The Day My Mother Went Crazy

I don’t remember the day of the week—so, let’s say Wednesday. My cell phone cracked and spluttered over my brother’s voice, but I understood enough. My mother had stopped her meds again; she’d lied about it; and now she didn’t know her youngest son existed. My family wanted me to talk to her to prove I was, in fact, real.

The idea sickened me.

They didn’t tell her who I was, just that someone wanted to talk to her. My mind whirled around a prayer—a very inadequate bottle rocket—as I waited through the rustling and murmurs and silence. Mostly, I just hoped she wouldn’t take the phone. She did.

If you’ve never been told you don’t exist, it’s not something I recommend. You hurt for the person who can’t remember, and you hurt for the lost connection.

When I visited her later, a shell sat across the table from me. Her eyes dulled under the fluorescence—no recognition, no love.

Loving her then gave me the smallest sense of what it’s like for God to love us—even when we run, even when we deny He exists. He just can’t stop. We can’t see until His preceding grace tears away the haze, and, suddenly, we remember what love is.