Sunday, May 08, 2005

v-e day/mother's day

Today is Victory Day in Europe, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, but more importantly (to me), it is Mother's Day in the states. Unfortunately, my mom won't see any wishes I leave for her here today.

This is a situation I have hesitated writing about, out of respect for the privacy for my parents, because although I am mostly anonymous here, I still have friends and family from back home who visit from time to time. But I feel I am leaving out a huge chunk of what I'm going through right now. Part of becoming an ex-pat is being so far away from home and family, and now more than ever I am feeling that distance.

Recently, my mother was diagnosed with scleroderma (en francais: sclerodermie). In the last month, she has been in the hospital more than she has been out of it. The biggest life change she has been dealing with is that her kidneys are now only working at 10%, and since transplants are not possible, she will have to do dialysis three times a week for the rest of her life. In the meantime, my parents are doing their best to stay positive while her body struggles to stabilize itself. I should say that the disease is not immediately life threatening, and can be controlled with medication and therapy, but so many changes have happened, seemingly one thing right after another, that sometimes it does in fact seem extremely dire.

My parents have asked me to wait until such a time that she is more stabilized for me to come home. Also, my dad would like to move from their second floor (non-Americans read first floor) apartment to an opening first floor (non-Americans read ground floor) apartment, and when they're ready to make that move I will surely go home. But since I learned yesterday that she spent the better part of this week in intensive care, I confess my patience is wearing thin. This morning saw Steph and I making plans for what to do in an emergency situation, which is something I didn't think we'd have to do inside a year of moving away.

As for me, I'm all over the place. I'm scared for the worst, I'm jealous of my sister who can be there in a matter of hours, I'm guilty that I'm not there myself to help my father carry this enormous burden. All I can do is wait and pray, and it's the hardest thing of all.

I wish more than anything I could be there in person to say this, but for now, this will have to suffice: I love you Mom; happy Mother's Day.

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