The last few weeks have been a torrential, tumultuous rainfall of missteps, loss, challenges and adjustments.
And yet, here I am, a limping Hop-A-Long Cassidy, in my writing room, sipping coffee, finally working (on my own terms of course), and trying my damnest to juggle and smile my way through thorns and thickets. (I am very dramatic today). And here I am appreciating my 91 year old mother in the sweetest deepest of ways. Here I am feeling more deep love.
This week's Thursday 13 is a review of the bright light and dark side of just that.
2. I tell her about her fall in July and broken hip and weeks in rehab and I end by explaining that she is here with us to take a few weeks to determine the place she will be safest and happiest. A few night's ago, when she asked these questions, I said, "Mom, I think you've had a bad dream. In the dark, she looks at me, smiles, and says, "kj, this is no dream!" We both laugh and I watch her put her head on the pillow, now content.
3. One night my mother wakes as usual but this time she is fully aware of where she is, where she was, what has happened. She is not happy about it at all. She firmly says, "Why is God treating me like the devil's mother-in-law?"
"Mom", I ask. "Did you make that term up?"
She laughs. "I think so". Her green eyes sparkle when she laughs
4. My mother is playing Crazy 8's every chance she gets. We've hired two homemakers to relieve me a few hours a day and on weekends, and she's turned them both into card sharks.
5. This is very similiar to having small children at home. I have to plan my errands, work, and social time in advance and with coverage. No spontaniety for me these days.
6. We have looked at 3 places for my Mom to move to. All are within 15 minutes of me. None is perfect.
Place # 1: Nursing home, too few activities, too much downtime, plenty of hugs, responsive and wonderful aides, consistently above average because it's where my Mom has been the last three month.s
Place # 2: Nursing home, double the activities, not sure about hugs, tiny teeny rooms the size of large closets, highly recommended all around.
Place# 3: Assisted Living Center, memory unit with triple the activities, no hugs (that I could see), private lovely room, questionable aides, I felt more negatives than positives.
7. I'm getting used to my Mother being here. I hate not having more free time, but you know, I'm amazed how nice she is. And how patient I am.
8. We've finally come up with chores she can do. She's insisted on helping out, and it's been hard to know what to say to that, given that she is still abit unstable and needs a walker. However, she is now setting the table, washing and wiping the dishes (I had to let go of using the dishwasher..) and folding clothes on the couch.
9. Never ever underestimate how important it is for an older person to feel productive.
10. I am regularly cooking again. More meat than I'm accustomed too, but hey, I hope I stay in this groove.
11. My dear jb, who has just lost her mother and is facing her own version of major surgery, is so sweet to my Mother, it almost makes me cry.