Updates - The Simple and Not So Simple Truths
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The simple truth - my mother died on September 23rd.
The not-so-simple truth - my mother died on September 23rd. After a six day hospitalization. I stayed with her in her room. She was at peace and ready to go. Every day the staff would say today's the day... I used to get frustrated 'moving at the speed of Grandma' while shopping - well, she even died 'at the speed of Grandma". That is somehow right. Had some regrets about things not done with her, but I also figured even if we'd done those things, I'd regret something else. In a middle part of the process, she was reliving her teaching days, she wasn't aware of who exactly we were, but if we pretended to be her students, she responded as the teacher. We had some fun with that, wondered if it was okay to do so. But figured we were respecting where in her journey she was, and figured we needed to laugh a little. Had a reconciliation of sorts with my brother - I won't forget the past, but am trying to let go, move on. We honored her wishes to do one last act of teaching - she wanted her body donated to the University of Wisconsin for teaching purposes. And when we get her remains back in a year or two, we will spread her ashes where she wished.
Mother and I had a complex relationship over the years - I even chose to cut off contact for a couple of years a while back. I spent much of my later childhood years trying to take care of my mother emotionally. I then went to college and grad school for social work, worked in the public schools for two years. Shock of all shocks - my core issue in life is feeling like I don't matter, that I am not important. When my mother moved back to the midwest, I eventually fulfilled the role of dutiful oldest child. While I was very drained at times, I never wished my mother gone. I am glad she was at peace and her wishes are being honored.
About a month ago, I found out my 19 YO daughter had been date-raped over the summer while at college. That was a different sort of shock. My mom radar picked up on something she said, and I asked if she had been attacked. She didn't want me to know because she was trying to protect me. SHE was trying to protect ME. Maybe having me around for the immediate aftermath might've made it more difficult? She has fantastic support by her university and her friends, thankfully. She's had a very rough couple of years, and hasn't handled a lot of that well. I mention this because she actually seems to be doing okay. I got to visit her, felt better after that.
I debated about sharing the news about DD here. Would it somehow overshadow the passing of my mother? Would that be wrong? DD is okay with the news being shared, but I've been very limited about who I tell, figuring it is her news to share. I am sharing here because it is part of the reality of my last couple of months. And I never expected to be the parent of a victim of anything. And because while I know rape happens 'often', she is the first person close to me that I know to have been raped.
Where am I now? Lonely. Drained. So much of my life over the last few years has been being a daughter, a parent and working outside the home. Now, my mother has died. My DD is almost 20 and is away at college. My DS just turned 14, and relates so much more to his father (which is fine). I am an introvert, so my non-work pursuits are solitary. I like quiet. But I am also lonely. That is a huge challenge for me, especially in this crazy busy retail season, especially in the winter. I've been making some efforts, have plans for more. Found out about a craft store that has open workshop nights on Fridays - I can join in, be around other people and make cards - even found out I can give away the cards to various good causes.
What about self care? Well, I did well in October with some monthly goals that helped me focus. Realized that sleep is THE KEY to self care for me. I need 8.5- 9 hours (yikes) - challenging to do with DH getting home 6:30-7 and me often needing to get up at 4am to go to work. Lost focus on the goals sometime this month. Partly I think because it was another solitary pursuit. Not sure where or how to build in accountability. Recently I remembered that things were getting better for me when I was working on my emotional and mental issues by doing the chapters in the !00 Day Weight Loss (100DWL) book by Linda Spangle. So, I am going to start that again.
I still can't run - I really really miss it. Will go back to PA/Doc after the end of the year.
Got a new light therapy light.
Thanksgiving was THE holiday that we spent with Mother. That will be tough, I expect. We are now going to my in-laws. I am not close to them, yet I am glad I can go there before I go into work Thursday. I am glad I can be with DD especially, and that she can be with her other grandparents and her other family. And in a weird sort of way, I am glad I work so much this weekend.
It hit me sort of hard that this next birthday (in January) will be the first one my mother is not around for. And it is a milestone one. I can just imagine she would've said that she can't believe she has a 50 YO child, with a 2nd one by the end of the year. Whether we've been close or not, my mother has always theoretically been at least physically present or available on my birthday.
Guess I better post this and start resuming using Spark for more than just tracking. I welcome comments and team recommendations. Thank you for reading.