Wednesday, January 6, 2010

and then she was gone ... part two

Where had she gone? I really had no idea.

One minute Mom was outside talking to her piano student's mom, getting more and more agitated about something or other, and the next thing we all knew she was whisked away. What the heck?

Looking back on it, maybe we should have known something was up.

Mom was always passionately involved with one thing or another: the PTA, the League of Women Voters, faculty dinner parties, Dad's concerts. But lately she had been passionately, fervently, feverishly working on a proposal for an Institute Of The Arts.


Me: Hi Mom. Whatcha doing?

Mom: Just outlining some ideas.

Me: Did you want some breakfast?

Mom: No no I need to keep this train of thought going, I've been up all night writing this down exactly the way God is revealing it to me, it's a seamless idea I don't know why it hasn't been synthesized by anyone before this but it's truly the only natural, organic, artistic, comprehensible way for children to learn. I need to go call the President now.

Me: Um, sure. Go for it. See you after school.


Like I said, maybe we should have had a clue. But she was very much herself, just kind of wound up a little too tight. And then she was gone.

Turns out Dad had pulled some strings, and checked her into a Yale New Haven Hospital ward called T-One. Over the next few months we would come to hate the sound of it.


It was a mental health ward for crazy people, and we all knew it.

Mom had slipped over the edge from eccentric-but-you-have-to-excuse-her-because-she's-a-musician into the world of pretty-much-completely-out-of-her-mind.

She told me much later that while we were all at home scratching our heads and going "what the heck happened to mom?" she was standing in a hospital room trying to comply with the doctor's simple request to count backwards from 100. She couldn't do it.

Her mind was racing a mile a minute.

She was convinced that God was directing her to do something big, something colossal, something that would change the world.

She couldn't sleep, eat, or sit still for more than a few seconds at a time.

She was in a locked ward with cold linoleum floors, sterile white walls and a bewildering diagnosis: manic-depression.

She was gone, but surely the doctors would cure her. Surely there were pills that would help. Surely she would be back, and everything would go back to normal.


(one more installment to come ... )


Fran Hill said...

Following this story with interest. You're telling it well.

Lesley said...

Thanks Fran! The comments have been pretty quiet; I was beginning to worry that I'm boring y'all.

MsBurb said...

Awaiting the next chapter...

How heart-breaking...


The Retired One said...

This story is mesmerizing.
I am so sorry you had to live it.
But I am eagerly waiting your next installment.
Is this the first chapter of your book?

Lily Robinson said...

No, you're not boring us! I'm at the edge of my seat, waiting to find out what happens...

Lesley said...

Ms Burb - I tried not to make it sound too heart-breaking. It's just my story, for better or worse.

Retired One - I'd love to think of it as the beginning of my book, but the whole idea of a book is just overwhelming to me.

Lily - Thanks sweetie!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin