For awhile now, I haven't written about all the icky things going on with my parents and their health and my siblings. I feel so defeated and nothing can be done about it so why whine here? Alas, I'm going to whine anyway.
This past weekend, I went down to see them. Five and half hours driving to get to my mom and she is out of it. We talk a little but she thinks I'm an employee of the facility. "No," I explain, "I'm your family and I came to see you."
In her mind, she's too young to have a daughter my age so I try not to tell her that I'm her daughter. It's too confusing for her. I tell her my name and ask her if she knows anyone by that name. She will often reply that she has a daughter with that name but rarely understand that that person is me.
She slept nearly all of the time I was there. Luckily, I had stuck a book into my "mom bag" (all the things I need when I visit her, like a black Sharpie) so I read while she slept. All that driving and I got to talk to her for less than 30 min. I tried to pray for her while I was sitting there but my heart ached too much to get the words out.
I went back on Sunday morning and she was bright, vivid and chatting up a storm! Not only did she know who I was, she knew that I needed to spend more time with her, helping her thru this difficult time. I was raised to take care of her and get her out of situations in which she found herself and was uncomfortable. I'm suppose to get her out of there and take her home. We talked a lot about that and about her family of origin. I had brought her a blueberry muffin and a cup of hot coffee. She was thrilled and really enjoyed it.
Which, I keep asking myself, is harder? Her not knowing me and me not knowing what to talk to her about or her knowing me and expecting me to fix this bad situation? I swear, I cannot decide. It breaks my heart when she doesn't know me and it thrills me when she does. But when she knows me, she knows that for nearly my whole life, I've been there for her and fixed things when she wasn't happy and now for her to need me desperately and there's not a thing I can do. She cannot comprehend the rock and the hard place I am in. I see that she needs help. I beg my siblings to help me fix it. They have actually said to me, "It (the facility) is good enough." I swear you could have knocked me over with a feather. I still cry when I think of it. I wouldn't board my beloved Toby there over night.
When I left on Saturday, she was fine with it because she didn't know me and it didn't mean anything to her for me to go. On Sunday, she knew her Linda was leaving and she acted as if her life line was abandoning her and she would never recover from the hurt and shock of it. (Words she has said on the phone, many times.) So hard!
After I left there, I drove to the facility my dad is in. He was in terrible shape. Neither one of them can walk very well but my dad is terribly weak. It makes me very angry. They should have had him up and walking around and this would not have happened. I feel like both my parents have been put some place to die. They aren't living. They should be doing and going and seeing and being alive. It's so hard. Before Dad was so weak, I took him out and we'd go to dinner or in some way get them together.
I went to the church services at the facility with my dad, who was always a wonderful singer. Growing up, I would finagle a seat next to him so that I could sing with him. Yesterday? He barely sang at all. It made me so sad and I worried that the preacher would think I need saved for all the tears flowing. My poor dad.
My eating monster? Yeah, he kicked my butt all weekend. I have learned over the years that feelings of inadequacy will trigger a release of his venom and the eating will commence. I even knew what was happening and still ate like a fiend. I won't even let myself TRY to calculate the calories. I'm not sure my calculator has enough digits.
So, now it's Monday. My heart aches and the tears flow but I'm back on my feet. I'm tottering and weaving but I'm up. I'm up. That's about all I have to offer for the day. We'll take it one breath at a time.
Note: Please, just let me cry on your shoulder. No one can fix the mess but my brother with the guardianship. He is not interested in making things better. I just have to learn how to better handle the stress. Thanks for reading.