Surrender to those things you cannot change

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Sometimes one can fight and fight - then suddenly realize that you cannot change it. When you surrender to a higher power, it can be an amazing stress reliever.

Background: Mom is 91. Until a few months ago, she was vital and able to live on her own. Suddenly, she quit eating, lost lots of weight, and got weak. Yet, she insists on living independently. She lives a long way away from me, but I have been her daily phone call for years -- so we are close. Every time she has a problem it emotionally affects me so much.

Two days ago, during our daily talk she "neglected" to mention that she was talking to me while laying on the floor. She had had difficulty getting out of her chair, so she crawled on the floor. After 6 hours of trying to get up, she resigned herself to sleeping on the floor. The next day, when I gave my daily call, there was no answer. My sister went over to find that Mom had spent 24 hours laying on the floor.

My siblings who live close by do very little to help her out. After all, she has been independent for 91 years and they have not had to help out in that time. Providing help to her is just not part of their mindset. I have tried to help out with finding in home health care, or assisted living, but it is quite difficult to do over the phone, and even more difficult without help from my siblings.

Okay, so I've been pretty stressed about this whole thing. Food has become a comfort again. Yikes.

Last night, I realized that (a) I need to take care of myself so that this situation never happens to me, (b) distance makes it impossible for me to take an active role in resolving the situation, and (c) she has lived a wonderful life, and if this is how she chooses to live her last few months, so be it. I cannot be in charge: I cannot control the situation. I must simply surrender and let what happens, happen. It is time for her to "meet her maker" as she calls it, and it is not my place to stop this from happening (or change how it will happen.)

So, back to my workouts. Back to healthy eating. And back to the daily calls with mom- don't judge, don't try to control --just be supportive.

Phew. Thanks for listening my SparkFriends!

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  • LINDAK25
    Oh, how frustrating. Boy, does this sound familiar. I agree with how you're handling it. It's what I have to do with my parents. They do not want any help. So, yes, take care of yourself.

    If I want to reply to someone who responds to a blog, I just go to their SparkPage and make a comment there. When I leave a comment on a friend's blog, I don't go back to the blog and read other comments, do you?

    1902 days ago
    Hey Sveltensassy. Not sure how to do a "reply" to a comment.

    Thanks for the Serenity prayer -- yes I need that now!!

    Oh, and re: the call button. She has absolutely refused one - until now... small bits of progress.

    Thanks again!

    1902 days ago
    Sorry to hear about your mom's struggles, she sounds like a very determined woman.

    Thoughts and prayers for you guys!

    1902 days ago
    Just checking in on SparkPeople and came across your blog.

    I SO understand how you feel. My grandmother - - 88 yrs old - - has had similar ups and downs for the past couple years. Her eyesight is very poor - - nearly gone --- so for the last 2 yrs she's had a live-in caregiver. That situation comes to an end at the end of this month, because the caregiver, who will be 80 yrs old, needs to make changes in her life.

    Grandma isn't really my grandmother. She's my step-grandfather's second wife but she's been part of my life so long that she's like a grandmother.

    She has only two "blood" relatives: a grandson and his 6 yr old daughter.
    She allows grandson and his wife to wield the decision-making power over her health and welfare. Some of those decisions have not been in her dest interest. So, I understand your feeling of powerlessness.

    So now she sits, counting down the days until her friend and care-giver leaves. She has no idea what grandson and wife have done. She has no idea who might be coming to fill this void. Or if she must consider leaving her home.

    And I . . . like you . . . must find a way to be at peace with the situation.

    I've learned that older folks have their own way of thinking. It takes time to get your mind wrapped around it. And you have to respect it . . . which it sounds like you do for your mother.

    You've come to some good and healthy decisions. You DO have to take care of yourself. Sounds like you could use the Serenity Prayer: Lord, grant me the serentiy to accept the things I can't change; the courage to change those things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

    One thing you might consider for mom, if she doesn't have it, is one of those call-button services. A necklace or wristband with a call button she can press if she takes another fall. That way she's not dependent and waiting for someone to stop by and check on her. Something like that could give both of you some peace of mind.

    emoticon emoticon
    1902 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/7/2013 12:10:03 PM
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