Funny to check my stats. Partially because the numbers cause me to come to some conclusions that either might, or might not be accurate. I decided when I began posting about our experience in caring for my mom in our home that I'd be stinkin' honest. There are way too many folks living hard stuff, but are driven to share only the pretty bits, or they clean up the story to the extent that folks are getting such a sanitized version of reality that it's not reality at all.
In the weeks before she came here, I did research on the (supposed) simple task of just cleaning her clothes. Of keeping odors at bay. Of buying enough of what was necessary, including paper towels, disinfectant (in a scent I find appealing since it'd get used so often), plastic bags for her soiled diapers, and foods she could eat easily that are simple to prepare.
What I neglected to research was our personal journey through this. How hard would it really be? What would be the biggest challenge? Who would suffer? What things would surprise me? What would I do differently?
Where do I start? Here we are entering our third month, and this is the hardest thing, hands down, that I've/we've ever done. My shoulders are constantly tight. My nerves are on edge. There's only down-time after dinner when Mom is in bed. She's still talking, on her cellphone, but is in bed and alone. Door shut.
If I sound like a whiner, so be it. It's hard. I'm not young anymore. I get weary of seeing my girls looking drained. Of them being so sweet to my mom, but wanting her to live somewhere else. Of feeling so packed in our-already small house. Of the drain having a disabled person in the house, how my mom pulls our energy to herself, leaving us empty. Of wondering why things have to be so difficult, and shaking my head at each day being like the movie Groundhog Day. Same dialogue and questions. Same confusion on her face. Same struggles with trying to get her to be interested in just moving, of getting up and changing her position. But no.
Back to my statistics. Lower numbers. Well, I could think that folks don't want to know the ugly stuff. I get it. Not sure I'd come here if I usually read my blog. Write something upbeat, would you? Like I told my husband back at Christmas when he asked why I couldn't just be happy. He was being sweet, wanting me to find Joy. That's a tough one. Seems to be just beyond my grasp. I told him I'd love to be happy, for it to be easy to grasp good things tightly to myself and Live. But it's not easy for me. I struggle with being happy.
So maybe for someone else, having their stroke-brained mom living with them would be a blessing. An experience where tending to her would be full of grace and love. That's not my experience. I hate it. I love my mom, but struggle big time in her personal care. I'd love to just walk out the door, but would have to take my husband and our remaining four children living in our home, along with 3 dogs and a bird with me. Leave my mom here. Let's go.
But as God would have it, this is my portion now. He's near, but allowing the struggle. I have to accept that. Would rather not.
Listening to David Dunn's newest album, Yellow Balloons. Rich music. Full of the Creator of the Universe. Worth a listen. That's a bit of Joy.