Son and his wife leave tomorrow. Very sweet visit. But it's time for them to get back to their new life, and our time together has been full. Looking forward, though, to ordinary days.
* * *
Tick, tick, tick. With my mom moving in here the first part of January, I want to take deep breaths of my alone time before then. Tea-time in the mornings for me, from which I draw such peace, might have to take a different spin. Not sure when my mom's days begin, but it'd be great if she's a late riser. With her behavior being very child-like at times, I can see that I'll be the parent more than she will. That'll be hard on a daily basis. And she refuses to have her hearing checked, though she could certainly benefit from hearing aids. Talking loudly and repeating ourselves after being misunderstood is tiring. And with her having blood sugar issues, we'll have to learn how to check her sugar and give insulin shots---not given daily, but she'll have to be checked every day. Her personality changes in an odd way when her levels are too high. Strange to witness, but at least we understand what's going on. Case in point. I turned off my phone's volume this afternoon so we could rest. When I checked my phone a couple of hours later she'd tried to call me 8 times. Not logical, but it's her normal.
God help me, I dread this particular period of my life coming up. The Lord can bless all of us in the midst of it, and my children need to see me loving my mom. But I'm more tolerant than loving. For me it's more about taking care of business and the practical things, and not so much about being tender with her. I get so angry.
I pray to have a generous spirit, but maybe my attitude will improve by necessity. I sure hope so. I don't want my life to be totally directed at my mom's care, but hear that with many caregivers this is the way. The prospect makes me cringe. Honesty. I feel so selfish, and sound like it, but am saying what's in my heart. I want to be a good daughter, but with our past grievances, forgiveness is difficult for me. Admitting my weakness here.
A friend at church asked this morning how my mom is doing, and I told her she'd be with us after the new year. She got it, which is always a relief. A look of shock passed over her face. She's thinking, I can tell, of what it would be to parent a parent. Not having to explain hard things. I appreciate that. And this is a very, very hard thing.
Seriously, who jumps up and down at the prospect of caring for an older parent? Who relishes seeing the weakness, the lack of coherence, the inability to make decisions, seeing your parent behave like a small child, and not having that older person to lean on yourself. You lose the mom or dad and have to look to others to fill that relationship. The fallout from her strokes has been devastating.
* * *
Christmas. I want to live in denial about what's coming after the holidays and drink deeply of this holiday season.
Tomorrow we drop son and wife at the airport, fetch youngest son at work and have dinner. That's my day. Some part of me feels that if I busy myself with simple, ordinary tasks that I'll save my sanity. Maybe fill my inner coffers enough that I'll be able to manage what's ahead. That sort of makes sense to me. Like I can gain a surplice of faith and kindness. Like I won't behave so selfishly, and will maybe be able to see things from my mom's point of view. Recognize this is something she resists as well. A strong learning curve all the way around.
She tells the aides and nurses she's going to a nursing home and my husband had a small discussion with her over it. She doesn't want to come here, and after her time at the rehab is up, she has to leave there. She believes any other nursing facility will be as caring as her present situation, but we know that isn't the case. I get so weary of having conversations with her that go 'round and 'round, her stroke-damaged brain causing her to be unable to make sense of things. Please God help me to be kind.
Thanks for listening to me.