Originally written 11/1/14
Have you ever experienced a moment that so ironic, you can taste it? Feel it in every fibre of your being? A conversation that leaves you silent, trying to find a place to house it within yourself once it’s complete? These days, I have conversations that feel this way pretty much every day. Today’s conversation involved explaining to my mother-in-law, who herself experienced a stroke 4 years ago and has been confused ever since, the challenges facing her post-brain-bleed son.
Explaining to her that he experiences gaps, but doesn’t feel that they are there. That he is sometimes confused in his thinking, as she has been for years. A confusion which he had little patience for in the past. All without saying to her, “Your son is like you now. He gets things wrong and is confused but denies the problem when confronted with it.”
At the same time, acting respectful during his challenging moments, without the obvious, “You are now like the mother whose confusion earned your disdain,” escaping my lips.
My words dance as I explain, I describe, and I swallow the obvious like the awful, cherry-flavored medicine of my childhood. I choke it down and it goes—somewhere. I choke it down, I. Choke. It. Down. Like the ocean, I suspect that at some point I’ll discover a continent-sized flotilla of crap somewhere inside of me. But for now, I have the conversation that feels unbearable. And then the next one. And the next. Because they are both lost in time. And they both deny it.