I see you're looking for an update. (Yes, I see.)
Last night I dreamed I was in my childhood home. Everyone had gone somewhere for the day, some sort of outing. There was a fence, with dogs behind it, and I thought I was safe, but through the fence tore one of those dogs, big and brown, monstrous, coming right for me. I thought for sure she would kill me.
Instead she spent the day threatening me, toying with me, stalking me. I called 911, begged for the police to come, and sent my family away to safety, one by one, my sisters, my cousins, as they returned from their day. I couldn't understand why the police did not arrive -- it's not a big town, not a lot of crime, surely they would rescue a girl trapped in a house with a vicious attack dog? But it became clearer to me as the dream went on, as the day went on, that the police believed I could handle it on my own. That there was no rescue.
Meanwhile there was me alone in my dark house with this dog, sniffing around my ankles, showing her teeth, tugging at the hem of my jeans. The dog is talking to me. I'm serving her juice and cookies. It's just me and the dog in the house, my house. Just me and my mother, the dog, the killer.
I wake up.
I know people who have had visits from the dead in their dreams. Nice visits. Sort of, hi, everything's fine over here in the afterlife, I love you, be well visits. Maybe some day I'll have that sort of visit with my mother -- dreaming or awake. It was a week ago today that we took her off the respirator, said goodbye, watched her breathing get shallower, the capillaries in her cheeks bright and pink. I said goodbye and left before it was all over, I couldn't be by her side like I was for Polly. It was too much to ask of me to be with her while she crossed over that threshhold, after everything that's happened.
My mother, the dog, the killer, is dead now, and I'm still stuck in that house with her, like it was yesterday. There's your update.