Last night I had a dream that I was in a store paying for something with one hand, and holding my son in my other arm. He was younger in the dream than he is now (he just turned 5); not quite a baby, but certainly easy to carry with one arm, like maybe 18 or 24 months. My Mom was also in the store, completely coincidentally, and I remember in the dream she was acting really weird. She had just paid for her things and was going to leave. I remember looking into her eyes and seeing how blue the irises were, and how her pupils were little tiny, black pinpoints and how weird that seemed. But I had my kid and was in the middle of the payment transaction so I just said ok, see you later, and she walked out the door. The front was all glass, like it was a gas station with a lot of big windows, and I saw as she was walking out she kind of weaved a little bit. I was trying to hurry up and get my things and finish putting my card back in my wallet while balancing my kid on my hip when she got to her car, paused for a second and then collapsed, hard. I remember thinking how she must have hit her head really hard and I screamed, “Mom!” and started running out with my son in my arm. I remember thinking how I didn’t want to alarm my kid, but I needed to get to my Mom and what was I going to do. I yelled at a bystander to call 9-1-1 when I was almost to her side, and remember thinking how hard it was to run and carry my son as he was starting to get really heavy, and what if Mom was dead and my son had just seen it happen. Then I woke up. I felt sweaty and sick and out of breath, and my arm muscles hurt like I had really been carrying my son.
Obviously a lot of anxiety about my Mom being discharged today.
I went and picked her up this morning. She was all packed up and ready to go – as packed as you can be when they won’t give you a real bag because strings. She had put a bunch of her belongings in a robe and tied the robe into a tight knot so it would be easy to carry, and had a rumpled paper grocery bag. I resisted the urge to openup the robe and search it; this after she gave me “personal laundry” to take home and do for her over the weekend, because they don’t do laundry for you there. That laundry consisted of one pair of her pajamas, and a towel and two washcloths that belonged to the hospital, which I brought back and put in the bathroom. That isn’t completely out of character for her; my Mom has always had a tendency to take things that weren’t nailed down because she grew up so poor – the crackers in the basket at a steak restaurant, butter pats, etc.
She was really jumpy on the ride home, cautioning me about the police and speeding, or people stopped ahead of us. But then also asked if I could put on some rock and roll and could we have the windows down because she wanted some fresh air. So we listened to some Bad Company and Led Zeppelin and enjoyed the hot weather.
I know some of why it seems like she isn’t really herself is probably due to the meds she is on, and will continue to be on at least for the foreseeable future, possibly forever. But some of it also feels like she was Body Snatched or came back after being abducted by aliens or something, and they stole her soul. It’s a hollow and sad feeling, and I don’t know what to say to her for the first time in my life.