Had to purge my thoughts this morning.
When I talk to others who've been caregivers, there's a knowing word or look. It's a club of folks who have given of themselves past where they thought they were able, but God makes it happen, it seems.
It's not pleasant to think of my mom's final plans. She's talked about giving her body to one of the hospitals. We've researched it, tried to find the one she'd heard a friend at church mention. My husband broached the subject the other day, but she wasn't ready to talk. These things need to be settled, but it squeezes a heart.
Her house has to be tended to, but again, it's so emotionally wrenching. I can't seem to get to the place where I cancel her landline. We used that phone number throughout my whole life.
My husband and I were at her house the other day, looking at what needs to be done, bringing a few things to our house. I got to a point where I was shutting down, told him I had to stop. He understood and we finished up. He's still got both of his parents and knows how fortunate he is. My dad died over twenty years ago when I was expecting our fifth child. And now my mom is so broken.
Endings are hard, whether expected or not.
I can avoid certain things, or take care of them bit at a time.
I can make it sound pretty and spiritual, or be hard and frank. Hard and frank is real.
Plans are in place to separate desired belongings. All of my children aren't on the same page, some are busy in other ways, while one son in particular wanted a couple of my mom's bowls, remembering eating lunch weekly at her house. He pointed out the macaroni bowl and the tortilla chip bowl. So sweet. He took them home.
For the girls, it's too fresh and in their face. Living daily with their grandmother, it's not poetic and nostalgic. It's hard. They see her decreased abilities and it's too difficult. They've not got the same mileage my husband and I have, so certain topics are off-limits. That's fine. I do understand.
Today was fine. I was doing my own thing, so not available to talk to my mom, she closed up. Remember, she mirrors whatever behavior is directed her way. When my time is short, doing too many things, she responds by being silent. When I play up to her, she's very animated. It's more than I can stand sometimes. I just want to be who I am, which is a person who's sometimes too straightforward. No game playing. Just doing what needs doing. Life is very full.
You might think I'm harsh. That's okay. It's where I go in my head when the emotions of the moment are overwhelming. Like yesterday morning when I got my mom up. Had to do it by myself because of the other sick kids, trying not to breath and cough on her. Hard. She began to get emotional, talking about her sister who's in hospice care. She's not at the end, so to speak, but is having extra care. My mom got very teary-eyed and some daughters would stop right there, hug her and let her talk. I, on the other hand, get her out of bed. Do the practical thing, which is routine and settling to my spirit. If I begin my day with too much empathizing I'll be lost the remainder of the day. My way of making it through is to do the next task. Find order in a very disordered life.
Just surviving another day. So far, it's working.