Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Changes

Swedish WeavingMy mother is visiting with me this week. She is staying at my house instead of my going down to her home. It feels very much like an audition for her living with me full time. And I'm not ready for that. But I had better start getting ready because it seems that her living here is more and more likely. We've taken some steps to increase the safety level in my house - and "steps" is the appropriate word since my house is a tri-level with two sets of steps that she would have to negotiate day-to-day. We've installed safety handles on walls on each end of the stair railing so that she can hold them to help herself. We've installed safety arms on the toilets in two bathrooms. But we can't do much about the arthritis in her knees that make the stairs painful.

The visit has truly been an emotional roller coaster. There have been some really good times - watching her doing some Swedish Weaving and enjoying herself. And there have been some bad times - she almost fell tonight (off the stairs) and banged her head hard against the wall. There have been some low times - her asking me this morning where she was and when did she get here, the third morning of her stay. And there have been some high times - having discussions with her about things that she wouldn't have been able to remember a month ago.

I'm not ready for this life change. I'm not ready to try to be a full-time caretaker and still hold down a full-time job. I'm not ready to be a mother to my mother. But time won't wait for me to get ready. So I'll just do the best I can.


Joy Journal: Hearing my mother tell a doctor (when she didn't know I could hear) that "My daughter is an artist, she makes the most beautiful artwork. She can do anything artistic"

8 comments:

Odd Chick said...

I admire you so much for even considering this very difficult journey - I thank you deeply for the compliment about being a beautiful soul - but a person who serves another so unselfishly - now that is best kind of human being... keep us posted about what you learn along this path.. many of us will travel it and we will need a navigator

Hummie said...

My mom often worries that she will do that to us some day. I don't think any parent wants to get into that position. She's looking good in the photo though! And that quote you overheard--you'll remember that forever.

Anetka said...

it's going to be the most difficult but at the same time the most rewarding and precious time you will spend with your Mother. It always strikes me - our parents devote everything to bring us up and then one day we can do the same for them...not everyone is as brave as you Ernie. Just remember you are not alone.

God bless you.

my heart melts when I see your Mother on this photo, she looks so delicate.

Kim Cavender said...

I'm so proud to have you as a friend, Ernie! May God bless you and your mother and make this journey an easy one for you. You're in my thoughts and I'm sending giant hugs your way. Stay strong, my talented artist friend! Your mom is one smart cookie.

Krafty Kat said...

What a beautiful picture of your mother, and how lovely that you will be able to do this for her. Love her Swedish weaving. My mom started doing it recently, and I have a lovely afghan from her in our living room.

Anetka said...

just to let you know Ernie that I've nominated your blog for award. You can pick it up any time from my blog.

Thinking of you and praying for you and your Mother.

Tami said...

Hi Ernie,

This is the first time I've visited your blog but was moved to leave a comment. My Grandmother lived with me the last 6 years of her life and passed away 1 1/2 years ago so I understand the choice. For the first 5 years she was very independent only needing me to cook for her but the last year she started having bouts of dementia (wasn't actually the disease but was confused and forgetful)and totally dependent the last 6 months. All I can say is I am glad I was an option and I wouldn't have done it any other way but the price tag was very high! Take care of yourself, it is so easy to get caught up in the care giving for another and forget you need things for your self too. Get someone to come in to help so you can have time for yourself IT'S IMPORTANT, make it consistant so you know that time for you is there, I am talking about time for just you, time with your husband needs to be there too but make sure you keep personal time for your self! I didn't and pushed myself almost to the point of breaking with care giving and working full time. Good luck and my heart is with you.

Tami said...

Thanks for visiting Ernie, I was afraid I'd left you just way too much personal information, if it helped then, I'm glad I left it.