I don’t remember when loving Mom became a burden. Tiresome. An obligatory love and loyalty that once led me to tell a co-worker, “Probably indifferent,” after she asked me how I would feel when my mother died. I do, however, remember the last time she called me, which was October 12, 2002.
Sometime during that weekend, two days after her 67th birthday, Mom collapsed on her bathroom floor after suffering a stroke. The brain bleed ravaged her long- and short-term memory, as well as cognitive and physical abilities, and she never fully recovered. Gone forever was the mother I had known for more than forty years; it was as if she had died and was replaced by someone I barely knew, let alone understood.
In My Mother’s Room: A Memoir is a reflection of my relationship and caregiving experiences with my mother during the last nineteen months of her life, a hell-on-earth existence that was her curse but my redemption.