being there

It is almost as hard caring for aging parents as it is for children.  ALMOST…maybe not quite so hard yet, (I’m still sleeping through the night).

I threatened my mother last night when she declared for the umpteenth time that I always hated her but loved my father (who has been dead for 26 years).

“I am going to make you polish all the silver you gave me, if I ever hear that again!” I declared.

I wagged my finger at her, just like she used to do at me.

Still, I’m glad that I am available to hear even the outrageous stuff she says.  My neighbor, just a couple of doors down, lost her mother two weeks ago.  Yesterday, as I carried my groceries to my car in the Kroger parking lot, I saw her sitting there alone; I suppose her husband was doing the shopping inside the grocery store.

“I’m sorry about your mother,” I said, reiterating the message I had left on her voice mail.

She hung her head.

“She suffered for three years, and I did not do a damn thing!” she cried.  “I am so glad for you that you have the chance to be there for your mom!”

(This is the neighbor who helped us unpack my mom’s things and baked a cake to welcome her into the neighborhood.)

I am glad to be here, too.

I sat beside her on Sunday as my step daughter got married.  Her siblings were part of the wedding party and walked down the aisle before my husband escorted the bride.

“Who is that?” she inquired as each one walked down the aisle.

She didn’t remember that she had spent the last 12 years with those “kids” in her life at various stages.

I bowed my head and thanked God that I was able to be there for her, and that she still remembers me.

WHY can’t she forget that she hates to polish silver???


5 comments on “being there”

  1. Very powerful stuff.

  2. Strong Elaine! Real strong! Neighbor was right…wish I had the opportunity to do the same.

  3. I sit cryiing, reading your story. Your Mom is “losing it”. My Grandma had hardening of the arteries, but once she “lost it” she became sweet, smiled at the little greatgrandchildren, instead of scowling at them and saying nasty destructive things. It’s strange when some people who we enjoy get sick, die or lose their memories and others would be better off if their minds would just go into neutral because of all the destruction they cause with their tongues. Thank you for the example of caring for your mother.

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