I’ve stopped trying to write recently. Lately, it’s been more or less a thought of something I should do. A thing I should return to. And, I started and scrapped posts a lot in the month following my mom’s death. I haven’t even pulled up this once in the past month. 3 months since her death. Not sure how far I will get to in writing this, my meds should have put me under a while ago, maybe writing will fix that. I’ll post whatever I have if I start to go under, but it’s probably all scattered anyway.
I’ve been crying half an hour tonight. These come and go and the reality of who I am and the fact that I’m less and less normal occurs more and more. I have vivid dreams, I guess that’s uncommon, I frequently recall mine. I always have. I still remember nightmares I have had when I was young, non recurring, just one time things, some very docile. I also remember good dreams from when I was young, as well as weird dreams. From before I started elementary and throughout. I have memories from then too. Some I know I was under the age of 3 simply because I know when my parents moved us to that duplex in San Antonio. All these things are highly unusual. Maybe they all were indicators that my brain was a bit off. Instead it was seen as me being gifted. I never felt especially gifted. I felt like I was told I was gifted and thrown in with the kids who actually were.
Ever since I was 10 and my dad’s accident happened, I have tried to prepare myself for his death. Sometimes I thought I might have some sociopathic tendencies because at moments I welcomed the thought of his death, and didn’t grieve things other did. But, I was young, that stuff is traumatizing. I don’t have anyone to talk to tonight and I can’t really stay focused. My point is. I have dreams, vivid ones.
The night before my mom’s heart attack, I had this dream. Post-apocalyptic in nature. I was seeking shelter after a few people in my group got sick and died. I found this big church that was expanded out for some ways, a real survival colony thing. They offered food for work. I settled in, there was a bartering system, you got a meal a day, plus a certain amount of vouchers based on how much work you did a given day and the nature of it. There was something of an exchange for these vouchers as well, so that if you had scavenged something useful, it could be bartered for in a sense. The exchange was in a former grocery store. The area where they have meats and things that are refrigerated. The open former refrigerators laid out the contents of would you could spend vouchers on, you could also get an extra meal or a better meal if you would rather. But I was interested in all the board games that had been accrued.
Anyway, during the course of my stay with this group, I learn they are recruiting people for defense because they are actually at war with another group. They stop recruiting, stop asking and start forcing us to learn to fight other people. It’s during one of these assemblies that the doors bust open and the group that they are at war with barges in and starts shooting first, no intent on taking names. I’m able to dive out a side door, a few others following me in the chaos. I sprint, not looking behind me and I’m caught, snapped back into a small alcove of this hall, I am about to scream when my captor quickly turns me to face her, finger to her lips. She reaches into a bag slung across her and throws out a few little black marble looking things. At this point people who had followed me in from my own group fleeing in terror are running by getting gunned down. I hear a hiss and this girl hands me a bandana covering her own mouth with one and running yanking on me to follow suit.
Long story short, she helps me escape, she’s associated with another party altogether and has been saving people she found interesting. Was my board game collection that had piqued her interest. Her group’s settlement is out of the mall. She’s got good folk, and she’s just a scout of sorts. The group realizes that I’m a man keen on keeping up the spirits, whether it’s helping people regain mementos, singing about a long lost time, or leading prayer. She saves me again escaping the mall, telling her I owe her twice now. Her name is Avery, I suppose I should mention that. She winks and nods her finger as if to jokingly disapprove.
Well. We hide out, our group splinters. We eventually have to make another run for it. Reaching into her bag again, she’s got me covered and will catch up later as she turns to divert attention with some other trick up her sleeve. Except she dies. I don’t rightly recall what happened to the rest of the people we were trying to escape from. But I ran to her. I held her as she is heaving her last breaths, her eyes distant, not knowing I was there. It was then I awoke. I wasn’t perturbed by this dream, this sort of thing is very regular actually. That one I thought was sort of fun. But it was the morning of my mom’s heart attack. In actuality, my mom had already had the heart attack by the time I awoke, but I had already gone on to work before getting a couple calls and scurrying off to check on her.
It was rough while she was in the hospital. But I kept telling her she would get out soon, because she would. Improvement every day, no indication of damage. Was just having a hard time coming off the respirator, doctor says it’s because she’s a smoker. I tease her about it. Keep her face cool with wet rags. She tries to worry about work, I do my best to not let her. Boldly keeping appearances up at the hospital, falling apart in fear at home.
Then they try to take her off the respirator after so many days of improvement and doing well. Something goes wrong, back to the respirator. She’s high on meds when I see her this night, her eyes won’t focus, but she’s trying to look at me. I tell her I love her very much and she’s gonna quit smoking when she gets home. I tell her I know it sucks she couldn’t come off the respirator and she nods. My girlfriend’s parents assist me with anointing her with oil to aid in healing the sick. I let her get rest. I go to work. Get off work, and have a migraine. I go lie down in the pitch black of the bathroom in the floor for an hour. Go up to hospital a little later than I intended. Bad news. But we don’t know what yet. I was gonna tell my mom happy birthday, I remembered this time. I wait around maybe 15 minutes with my family before we get news. It sounds foreign to me what’s being said, but I know it’s bad. I can’t bring my thoughts to focus. I’m already thinking of what I’m going to tell my mom about how I insisted smoking was bad, because this was a scare. I come back to the conversation when they are asking if things do take a turn, do I want them to try everything. Yes, there’s not even a question in my mind, of course.
Then 10 minutes later a doctor comes out and talks about things that I definitely don’te understand, my aunt with some experience with this asks questions about certain levels, I get the idea it’s worse. I suddenly feel very sick. Doc says what they are trying to do right now and leaves. My aunt looks at me and says she’s very sorry. In that moment I knew my mom was dying. This was a real fear from the previous week and it was here. I call my girlfriend and tell her to have her parents there too. I fall apart.
Eventually we go back to the room. And there is a nurse. I swear she looks exactly like Avery. And the room spins and I just latch to the idea that she’s here to save my mom. But she doesn’t. Complete organ failure for no explainable reason, and she’s gone, on her birthday, just like that.
I’ve been working through it a lot. And things like that, the Avery thing, I can’t tell if they are always real. Like I have a distrust for my brain from years of mental health issues and hallucinations. But I frequently recall my dreams with great detail and some memories don’t fade well either.
I keep telling myself my mom would have died when I was older anyway. I’m just getting it over with so I can be there for when someone else loses their mom. It doesn’t brighten me up, obviously. I remind myself I was lucky to have as much time as I did with her, that some people have more tragic stories.
And there’s chunks of peace and overall good grief work and progress. But right now, a lot of anxiety in this moment, but writing about that was a focus for something at least, my meds are finally starting to sink. Maybe I can catch the needed sleep before work