Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day without Mom

This is my mom. I drew this on New Years day of this year in room 12 at Pen Bay Hospital. I think this is the drawing that started it all. Since this drawing, I have been sketching just about every day.

I like this drawing. The nose isn't quite right, but overall I think my mom is in that drawing. It is the first time I ever drew my mom that I can recall. It's a simple drawing but it connected me to her at a time when I understood I was going to lose her.

Four years ago she was diagnosed with stage 4 endometrial cancer. She went through radiation, hormone treatments, chemotherapy and surgery. She fought to survive. She wanted to live. At 69, she was too young to die.

On December 30, I drove her to the hospital. She appeared to be having another bowel blockage. She had one back in October and they were able to get things moving again with a regimen of laxatives and enemas. This time though, nothing appeared to be working and after 3 days of trying, it become clear that the fight was over and because of the advanced state of the cancer, surgery was not really an option. It is a frustrating thing to watch your mother die because she can't go poop. In all other ways she was a very healthy woman. Except for the fact that her abdominal cavity was riddled with tumors, she was just fine...

Her body was so strong in fact, that she lived on another month on a diet of morphine solution IV fluid and little else. She died on February 4th, with our family together by her side as she finally let go.

The hardest part is getting that she is gone. I still want to call her, drop in and be with her, go out to dinner and talk about our lives.

Over the month that she was in the hospital I sketched her several times and I'm glad I did because I have those memories of being with her and really paying attention to the details of her face.

Happy Mothers Day Mom - wherever you are...


Claudia said...

Ken, you have a wonderful blog, full of super sketches! -
What you wrote about your mother was very moving to read. - It seems that in the way your mother gave birth to you, her death has given birth to your creative self (because you wrote that since her death you didn't stop drawing). I think, your mother would be proud of you if she could read your blog and see your drawings. Thank you for sharing all this.

Ken said...

Thank you Claudia - I appreciate what you wrote and I think you are right about that. I hadn't thought of it in that way.