I was feeling sad tonight and decided to introduce my oldest to a cult classic of the 90’s. I figured a feel-good romantic comedy would be just the thing to cheer me up whilst participating in the cultural education of my daughter.
What a trip down the rabbit hole that was!
Remember the infinite star scroll screensaver of Windows 3 point something? The screeching of the modem while you not-so-patiently waited to be connected to the Internet. AOL and Yahoo chat rooms to meet with like-minded folk who may or may not be serial killers or your next-door neighbor.
The feeling of comfortable nostalgia set in – and then the empty store scene came up, the one where the mother and daughter are twirling.
That’s when I lost it.
I bawled like a child who’s been denied a piece of candy. Full-body ugly cried while trying to tell her that really I was OK even if I’m not, really.
You see, my mother has early-onset dementia.
I’ve been watching her slowly slip away for the past few years and the doctors are just now confirming what I have suspected from the sidelines is actually happening. I hoped and prayed I was wrong. That it was all in my head. That I was making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Except she’s changed so much.
For the first time in a long time I feel like there’s really no one I can talk to that understands. My circle of friends isn’t exactly riddled with people who could understand the struggle of raising three spirited girls, trying to juggle all the balls and failing miserably… and when you need your momma the most you can’t turn to her because even if she’s still here – she’s not, really.
Not the parts that matter to me, anyways.
The parts that would wrap me up in her arms, rub my back and tell me everything will turn out just fine. The parts that would say it’s silly to get all worked up over three fucking little words – You’ve Got Mail. That it doesn’t matter how many people I’ve hurt or pissed off in the past year, that we all make mistakes, that we all go through shit and this too shall pass.
Because even if I can go down the stairs and climb up in her bed beside her, the woman that lies there tonight is my Mom.
And tonight? Tonight, I need my momma.