Mad about me

My mother is mad at me – although she would never characterize it that way. No, she would say she was cross or irritated or use some kind of euphemism that would somehow soften her blow, while getting her point across that I had crossed the line.

And how did I do that? By saying I worry about her. A caring, daughterly thing to say, I thought. But in her mind that phase is synonymous with plotting to move her out of her house and into one of “those places.”

True, she would be safer and my sisters and I would rest easier if she was in some kind of assisted living or care facility, but I intentionally didn’t broach that subject, lest she think I had an ulterior motive for expressing my concern.

But the fact is that she hadn’t eaten – again. She either had no appetite or didn’t have time between sleeping late, taking a nap and visiting my dad in a memory care unit. Or, as I found out tonight, because she couldn’t open a can of soup, couldn’t read the buttons on the microwave and didn’t want to open the refrigerator because it was too bright inside.

Just because she doesn’t have total mobility after a broken hip and is losing the sight in both of her eyes due to macular degeneration, that’s no cause for alarm, really. Why should I needlessly worry that she will fall again, forget to take her medications or invite the paper delivery guy to fix her thermostat because, as she told him, she lives alone and can’t see.

After all, North Korea has nuclear weapons, bullying is on the rise and the Dow is down again. Now those are real worries and I have about as much control over those things as I do my mother’s safety.

So when the day comes that something bad – the inevitable – happens, because I didn’t do anything to prevent it, I will be cross with me, too. In fact, I will be absolutely, categorically and unrelentingly mad. That’s just how it is and I’m not afraid to say it.

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3 Responses to Mad about me

  1. Lloyd, Marilyn A. says:

    Nice blog. I think what it comes down to is a quote I remember from the Shawshank Redemption. In the movie Andy Dufresne said “I guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Your mom is busy living. Many people can still feel like they’re busy living in an assisted living residence. To your mom, one of those places is akin to getting busy dying. As difficult as it might be for you, let her be . . . at least until either there is no other choice or you can persuade her that there is life after independence . . . often an even greater enjoyment of life. Maybe you can find one or two people within an assisted living community that need someone like your mom . . . to be their friend, to tell them stories about her life, or just to listen to them. Maybe to pray with. If she feels needed, she just might feel like she’s still busy living.

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  2. Karen Davis says:

    Bless your heart as you walk with your mom at this time in her life. I too had the same issues with my mother. She didn’t eat and was wasting away in front of me. She was so stubborn and refused to go to any kind of assisted living or “old folks home”, as she called it, but eventually it was my decision and she spent the final 4 months of her life in one. She stayed in her own home longer than she probably should have but I have not regrets, she was where she wanted to be.

    I’m so glad TuesdayTalk is back!

  3. Carol Johnson says:

    Well said! I have been thinking of her so much lately. Isn’t it strange that she lost 2 more teeth eating noodles? Her eating habits are atrocious, and she lied to Dr. K about it. She continues to struggle with turning on the TV and trying to listen to the book on tape, and she can’t see the food on her meals on wheels to cut it up. I now know that she would have had to have help come in for her to be at H.C. Not to mention the love-hate relationship with the caregivers! Thank you for expressing what is so obvious, so ridiculous, yet so impossible to ameliorate.

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