Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Mom

For the last two or so weeks I have been intensely involved with my mom's life. She is 89. She has stubbornly stayed in her home, living alone and caring for herself, but things are getting rough. She has macular degeneration, she constantly tells me that it might be getting better. Her mobility is very bad, we got her a wheelchair several years ago to help her get around. Up to that point she had been using a sponge mop as a walking stick, her "buddy" she called it. She shakes a little, she doesn't sleep very well, she can't bath herself, she still enjoys cooking although that is becoming a real hazard, she can remember things that I have totally forgotten, she never takes more than Advil or Tylenol, her blood pressure is low, she is lonely and she loves to talk to people, and she is becoming more and more paranoid.

A couple of years ago there was a flood in her basement. I went home with her to help clean it up and discovered two absolute treasures, an old diary and a collection of letters from my dad to her. They were written during the same time period. It was fascinating to have a glimpse into her life when she was in her late teens and early twenties. It was strange to read about her going to play tennis or going skiing when I've never seen her do either of those things. It was strange to read about a man named Gordon, who she was dating when she met my dad, and to continue reading about her emerging feelings for Craig, my dad.

It has been hard. I'm not sure what to do for her. She is stubborn and independent and wants more than anything to preserve her house as my brother's and my inheritence. That isn't going to work because she needs that money to live on. And that's exactly what she should use it for.

Aging - it's just hard to watch. It's hard to cope with. It's hard to deal with. It's just hard, hard, hard. I love her and at the same time she drives me crazy. I constantly remember the good things though, all of the years and the things, so many things, that she had done for me. I wish I could be better. I wish things could be better for her.
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