Now that my mom has been gone for six months, my brain does everything it can to remember her and things we did and talked about. This “remembering” experience has made me realize the brain is a crazy thing.
You would think that since my mom was sick since I was five years old that I would only be able to remember my mom sick and with Huntington’s Disease. But for whatever reason, my brain decided that’s not how it wanted to remember her. I have seen so many pictures of my mom when she was in elementary school, when my dad and her started dating at eighteen years old, as they grew up, and when they got married in 1990, all before Huntington’s Disease. That’s how I remember her. Even though I wasn’t around. Crazy, right? So then I started to question why and how this could even happen and came up with an answer that seems it might fit.
To answer why all I could do was see my mom healthy, and without the disease that took her was simply because it makes me feel SO much better knowing that she is free, so why remember her when she wasn’t herself? I know I didn’t know her back then but I feel like I did. I have chosen to only view pictures of my mom when she was younger and it helps me to connect to who she once was, the person I never really got to know. Every mow and then I look at pictures of me and her together when she WAS under Huntington’s Disease’s grip, but those are the pictures that make me upset. Those pictures really make me think…how can life take away someone the was HD does? How is it possible to rob someone of their intelligence, beauty, personality? It’s all so crazy, but the way life decides to take its course is inevitable. I must say one thing though, looking at the pictures of my mom with HD do show me one trait that stood around from her early elementary school days up until the day she passed, and that is: strength and happiness.
I have been asked and challenged many times to answer the question: “Isn’t your mom suffering? Should people with terminal illnesses have to go through all this suffering and stay on this Earth?” Suffering, suffering, suffering. That’s all I ever heard about when my mom was alive. My answers: Did my mom suffer? Easy, no. I really, honestly and truly feel in my heart that she did not. I’m sure at times she was disappointed, let down, ashamed, felt burdensome, but never once suffered. The main reason I say that is because she was always smiling, always in a good mood, took things day by dad, and was surrounded by the people (and pets) that she loved and loved her back unconditionally. She fought this disease with the power of her love for her life, her children, her husband, and her dogs (can’t leave them out ever). If that isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is. It just goes to show how powerful emotion is and how crazy the brain really is.