I’m back at the Starbucks by Dad’s. He’s golfing with some friends and since our dryer is on the fritz, I brought my laundry over. How nice it would have been to sit there all day washing and chatting with Mom. I think about the last time I saw her and how happy she was as she was waving goodbye to us. If I’d known that was the last time, I would have grabbed her and whispered, “Don’t go.” As I sit here in Starbucks, the tears come and mostly for Mom rather than the chaos my life has been thrown into by moving Dad into my house. No, this morning, I miss my mom, my BFF, my confidante. I want her to tell me it’s all going to be okay, and that I’m doing a good job. I want her to throw her arms around me one more time and tell me I’m the love of her life. She did that just once, about six weeks ago, when we brought Dad home from the hospital after an overnight stay. Did she know then that our time together was short?
Monday afternoon was hard. I was alone with Dad and the move was so new that he was very confused. He got upset with our cable TV that requires its own remote. When did I change it? How could I do that without telling him? When I explained again that I had a different cable company than he had at his house, he yelled, “MY HOUSE!?” I finally realized that he was thinking I was Mom and we were at “his” house, that he didn’t remember the move. After a wee tantrum, he went upstairs to make his gin toddy and then within five minutes seemed just fine.
Yesterday we had a list of errands which we tackled in the morning. He had slept better Monday night so felt good in the morning. He got a shower and made his breakfast. He gave me directions to his doctor’s office without a problem (good thing because I get lost in a tea cup!). We turned in his medication fax forms to the doctor so we can get everything refilled. We even dropped off Mom’s urn to the cremation office. He was great through all of that. But by late afternoon, he gets a bit unsettled like a child with ADHD and that can be a challenge for me. I’m so used to doing my own thing and choosing when I want to work but I feel like I have to sit in the same room with Dad and follow him everywhere. I’m sure this will change a bit as we settle in – at least I hope.
Still, Tuesday was MUCH better than Monday, and I’m sure we’re going to continue to have ups and downs. All we can do is our best and ask for help. My guys are a lot of help, and I thank God for them always. But, the brunt of this burden is on me. I’m the family breadwinner; when am I supposed to find the time to earn it when I have to care for my father? When will I be able to grieve for my mother?
I do pray a lot and feel God and the angels with me. I feel all the prayers from family and friends. I admit that in my darkest moments I wonder if it’s enough. So much loss – 5 babies, 2 brothers and now my mom (and life as I knew it). Then I think about Pastor’s sermon from last Sunday, and all I need to remember is that flicker of hope – that little flicker of light keeps me from total darkness and is enough to keep me safe until the bad moments pass – and they always do. I’m too experienced with grief to think otherwise.
Mom – don’t go – please . . .