I miss my mom, but….

In the early hours of Sunday, July 19, 2015, my 86-year-old mother, Beatriz Diaz-Granados, died of complications from dementia, heart failure, and the effects of a five-year-long confinement to a hospital-type bed in what used to be our guest bedroom in our small Miami-area townhouse.

Since then, my life has undergone a series of unforeseen (and in some cases, unwanted) changes. These include, in no particular order, a battle royale in probate court over my mother’s estate, a sad – but not exactly surprising – estrangement from my older half-sister Vicky, the sale of the townhouse I shared with Mom from 1978 to 2015, and a move to another city that might as well be a galaxy away from my old life and familiar surroundings.

Although I don’t, as a rule, write a lot about my mother or my other family members on this blog, and I usually don’t reminisce about her with the people I now live with, she’s never really absent from my thoughts.

My mom in early 2009 while on a food shopping run at a Miami-area Publix. (Photo by the author)

It’s sad and eerie, but sometimes my mind wanders and I think that my mom is still around and waiting for me to go talk to her about what she had done lately, inform her about my daily activities. You know, just to chat about stuff. Or simply to watch movies we both liked.

Then I look around and realize that (a) she’s been gone for nearly five years and (b) that my circumstances have changed radically from what she had planned/hoped for me.

As I, like billions of my fellow humans, try to adjust to life in the time of COVID-19, I try hard to draw strength from my experiences as my mom’s primary caregiver. And oddly enough, comparing my present life to the stressful five-year-long via crucis of my mother’s final illness is comforting.

For instance, even though I’m affected adversely by social distancing like most of us who are complying dutifully with stay-at-home orders and avoiding unnecessary (and potentially fatal) exposure to the model coronavirus, at least I don’t have to worry about:

  • The effects of negative news on my mother’s emotional health
  • The corrosive effects of squabbling with a toxic family member while trying to run a household and be a sick parent’s caregiver
  • The ability to be a caregiver at all under the social-distancing conditions imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Coping with the challenges of caring for a parent with dementia

I miss my mother terribly. I really do.

But considering the emotional and physical toll that taking care of her from the spring of 2010 to the summer of 2015 exacted on me, I am fortunate that my mom was spared from the double whammy of a Trump presidency (she was a dedicated progressive who voted for Democratic candidates from the day she became a U.S. citizen in 1996 until 2012) and the coronavirus pandemic. She would have been in panic mode constantly, either about the fate of the U.S. and the world at large under a most inept and undiplomatic President, or, as a parent, the well-being of her two adult children.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

8 thoughts on “I miss my mom, but….

  1. It’s true – I’m so glad my dad does not have to experience a Trump presidency. And yes, I think about him nearly every day but it’s been long enough that it doesn’t hurt as much.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve had thoughts along these lines as well. As much as I miss my mother-in-law, it would be so hard for her now. She lived in a retirement home. We could not see her. For the last several years of her life, she was so hard of hearing, talking on the phone with her was difficult at best. She could hear my husband with effort. After a while, she couldn’t hear me at all.

    Over the last year of her life, she was in and out of nursing homes. I understand the anguish of people and their families now. You can’t see people, and people are dying so quickly of COVID-19. I’m glad my mother-in-law isn’t going through that. How many millions are? My heart goes out to them.

    And for the president who said he will have done a good job for “keeping” the death toll down to 100,000, I just don’t have words. He can’t quite grasp that he’s talking about human beings.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel much the same way. I can’t imagine my parents, now being in their 90’s, surviving this well. They were both young during The Great Depression and have a few memories of it but neither suffered through it the way many others did. I can’t imagine telling my father I couldn’t get something at the supermarket for him. In his old age he became quite contrary and set in his ways and didn’t understand when something didn’t happen the way he wanted it to. Trump being President would have stunned both of them and hearing what some friends & relatives espouse would have put a wedge in the family. My brother-in-law whom my mother adored is a Trumpanzee and it’s so disappointing to me but it would have been devastating to her. I can’t imagine how my mother would have handled this, but then again I was happy she wasn’t around when my daughter committed suicide. That would have killed her – she adored Melinda – and most of her friends agree with that assessment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My mom (based on her response to the Malaysian Airlines crashes/shootdown of 2014, the Charlie Hebdo incident in early 2015, and other stressful events that occurred before she passed away) would have been difficult to manage had she had to deal with the pandemic. I’m not sure she could have handled the stress.

      I often wonder if my half-sister is a Trump supporter. She tends to vote not from conviction but based on what others around her think and say. Since she’s 70 (!) and her friends are mostly Cuban-Americans who vote Republican, I would not at all be surprised if she voted for Trump.

      Exhibit A: In 2012, the last Presidential election my mother cast a vote in, Vicky waltzed into Mom’s sick room one evening after work, saying Obama was a Communist and that we all should vote for Romney. My mom was still relatively mentally sharp even though there were signs of her dementia already present, and she looked at my half-sister with a how-dare-you? expression. “Who said that Obama was a Communist?” Mom asked.

      “Some of my friends at work,” Vicky admitted. (She was still working as a registered nurse then, in a hospital that was owned by investors from Puerto Rico and mostly staffed by Cuban-Americans.)

      “You really need to stop basing your views on what your Cuban friends think,” said Mom. “They’re just against him because he is black and a Democrat, not because of his policies.”

      After that, Vicky never uttered a single comment against Obama, at least not in my mother’s presence.

      Regarding the loss of your daughter Melinda, I do agree that her passing would have devastated your mom.

      As always, my friend, thank you for sharing your comments.

      Liked by 2 people

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