I haven’t spoken to Mom since Christmas — bad daughter. Yes, I am. I haven’t had the energy or the desire, I suppose, and I haven’t wanted to hear her rebukes, such as, “You haven’t come to see me in so long!”
When Lorin and I lived in New Jersey, I saw her once or week or at least biweekly. Now it’s once a month. I haven’t got time for more pain, and I’m living far away.
A nurse called me from the Actors Home and asked if I could calm her down since she was ranting about being poisoned, again.
This is nothing new.
She shrieked into the phone, “”When are you going to get me out of here? I’m being poisoned.” Then, “Where have you been?” and “You only think about yourself, or dear ole Daddio.”
That pulled the trigger.
“Mom, I have to tell you something.”
“Lorin was killed in a car accident. That’s why I haven’t been calling or coming around.”
“Oh no! Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because I didn’t want to upset you, but it’s time that you know.”
She started to cry or it sounded like crying. “I’m so sorry.”
It felt good to tell her the truth. I have spared her so many truths, but I am tired of lying to her, even if she has Alzheimer’s. I have no more time for lies and obfuscations.
“And I’ve moved out of state,” I said.
“Because I can’t bear to be in New York since Lorin died.”
“But you dumped me here and now I’m alone in this God-forsaken place! Where are you?”
“I’m living in Savannah, Georgia.”
That didn’t seem to register. Her brain must now have been on overload or “tilt.”
“You have to get me out of here. Take me to Grandpa’s house . . . anywhere.”
“Mom, Grandpa is dead. You can’t go there.”
“There’s a room for me there.”
“I don’t think so, Mom.”
“I’m coming to see you on Saturday,” I said.
“But that’s not soon enough. You have to get me out now.”
“It’s in three days. Can I bring you anything – soap?”
“Yes, please bring me the lavendar soap. They took that away from me. And someone scribbled all over my Wuthering Heights. It must have been Lorin.”
“Lorin wouldn’t scribble in your books.”
“Did you bury him?”
“He was cremated.”
“Oh. I’m so so sorry. I’ll pray for you.”
“Thank you. Try to relax. I’ll be there soon.”
“Okay. Jack took me to confession.”
“He prayed with me.”
“I have so many sins. How will I ever be forgiven?”
“It’s okay, Mom.”
More crying. The phone and she sounded far away. I waited for a while, then hung up.
No more lies.