can’t help it

By: ewhite422

Nov 08 2010

Category: Uncategorized


Okay, I have to write about this, even though I said I was not going to blog for a while, since I am working on a book (and I only have so much creativity).

BUT, I have to say that I bet many baby boomers are experiencing what I am, taking care of parents.  It can be heart wrenching.

I sat beside my mother yesterday in our big white chair in front of the fireplace.  Tears streamed down her face.

“I don’t want to be a burden,” she cried.

“Mom, you’re not a burden.  We’ve talked about this.  It’s just a stage of life, and I’m here for you.” I consoled.

I saw fear in her eyes.  I did not know that the day before she had had a bathroom accident.  My dad told me when he and I “escaped” to the grocery store.

She can’t remember my daughter’s name.  She can’t remember her great grandchildren’s names.  So far, however, she does remember my name, but who knows for how long.

Being an only child, I am in this alone as siblings go, except that I have a wonderful husband who rubs her shoulders and tells her she’s the best mother-in-law.  He listens to me cry about losing her.

Yesterday I got out the Thanksgiving china that she gave me a few years ago.  I set the formal dining room table using all the things she has collected over the years.

Her eyes lit up.  “I had forgotten those plates!” she said, eyeing the china with a turkey in the center.  She filled her plate full of swiss steak, potatoes augratin and stir-fried veggies, which was surprising to me, since before lunch she had devoured my neighbor’s Italian cream cake that she found in my fridge and then, like a kid, scarfed down a couple of handsful of peanut M&Ms, ignoring my scolding about ruining her Sunday dinner.

This morning I just got off the phone with my daughter.  “I don’t want to be a ‘downer,’ but I need to let you know that Thanksgiving is your grandmother’s favorite holiday, and this might be the last one she remembers,” I said.

She said that she appreciated my honesty.

It is what it is.

And it will be a Thanksgiving for all of us to remember!


2 comments on “can’t help it”

  1. Elaine;
    As one who lost both of his parents earlier in life and then having been in the senior care business- I can appreciate your situation- more than you can know. Celebrate the moments of lucidity,the special times you have together when they happen and live for those moments. They are precious and special and many of us don’t have that opportunity and wish we did. At the same time do not feel guilty nor bad for having a hard time with their aging in place. Its natural and normal and has to be accepted for what it is…the repayment of a debt…she did for you when you were helpless and God was with her and with you. he is with you now as you return the favor and he is understanding of your frustration and your despair. Try and celebrate the good times and give thanks for the past …but don’t beat yourself up about the tough things you have to encounter. God is with you and understands and will never leave you to address it alone. It is a rite of passage as surely as the sun rises and sets…so does our physical bodies…but in your heart and in hers you both know love and that is something no one can ever take from you. Rejoice and be at peace my new friend. You are on the right track, are doing the right thing and he knows that…take heart and know that he is with you and your mama always.

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