I consider myself pretty flexible but when COVID hit in 2020 it challenged me in many ways. Although challenged, we did find new ways to connect. I started using FaceTime more with my mom so I could see her. We wanted to make sure she stayed safe so we did not visit often or if we did it was window conversations. COVID physically kept us apart but we were still always close through texts, phone calls, and FaceTime.
Then, vaccinations came and mom was excited to get hers and so was I because then, once fully vaccinated we could be in proximity of one another again when inside. She was always safe, wearing her mask when going places but we could be together at her apartment (safely distanced) and talk. We also could hug again.
When it was time for our boosters – she was ready and so was I. We were doing the things it took to be safe.
Then something other than COVID struck. Cancer. Cancer sucks. On January 17th mom went to the doctor and had a CT scan. A couple weeks later we found out she had 3 masses and one tumor. She then was scheduled for a liver biopsy and PET scan. Two weeks later I took her for her PET scan. We went for a late lunch/early dinner at El Pueblo. Little did I know that would be my last meal with my mom. I remember the conversations that day – my nephew Ryan stopped by – we were talking about finding a one level space for mom and Ryan said he wanted to buy a house and she could move in with him. Mom had options – we were exploring those options.
From that day on she steadily declined. I made the decision to not see her on my birthday because she was so tired – I wanted her to rest and not feel like she had to spend time with me. She didn’t call on my birthday. She didn’t text. I called her and left a message on that Sunday. I texted her each day after that. I called her on Wednesday and left a message telling her that we all looked forward to hearing about what the doctor would say and know what treatment she would need. I also told her that I would be there if I could. But, yet again, COVID strikes. Only one person could be with mom for her appointments. My sister always went with her because she is a nurse and most knowledgeable. It made sense. But it was hard to not be with her.
Yes, COVID has attacked our life over a span of 2 years by changing the way we operated. I didn’t think 2022 could be worse than 2020 and 2021. Yet these two months have been the hardest with the loss of my husband’s mother, the loss of my mother, and now a fractured foot. I try to have a positive outlook on everything – I savored slowing down a bit in life during the pandemic, but now I realize COVID robbed me of time with family and with my mom. I realize this happened to many and yes that stinks. I also realize that my mom had 81 beautiful years of life and I got to spend 43 years of those with her and that is a blessing. I realize that the grief I have right now and the anger I have toward our circumstances will be put into perspective later. But right now I am going to live in the moment – feel what I feel – give myself grace as I continue to grieve. One day I know I will be able to see the silver lining of the past few years but right now I don’t want to and that’s okay.