MOM AND DAD IN 1945 - THE YEAR THEY WERE MARRIED
MOM WITH MY SISTER, DAUGHTER, AND GRANDKIDS - 2010
What a week this has been. I feel as if I've been run over by a truck that stopped, backed up, and ran over me again. I don't think I've been this tired since we physically moved our belongings into this house in last summer's scorching heat. It's not just the physical activities of working on the former residence, herding cats, or trying to maintain order in this house that has me frazzled. It's also the emotional strain of knowing my mother can no longer live alone in her home and anticipating the decisions my sisters and I will need to make that are wearing on me. Tomorrow I'll be traveling 2 hours north again to visit the physical rehabilitation center where my mother temporarily resides. A conference is being held to update my sisters and me on our mother's progress. I don't know exactly what to hope for - great progress and eminent release, or a little progress and more time to investigate senior living accomodations. It won't actually matter how much time we're given, the task of choosing our mother's future home will not be easy on any of us. I hope and pray our mother will understand this is not what we wanted, though it's now become necessary. For many years we hinted, urged, gently nudged, and at times, strongly suggested she choose a senior community for herself, but she would not hear of it. We didn't want our mother to be upset or mistrust us so my sisters and I decided we'd stop pushing her and let things play out as they would. And so they did. Our mother's fall was the crisis we knew would eventually come. The fall and subsequent complications (severe dehydration, extreme confusion, heart irregularities, and an infection) sent our mother into a downward spiral, the likes of which we'd not previously seen. In her clearer moments, our mother realizes she can no longer live alone. She doesn't often verbalize it to us, but did make this comment to one of my sisters: "I suppose you girls will have to find a place for me now". How I wish that moment could have opened the door for a frank but gentle discussion, but in her next breath, she talked about going home. So, as my dear spouse often says, "It is what it is".