2012-05/12 – 

On May 12, 2012, I saw my mom for the first time in a year or two. I instantly experienced shock. We had phone conversations, many phone conversations. I had kept in touch, and noticed a couple of things were “off” but I was in no way prepared for what I experienced when I saw her that day.

My mother had been heavy her whole life. She was just “thick” when she was young, but after she got married to my father she gained a lot of weight. She was obese throughout my entire childhood and well into my adult years. I was 43 years old in May of 2012. I was having a ceremony at the beach and my mother had been invited. I wasn’t sure she would show up but I had hoped she would.

When I saw her, she was a shell of her former self. She had lost well over 100 pounds, maybe 150 or more. She was dressed more sloppy than she ever was and she looked more unkempt than she normally would for an event. I remember commenting on her weight loss and her saying something along the lines of “but this is what I’m supposed to look like, right? This is a good thing?”  There was a look in her eyes, a look that struck a chord in my memory but that I couldn’t quite bring to light for myself. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to bring it to light. I wanted to just be happy to see my mom, since I so rarely got to see her anymore. She always had something else to do when I wanted to visit.

Me and my mom in May, 2012

This was the beginning. A seed had sprouted in my subconscious. I knew something was wrong, but no one else would acknowledge it. I wanted to cry out “Can’t you see she isn’t herself? Something isn’t right!” but nobody would believe me. They all wore blinders and refused to see what was going on.

I got through that day. She left quite early, but a part of me expected that. I tried very hard to visit her after that, but she was cagey and only let me visit on rare occasions. When I did get to see her, I noticed memory problems beginning. I noticed a progression. One day in 2014 I brought it up to her, and on that day she shut me off.

She only answered the phone twice after that. She refused to see me. She refused to answer messages I left. She refused to answer the door when I dropped in to visit her. She refused to answer emails that I sent.

My mom in 2005

In November of 2014 I was determined to see her. I knocked on her door. She didn’t answer. I called from my cell phone from outside her house. She didn’t answer. I could hear her in the house. I could smell the cigarette smoke wafting out the windows. But she refused to answer. I tried talking to her through the window. I told her I wasn’t leaving until she let me in. I refused to leave. I stayed there. I called and knocked and rang the bell over and over and over. I was there for two hours. I knew in my heart something was so very wrong, knew she was not ok. She finally let me in after a little over two hours of me persisting in saying I wasn’t going anywhere. And I witnessed her be almost manic. I witnessed my stepdad seemingly oblivious to her behavior. It was a very short visit because she wanted me to leave, said she had somewhere to go. It was the last time I witnessed her lucid.

I knew that day that she was falling fast into an abyss. I tried calling family. I tried talking to her sister, to her cousin, to my stepdad’s family. I told them all that something was wrong, that she needed help. Nobody would listen, though. They all told me I was crazy.

Thanksgiving came and went with no card or phone call for the first time in my entire life. I tried to visit again but she had totally shut me off at this point. She knew that I knew her secret. She knew she wasn’t ok and she had been hiding it for years. She had been successful in hiding it from everyone but me.

My mom circa 1978

December came. Still no phone call or visit. Christmas came. There were no cards in the mail for me or her grandsons. There was no merry christmas call. She wouldn’t answer when I tried calling her. I tried again to reach out to everyone, to ask if someone could go and check on her. I tried to let everyone know she was NOT ok and that she needed help, but no one would listen. They told me I was crazy, that she just didn’t want to have any contact with me. It was hurtful. I cried many tears, of loss, of hurt, of frustration. It was so very hard to KNOW something was seriously wrong but be unable to do anything about it.

My birthday came on New Years Eve, and there was no contact from my mother, no phone call at 10am to wish me a happy birthday, something she had done my entire life. This was the first time ever that there was no card, no phone call, no contact at all. I was frantic at this point. I called my younger son and told him that something was wrong with his grandmother, that she needed help and that we might have to drag her kicking and screaming out of her house but we were going to get her some help, even if nobody would help me.

Here is a photo of my mom May, 2012






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>