You know, I miss writing here. Of course, when I started it was the dark ages: pre-marriage, pre-child, pre-business. You'd think all those things would give me lots to talk about, and you'd be right. But they also take away the time that I once had. Ah well, life's like that.
Life is also like this: My mother is in the hospital with pneumonia and a mysterious anemia. At her age this sort of thing is quite serious, possibly end-of-life serious. I'm stuck on the other side of the world without the resources to just up and go. I'm not happy about this situation, but I accept it. I chose this life and therefor I accept the downsides that come with it. If she gets much worse or the doctors find something seriously wrong I'll find a way to get on a plane, but until then I have to rely on calling daily. It will do. I'm grateful that I don't live in an age where the first I heard about this would be a letter that was a month out of date.
I'm grateful too that she's in a place where the best possible care is available. If the worst happens and she dies I'll know that that there wasn't anything I could have done to help prevent that. I have no medical training. My only task in this is to provide what comfort I can. And while it would be better if I could be there in person I can in fact provide some small comfort by calling every day.
This might sound like I'm making excuses, and perhaps I am. But I strive to acknowledge and live with reality: the things that are objectively provable in our world. By doing so I find that while there can still be sadness, regrets even, there is little to no guilt. Should my Mum die before I manage to see her again I would regret that. I would be sad and I would mourn but I wouldn't feel guilty. The reality is that I can't get there at this time. The reality is that I cannot prevent her death by any action of my own. The reality is that I've said everything I need to say to her, and I've tried to give her the opportunity to say everything she needs to say to me.
I love my mother and she knows it. I forgive her any and all trespasses committed by her, real or perceived, and she know it. I am a healthy, good, successful individual who enjoys his life and she is responsible for that, despite the difficulties that my father's problems presented in raising me and my brother. She knows that I feel that way, though I'm not sure she believes it.
Death happens and despite that life goes on. When you don't believe that there's anything after death you have to do everything you can before that inevitable event, there are no second chances. Once you've got all the things that you'd regret not doing or saying before the end out of the way you're left with a freedom to be the best comfort you can be. It's a peaceful place to be, sad yes, but peaceful none the less.
Of course my mother's a tough old bird. She'll probably pull through and come here to read this and shake her head at her atheist son. And that'll be perfectly okay by me. :)