Monday, April 13, 2015

death and taxes...

So here it is, the middle of April, and for those of us in the US it is TAX TIME. The deadline for filing our federal and state taxes is here.  The joy of spring is overshadowed by the task of filling out these forms. 

For many of us, we put it off until the last day, the last possible moment.

I have been doing Mom's taxes for many years. Her tax situation was very simple. There are a lot of lines on her tax form with $0.

Why have I been procrastinating? Why? Every time I sit down to start her taxes I would get a big cramp, a lump in my heart, my stomach would clench, a feeling of dread would engulf me. I could not face her taxes. Why?

I think... it's because I now remember my Mother as the woman she was. I can now remember her as the intelligent, creative, loving person she was. I am not plagued by the memories of the day-to-day devastation that dementia created. I have stopped thinking of her as ONLY that woman.

But, the tax forms, once again, take me back to that place, the place where dementia held my Mother. A place I don't want to be.  A place with the HUGE monthly checks for her assisted living residence and medications; a place with cases of incontinent panties; a place where she was so lost.

But dementia no longer has my Mother.

Mom, tomorrow I will take you walking through my spring garden, we will talk about the narcissus as they poke up from the icy soil, we will discuss rhubarb pie recipes when we see the emerging leaves, we will talk about the returning Canada geese, we will enjoy the warm sun, and try to imagine sheep shapes in the clouds.  And yes, Mom, I got your taxes done, just in time, we won't have to worry about them, every again.