“Garrett loosened the grip of his mother’s arm only slightly. He did not want her dashing into the street again. Her loud mumblings, sharp scoldings, were drawing further unwanted attention.
He said nothing.

She did all of the talking.
When she finally stopped, she cast eyes of hatred, resentment, hurt and pain at him. Garrett kept his eyes straight-ahead. He did not have to look. He FELT her glares.

It was Mother’s Day, of all days. All he wanted was to get Mother out of the house, have a nice, quiet lunch, maybe even have a semi-normal conversation. Didn’t happen.

At first, things went well.
Then, she started. The waitress was “too round” (this she said in front of the waitress, who fled away in tears). Then she began shouting obscenities, “fucking” everything and anything, in excruciatingly familiar, angry voice.
He could not drag her out of the cafe` quickly enough. The manager almost called the police. Happy Mother’s Day.

Garrett was the only of her children who remained to care for Mother.
He resented his sisters and brother for this, sometimes. They just wouldn’t–perhaps couldn’t–deal with Mother. Part of Garrett understood this.

Mother had always been irrational, with brief periods of what looked, well, “normal”. She had shock treatments, spent time in a sanitarium, was given lots of different medication over the years.

It was not his fault, or anybody’s fault.
It wasn’t her fault she was like this, either. Not really.
Yes, it would be helpful if she cooperated, listened to brain experts, took her medications, and refrained from misusing them, or alcohol.

But if she were okay, if her brain functioned right, she would know and do the right things. Mom was not okay, and never was okay.

She suffered. Daily.
Unfortunately, that meant those around her, suffered, too. Sometimes dearly.
The damned voices in her head, tormenting her since a young woman, would not go away. Their father left them, long ago. This, Garrett resented, most of all.

Now, Mother was becoming much more than Garrett, alone, could handle.
As soon as they returned to the flat, he would make the call he so dreaded.
He loved her as best he could.
Nobody seemed to understand that.

  1. My mother had dementia caused (in part) by a stroke which went untreated until it was too late to do anything for it. One problem was that she was always a difficult person who refused to see a doctor or take her meds in the belief that her religious faith would somehow protect her from illness. She also had no “filter” between her thoughts and her words: she said the first thing that ran through her addled mind, regardless of how it affected the people around her. She drove everyone away from her, especially those best able to help her.

    He loved her as best he could.
    Nobody seemed to understand that.

    No they don’t. I found that line very touching. Thank you.

    • RichStine says:

      You are most welcome. Thank you for the thoughtful feedback. One of the reasons I wrote this, is so that others who get it: “he loved her…nobody seemed to understand that…” –will know they are not alone. 🙂

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