HospiceLand - My Mom Loves Spiders

My Mom

HospiceLand - My Mom Loves Spiders

Wed morning May 27, 2009

My mother, who is dying form congestive heart failure and is in In-Home hospice care now, was out in the living room sitting on the couch. I was about to pour another cup of coffee and join her when I heard her call in a frail voice, “John, there is a spider in the sink.” And I looked and there was a spider laying flat on the silver dry bottom of the sink. Wait, no it was a little baby centipede. “It’s a little baby centipede.” I told her. I was getting a cloth to let it outside. In our family we tend to catch spiders and centipedes and bugs and let them out. Mosquitoes we kill. Big fat flies we kill unless they put up a really good fight and dodge and you get to a point you have a grudging respect for their survival skills and some of them we save.

“Centipede?” she said. “Well get it.”

“I’m getting it… getting it.” I mumbled.

“And bring it out and put it on the carpet for the cat! The kitty loves bugs!!!”

Frail and grey and with her growly water filled lungs she looked and sounded like the top villain, Senator Palpatine, from Star Wars. And she was commanding me to bring a defenseless insect to duel our resident spider eating cat. The psycho kitten had taken a liking to spiders. She would cry and reach for the corners of the rooms if she spied a spider. She would come cobwebbed covered back in from the porch when she ventured out there. And now my mom saw this as some kind of gladiator styled opportunity for entertainment. I shook the bug out of the paper towel to drop harmlessly on our front steps. My mom was slightly disappointed, in both my weakness and the disappointment of not watching the kitty versus bug carnage. I checked my right hand, it seemed real - I was still on the Light Side of the force I guess.

Miss Kitty (from the story)

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Comments 5 comments

rightpet 7 years ago

Very nice portrait of a simple moment in time. I too grew up in a family which encouraged capturing spiders and letting them go outside. But now, well, maybe I've lost some compassion or am just too impatient. Not all of them leave the house alive.


Joyce 7 years ago

Nice job. You feel like you're in the room too. It put a smile on my face. Keep up the good work.


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pacoweaz 7 years ago

I just killed a spider in the bathroom this morning. I have no conscience. Isn't it strange that conscience is basically con-science?


auntpammy 7 years ago

I treasure that moment. Good you saved the spidey. Kitty has plenty at my house....


auntpammy 6 years ago

The day after Christmas my brother and his family left to go back to their own home. This has been the worst holiday of my life and I spent most of it crying, being uncommunicative (unless I was snapping at someone...) and not participating. For me the holiday died with my father's mother, but with my own mother's death every shred of it disappeared. I will never again feel the same about something I used to love. I clutched my mother's picture to my chest and cried until I thought my heart would break even more than it already has. I mourned the fact that since her death my mother never has given me a sign. After I composed myself I started to straighten up the kitchen and decided to get the coffee ready for the next morning. On the lid was a totally white spider. Thanks Mom- I needed that.

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