There was a time when it used to be easy to talk to my Mother and tell her about all that was going on in my life. But, those times are becoming increasingly rare.
My Mother turned 81 years old this year. While still active and physically healthy, she has begun displaying the early signs of dementia. She is finding it harder these days to keep her appointments organized. When reading the newspaper, she increasingly fails to fully comprehend the stories. Her hearing is, also, starting to cause problems which only adds to her level of confusion when attempting to follow the course of a conversation.
As she ages, she ventures out of the house less often. Her television, always on, tuned mostly to CNN Headline News. Shows such as Nancy Grace and her search for justice, fill her thoughts with a never-ending collection of criminals, shysters and publicity whores. Paranoia is a bitch to battle; especially when she truly believes that Al Qaeda sleeper cells exist within the boundaries of her town on Cape Breton Island.
Against such a backdrop, how do I begin to tell her that I have started to write again? She would never embrace topics such as "black", "sinister", "Death", "zombie" or this week's beauty, "whore". If I even began that conversation, she would only echo Nancy Grace's dire warnings about death cults.
Instead, when I fly home this Cristmas to spend a few days with her, she will rise to greet me as I will walk in through her door.
"It's good to have you home, Tommy." She will give me a hug.
"It's good to be home, Ma."
The teapot will be on. So will the TV. We'll share some cup and watch the news.
I'm a 48 year old man, sitting next to an 81 year old woman, who only sees the child that I once was. There are few words left to say to tell her about the man that I've become.