Surreal. That's how my life feels Monday evening. In a long-distance phone conversation I learn that within 4-6 months my vibrant mother will no longer remember how to bathe, dress or feed herself and will require nursing home placement.
Stunned, my head takes in the information, while it has yet to register in my heart. It was only one month ago that I played Euchre with Mom, and she still had enough memory to know how to play and beat my husband and brother.
After dinner, in my "calm during a crisis" mode, I phone my daughters to explain that Grandma's inoperable brain tumor is malignant. The tumor has invaded the deep parts of her brain, damaging her cognitive functions. My brother calls from several states away and we talk. I also call my parents to check in, and to hear my mother's voice. Later that evening I call a good friend who recently placed her parent in a care facility. She listens with support and advice.
Tuesday morning I wake up after 7+ hours of straight sleep. I feel exhausted. I realize this is not a dream as the sadness wallops me before I even get out of bed. I grab my journal to pen a letter to God. I ask Him for an outright miracle, claiming His power on behalf of my mother. I tell Him that I need practice in asking for big, audacious help. That my request is more about my needing to ask and to trust.
During the remainder of the day I feel like I am slogging through heavy energy as I go through the motions of work and other responsibilities. I snap at my husband continually, taking my emotions out on him. I can barely handle the simple linear task of working with the travel agent to work out flight schedules for our daughter's study abroad winter quarter.