I would cry if I could stop laughing. She's back. I got my mother back.
I heard her on the phone today. I could hear the sparkle in her eyes. Yes, the last 15 years of caring for dying loved ones wore her out. Yes, anyone would be tired and depressed under those circumstances. But her BRAIN has been STARVING for OXYGEN this whole time. Four days of medicated oxygen, and lots of help from pulmonary specialists, and she can carry on a conversation without stopping to cough. I heard my mother laugh today for the first time in... I'm really thinking hard now, how long has it been? Maybe five years? I heard her laugh without convulsing and gasping for breath. And SHE was the one who made herself crack up.
She's back. I am crying and laughing. There is nothing I have ever done, not since I was eight and did the math that cigarettes were going to kill my parents, there is nothing I have ever been able to do or say to make her quit. Nothing. I cannot make someone change. I cannot make her quit. All I can do is enjoy these conversations, enjoy her laughter, and love her every minute that I can, now that she's back.
Sarah Elovich is a writer and performer based in Oakland, CA.