Sunday, June 13, 2010

More on Mom

I realize that the piece I wrote for mom left out a whole side of her, the darker side, her mental illness. For as long as I can remember, mom was afraid. Though she had been so very fearless, taking on two stints in different Air forces, pioneering in early Israel (a task not for sissies), and riding the wild bronco that was my father, she was afraid of down escalators, animals, people of races different from her own, and many other things. She would cut out articles from the paper and send them to me when they justified her fears. She used to swoon in the street, subject to inner ear dizziness, sitting on the end of the aisle when we went to the movies together as a family so she would have room to escape if she felt claustrophobic. She was a hoarder, as I have told you, and had such severe anxiety that it makes my own look minor. Thus, she was a contradictory person, though she was not bipolar as my dad was. I knew dementia had claimed her mind when she stopped begging to leave that terrible house and neighborhood and started saying she could not understand why I was trying to get her to leave her home. For at least 2 years, she was angry at me for "stealing" everything she owned to bring her out here. This was NOT home, or anywhere she wanted to be. She didn't like living with foreigners, her caregivers, but at the end it became home, and those foreigners her loving friends.


Lou said...

When people live such very long lives, it is possible (especially for us writers) to see their phases and facets, and to describe what can seem like multiple people in one!

Robbi said...

It's true, but it is as though, in this case, she was two people in one. Even the rabbi noted it when I was telling him about her, and he didn't know her at all.