that causes most people to wish for death.
When I asked her what it was like to die, she told me this:
I went to a garden and saw my Mom and Dad (her mother passed away when she was 9 and her dad is still alive and well) and my Uncle (some name I’d never heard and can’t remember now). God was there too, and he very nice man, he let me come back. I told him I needed to make friends with my kids, and he let me come back!”
She went into a coma right around Christmas time. Just before the holidays this year, I prayed for the first time. I’d never believed in God, but I was struggling and didn’t know what else to do, so I reached out to Him. My prayers were answered, and some things aligned in my life to make things a little easier! Then I heard about this a few weeks ago and think it was another answered prayer. He knows how much it hurt me to not have a mother, a broken one was OK, but not an uncaring one. So he fixed her by breaking her.
Her optimism has helped me see this and I’m grateful for the way things went. It could be so much worse. She could have stayed dead and I’d never have closure. She could have come back remembering all of the terrible things from before and all of the things she can’t do anymore, depressed and suicidal like the people in her support group. She could be unable to learn again and not get better. Instead, it’s a miracle, and I am praising God for it!