cancer · family · grief · parents

Two Stories



Mom wakes me up at 4:30 AM. She wants to take her pills in order to “get back on schedule”. I tell her that if she waits until 7:00 am, she will actually be back on schedule. If she takes them at 4:30 AM, she will have to continue waking up at 4:30 AM every day to stay on schedule. And since she had been taking pills later in the day the past week, she’d actually be screwing things up more by over-correcting. She insists that she wants to take them, then “go back to bed and get up at 7:00”.

“But mom,” I say, “You won’t need to get up at 7:00 if you don’t have to take your pills at 7:00. Which is beside the point, because you won’t fall asleep again if you take your steroid now.”

There is much back and forth. She takes her pills anyway. Because she does whatever she has her mind set on.

She tries to go back to sleep. She can’t, because she just took her steroid pill that keeps her up. She comes back out to living room and says, “I can’t sleep”.

So we watch Golden Girls. Because I can’t go back to sleep either.


We are moving mom into an independent living facility, because she can no longer get by on her own out in the middle of the country. It’s good for her; she will be surrounded by people 24/7. It’s good for us; she’ll be in the middle of town, close to stores and her pharmacy.

We look at the floorplan of her new apartment.

“The bedroom furniture in your spare room is not going to fit when we move you here,” my aunt and I tell her.

“That’s fine by me. I’m not tied to material possessions.”

We walk around a bit.

“I can’t wait to put grandpa’s furniture in my spare bedroom,” she says.

“But we just said we weren’t going to bring it because it won’t fit,” we say.

“Oh. I can make it fit.”

“No. You can’t. It physically will not fit. The room is too small.”

“Ok. I can do without it. I’m not about material possessions.”

We walk into a different room.

“We must make sure to get grandpa’s bedroom set over here.”

“Mom. It won’t fit. We discussed this.”

“I can make it fit.”

Repeat x one million.






2 thoughts on “Two Stories

  1. I’m going through this with my mom as well! The indecisiveness and inability to make rational decisions anymore seems scarce. Heaven forbid if one of her lost relatives which whom I’ve never heard of calls and recommends something because it’s like starting at day 1!!! I am trying my best not to get angry or lose my cool as I know my days are limited with her, but seriously how does one not! Haley, I love you!! I always have!! You have a gift of writing!! It’s beautiful!! Please continue to share it!!! Hang in there!!!


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